Double Reed Day at Butler University
Saturday, January 27, 2024
Bassoon and Oboe players of all ages and playing levels as well as their family, teachers, and friends are invited to our annual Butler University Double Reed Day on Saturday, January 27, 2024. Participants will experience a day full of Double Reed excitement including:
- Masterclasses and workshops with our special guest artists and Butler University faculty
- Performances with all participants as well as an opening recital with special guests on the Schrott Center for the Arts stage
- A vendor fair with our event sponsors
- and more!
View the sample event schedule and faculty information below. You are also invited to join us for a special bonus event the night prior: See Imani Winds perform on campus Friday, January 26 at 7:30 PM as part of our JCA Signature Series.
If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special guests from Imani Winds!
See Imani Winds perform on campus Friday, January 26 at 7:30 PM in the Schrott Center!
Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Oboe, Imani Winds
Oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz grew up surrounded by her parent’s enormous record collection in Washington, DC. It was there she absorbed the many layers of classical music’s beauty and the inspiring and uniting potential of the world’s diverse cultural landscape.
Ms. Spellman-Diaz earned her Bachelors of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and her Master’s and Professional Studies degrees at the Manhattan School of Music. Her orchestral career includes performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Hailed by the Washington Post for her “smooth, controlled tone and excellent technique,” Toyin has performed concertos with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Manhattan Virtuosi, and with the Kennedy Center Youth Orchestra.
An original member of Imani Winds, Ms. Spellman-Diaz has built her career as a champion of contemporary chamber music. Along with her Imani Winds colleagues, she is devoted to discovering new and diverse musical voices and cultures to increase and enhance the woodwind quintet repertoire. She has also collaborated with some of today’s most influential chamber music ensembles, including Alarm Will Sound, the Antara Ensemble and Camerata Pacifica. Ms. Spellman-Diaz teaches at NYU Steinhardt School of Music, Brooklyn College, and Mannes School of Music. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Composers Orchestra.
Monica Ellis, Bassoon, Imani Winds
Bassoonist Monica Ellis is a founding member of the twice GRAMMY nominated wind quintet, Imani Winds, who for over a quarter century has dazzled audiences with their dynamic playing, adventurous programming and commitment to outreach, new works and collaborations. Imani Winds was nominated for a second GRAMMY award for its 9th studio recording entitled BRUITS.
As the daughter of a jazz saxophonist father and fashionista mother, she was raised in a house full of go-getters. A natural organizer, Monica is the co-artistic and executive director for Imani Winds and their annual Chamber Music Festival and treasurer for their non-profit Foundation.
A self-proclaimed “band kid”, growing up in her beloved city of Pittsburgh, Monica played clarinet, saxophone and piano. After being introduced to the bassoon in middle school, she began studying with Mark Pancerev, of the Pittsburgh Symphony and went on to receive her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, studying with George Sakakeeny. Among other influential events while at Oberlin, her desire to connect with others flourished through her participation in the Panama Project – a month long camp for young Panamanian musicians.
She received her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and Professional Studies Certificate from Manhattan School of Music in the Orchestral Performance Program, studying with Frank Morelli at both institutions.
She has performed and recorded with dozens of world-renowned artists and organizations spanning genres and styles from the likes of Wayne Shorter to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Solo bassoon appearances have been with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra and the Chineke! Orchestra in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Recording credits include 9 albums with Imani Winds (Bright Shiny Things, Koch International Classics, EOne and EMI Classics). Monica can also be heard on: Edward Simon – Sorrows and Triumphs, Chick Corea – The Continents, Wayne Shorter Quartet – Without a Net, Mohammed Fairouz – Native Informant, Jeff Scott – Urban Classical Music Project, Brubeck Brothers Quartet – Classified, Steve Coleman – Ascension to Light and Perspectives Ensemble – Montsalvatge Mardrigal.
A passionate educator, Monica is on the faculty of Curtis Institute of Music and Manhattan School of Music and has been a visiting professor/faculty at The University of Chicago, Mannes School of Music and The Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program. Also, a renowned clinician, she frequently presents master classes and solo recital performances across the country.
