Bassoon, performing, teaching, acoustics, math, Taco Bell, dogs, and family. That’s me in a nutshell! Here is the longer version: I live in Austin, Texas, where I study with Kristin Wolfe Jensen and work as a teaching assistant at the University of Texas at Austin. I am grateful every day that I have been blessed with the opportunity to create art in a beautiful city with inspiring people.
At the moment I am about halfway done with a Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in bassoon performance at UT Austin. As you will see if you keep reading, this degree is the perfect combination of what I love: performing, teaching, and academics. Stay tuned for plenty of upcoming recitals, performances, and publications.
Since 2019 I have been the Bassoon TA at UT Austin. Among other things, this means that I teach lessons to students at UT Austin who are not majoring in performance, and I teach a reed-making class (in non-Covid times). I love this! It brings me joy to work with musicians who want music in their lives, regardless of their major, and I can never get enough of reeds. At the moment, I am also TAing for a musical acoustics course. These experiences are providing me with valuable teaching knowledge at the collegiate level! Check out the Reeds + Teaching tab for more information about purchasing reeds and my private studio.
Since high school I have been torn between my passions for music and mathematics. I know you probably just rolled your eyes at me “liking math.” Please don’t stop reading because of that. Please. In 2019 I received a Bachelor’s of Music in bassoon performance and mathematics from Vanderbilt University, with a minor in scientific computing. Phew! That is a mouthful. My favorite quote is from a friend who summarized this questionable pairing:
“Did you just wake up one day and decide you wanted your life to be hard?”– Anonymous blunt friend
Obviously, no. I genuinely expected to drop one of these majors after my first year, but I didn’t have the heart to give up either. I am very grateful I did not. To this day I continue to “make my life hard” by taking optional courses in acoustics within the graduate school of engineering at UT Austin. It is my mission to enthusiastically encourage students to pursue their passions, just like my amazing teachers did for me. (Shoutout to Kristin Wolfe Jensen, Peter Kolkay, Albie Micklich, and Martin VanKlompenberg.)
Of primary importance is my desire to make the world a better place and to positively influence the people around me with music. Sounds hard, right? I actually find that this manifests as a work-ethic, kindness, joyfulness, creativity, and sincerity. Music has the ability to communicate and to positively affect lives, and we are missing the point if that powerful fact is ignored.
Now here is the list of accomplishments included in a more traditional bio. I am proud of these achievements, but I believe the above information is more important to knowing who I am.
- Principal Bassoonist with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra since 2021
- Selected for the 2022 National Repertory Orchestra, with a soloist opportunity in Breckenridge, CO
- 1st Place Gold Medalist at the 2022 Young Texas Artist Competition
- 1st Place Winner of the 2021 National Bassoon Meet Up Artistry Competition (multisonics.brigitfitzgerald.com)
- Winner of the First International Bassoon Tango Competition in 2021 (tango.brigitfitzgerald.com)
- Substitute bassoonist for the Austin Symphony and New World Symphony in 2018-2019
- Soloist with the Phoenix Symphony (2015) and the Vanderbilt University Orchestra (2019). Listen to my performance of the Zwilich Bassoon Concerto with the Vanderbilt Orchestra.
- Recipient of a Rainwater Innovation Grant 2020: “Creating Opportunity with Synthetic Bassoon Reeds” 3D-Printed Reeds?
- Vanderbilt Founder’s Medalist for the Blair School of Music in 2019 (highest academic honor)
- Traveled to Aix-en-Provence, France, where I studied chamber music with members of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Colombia, where I taught and performed with the Vanderbilt Wind Symphony.
- Attended the National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival, Philadelphia International Music Festival, and created an online bassoon festival for UT students in 2020
- Recipient of the Elliott and Alisa Newman Award for Excellence in Woodwind Performance in 2019