She is a sought-after commentator on critical issues of race, gender and entrepreneurship in classical music and serves on the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Educational Advisory Committee and is a board member for Concert Artists Guild and the International Double Reed Society (IDRS). Monica is a Fox Bassoon Artist and plays exclusively on a Model 201.
Monica religiously watches Jeopardy!, loves home decorating and resides in the historic village of Harlem in New York City with the greatest joy of her life – her 9 year old son, Oden.
Doug Spaniol, Professor of Bassoon
Hailed as a ‘master pedagogue and researcher’ (The Double Reed), Doug Spaniol (he/him), is Professor of Music at Butler University where he teaches bassoon and related classes. At Butler, he has held a variety of other positions including Interim Associate Dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts, Interim Chair of the School of Music, Assistant Chair of the School of Music, and Vice-Chair of the Faculty Senate. He also serves as Instructor of Bassoon at Interlochen Arts Camp each summer. He has twice been a visiting professor at The Ohio State University and previously served on the faculty at Valdosta State University.
In 1992, Dr. Spaniol was named a Marshall Scholar enabling him to attend the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, where he earned the Postgraduate Diploma in Performance. He has also earned a DMA degree from The Ohio State University as well as MM and BM degrees from the University of Illinois. His bassoon teachers include Christopher Weait, William Waterhouse, and E. Sanford Berry.
In 2011, Dr. Spaniol was named a Fulbright Scholar, leading him to teach at the University of York (UK) and further his research into Julius Weissenborn’s pedagogical bassoon works. His instructional book, The New Weissenborn Method for Bassoon (Hal Leonard), has been called “an invaluable addition to bassoon literature…a landmark in pedagogy” (Double Reed News). Volume II of The New Weissenborn Method (Hal Leonard) was described as a “testament to Spaniol’s insight and loving attention to detail in all things Weissenborn.” (The Double Reed). His edition of Weissenborn’s Advanced Studies, op. 8, no 2 (Accolade Musikverlag) was noted as “a must buy for every bassoonist” (The Double Reed), largely because it makes available for the first time all 60 of these studies, including reconstructions of 10 previously lost etudes. Other recent scholarly work includes a new edition of Weissenborn’s complete works for bassoon and piano, which features three recently discovered works (Accolade Musikverlag). Current projects include a biography of legendary bassoonist/scholar/pedagogue William Waterhouse.
His bassoon students have enjoyed remarkable success, placing in the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition, the International Double Reed Society’s Young Artists Competition, and the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition. Other competition successes have lead to concerto performances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (two students), the Butler Symphony Orchestra (seven students), and Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra (three students). His students have also performed on National Public Radio’s From the Top and won positions and/or performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC), Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, and other professional ensembles.
Dr. Spaniol has presented masterclasses and workshops at the Royal Academy of Music (London), Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Cardiff), the St. Petersburg (Russia) Conservatory, Indiana University, and many others. He frequently appears as a performer/presenter at conferences hosted by the International Double Reed Society (IDRS), College Music Society, Music for All, and other music education organizations. He also served for six years as the Bassoon Chair for the IDRS’s Fernand Gillet – Hugo Fox Competition.
As a performer, Dr.Spaniol has appeared as concerto soloist with Sinfonia da Camera, the St. Petersburg Classical Symphony Orchestra, Solisti St. Petersburg, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, and bands and orchestras at Butler and Interlochen. He can be heard on recordings on Albany, Capstone, Centaur, Innova, and Zephyr Records. As principal bassoonist of Sinfonia da Camera, Dr. Spaniol has toured England, been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, and appears on the Classical Music for Dummies CD. He has also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, and performed and/or recorded with popular artists such as The Rolling Stones, Art Garfunkel, Sandi Patty, and Michael Feinstein. He is now a proud original member of Rock E Bassoon, a rock band comprised of six electric bassoonists and a drummer. A Yamaha Performing Artist, Dr. Spaniol plays a Yamaha YFG-811 bassoon.
Pam Ajango, Instructor of Oboe
Professor Pamela Ajango is the Instructor of Oboe at Butler University, joining the faculty in 2013. She teaches oboe, chamber music, and instrumental techniques, and has served as interim area coordinator for Woodwinds. Professor Ajango has been a full-time freelance oboist for over 20 years. She is a member of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (2nd oboe/English horn), winning her tenured position in 2007. She also frequently serves as acting principal oboe of the ICO, and can be heard in that role on the ICO’s first recording release, Momentum 21. Professor Ajango is a studio musician, recording for music publishers Alfred, FJH, Hal Leonard, and many others. She can often be heard in the pit orchestras of visiting Broadway musicals, in solo and chamber music series, and with professional orchestras in and around Indiana.
Professor Ajango is a founding member of the Circle City Wind Quintet (2003-present), comprised of members of the Indianapolis Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. The quintet serves as music educators for the Symphony, performing at schools, community centers, retirement homes, and for corporations (Eli Lilly & Co., Roche, others). Professor Ajango has a keen interest in musical outreach and education; she has served as a teaching artist for the Manhattan School of Music, the New York Philharmonic, the Montana Summer Symphony, and Midori and Friends. Her faculty positions have included instructor of oboe at Anderson University, the University of Indianapolis, and Earlham College, visiting professor of oboe at the University of Virginia, and oboe studio assistant at her alma mater, the Manhattan School of Music. Professor Ajango has taught at many summer music programs, including Indiana University’s Summer Music Clinic, the Saarburg Festival (Germany), InterHarmony Festival (Italy), and Butler University’s oboe and woodwind camps. Most recently, she co-created “The Midwest Oboe Collective”, a chamber group comprised of oboe professors from around the Midwest. They were featured performers at the 2019 International Double Reed Society conference, and are currently planning many exciting oboe events in the near future (stay tuned)!
Professor Ajango is active in the International Double Reed Society, having performed and lectured at many conferences over the years. Her 2012 presentation titled “Creating and Maintaining a Successful Freelance Career” was well-received and has been referenced by other oboists in their teaching curriculum. She has performed at the yearly conferences as both a chamber and solo musician, twice premiering works which were written for her (The Empty Sky for solo oboe, by Butler professor and composer Frank Felice, and Variations for oboe, bassoon, and piano, by Matthew Bridgham). Professor Ajango was a guest clinician at the 2015 Midwest Clinic in Chicago, presenting a lecture/demonstration “Foundations for Successful Oboe Students”, which led to a published article for the SmartMusic blog, now used regularly by many school band and orchestra programs.
Besides performing and teaching, Professor Ajango is active in arts administration as well. She is on the orchestra committee of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, currently serving as its chairperson. She has served on this committee for many years, including three contract negotiation periods. She has worked as a contractor since 2001 for orchestra projects, as well as smaller ensembles. During her time in New York City, she was employed by organizations such as CultureFinder, Midori and Friends, and the New York Philharmonic, writing reports, grant proposals, and online content. She continues to help students with their writing and editing skills, and has been a featured speaker at lectures about business skills in the music workplace.
Professor Ajango was previously a full-time freelance oboist in New York City, where she performed with many esteemed ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, as well as for many Broadway productions and commercial recordings. She helped create the SONOS Chamber Orchestra of New York, serving as its first personnel manager and principal oboist, and was a featured soloist on its premiere concert. An Indianapolis native, Professor Ajango studied with Malcolm Smith, former principal oboist of the ISO, and her predecessor at Butler University. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Boston University, under the tutelage of Ralph Gomberg, former principal oboist of the Boston Symphony. Her master’s degree is from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Joseph Robinson, retired principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic. She completed doctoral work with Stephen Taylor at SUNY Stony Brook.
|Check-in/registration, time to visit vendor booths to sample instruments, accessories, etc.
|Schrott Center, lobby
|Schrott Center, stage
|Bassoon Warm-ups: Stage
Oboe Warm-Ups: Downstairs
|Lunch on your own, time to visit vendor booths
|Schrott Center, lobby (vendor fair)
|Attend your choice of the following:
|Various locations in the Schrott Center
|Bassoon Ensemble Rehearsal- Stage
Oboe Ensemble Rehearsal- Stage
|Schrott Center, stage
|Schrott Center, stage