Up-close image of bassoon keys

The Lawrence University Bassoon Studio is under the tutelage of Professor Carl Rath. With his international experiences as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, Mr. Rath provides students with a comprehensive study of bassoon. Applied bassoon study includes weekly lessons, performance classes, reed making/adjusting and the Viking Bassoon Ensemble (ViBE) allowing for a flexible approach to improving your bassoon skills and expanding your musicianship.

Music Majors--Performance and Music Education--are required to pass a Qualifying Exam on their instrument within the first 2 years. The remaining years require solo public recitals: for Music Education majors, a half (30 minute) recital, and for Performance majors, a half recital in their 3rd year and a full recital in their 4th year of study. Repertoire is chosen in consultation with Professor Rath and includes music from the Baroque to the Contemporary Eras. Baroque ornamentation is required in Qualifying Exams and recitals. Recent repertoire performed include:

Büsser - Portuguesa

Bitsch - Concertino

Arnold - Fantasy for Solo Bassoon

Saint-Saëns - Sonate

Weber - Andante & Hungarian Rondo, Concerto

Schnyder - Sonata

Bruns - Concerto

Baldwin - AEON, River of Light

Osborne - Rhapsody for Bassoon

Mignone - Waltzes

Longo - Suite

Bozza - Récit, Sicilienne et Rondo

Ewazen - Concerto

Fasch - Sonata in C Major, Concerto

Mockert - Suite Argentina

Yun - Monolog for Solo Bassoon

Telemann - Sonate in f minor

After acceptance into the Conservatory and careful analysis of your playing, lesson plans are designed to develop your musicianship and bassoon skills through repertoire that includes exercises and studies for tone, intonation, articulation, and general performance techniques, along with concert repertoire from the Baroque Era to current music. Freshmen majors attend reed-making classes each week. During all years of study, studio classes are held weekly giving students numerous opportunities to perform music they are studying. Contrabassoon study is encouraged through lessons and performance in ensembles.

As you continue through the program, self-discipline and responsibility are nurtured through leadership opportunities within the studio to better prepare you to enter top graduate schools or seek employment. The ViBE offers a fun experience that enhances your enjoyment of performing together with other bassoonists, improving ensemble performance skills and learning new repertoire in all styles of music. Much of the repertoire includes my unique arrangements of classical and popular music literature.


Image of the reed roomReed-making/adjusting instruction and guidance are continually emphasized throughout the program of study. The Double Reed Workshop has all the equipment required to make reeds from cane stalk to finished product in a variety of reed shapes. The room has a sink with hot/cold water, three work areas for up to 7 students, and secure access through a locking door. All double reed majors have their own key and the room is available from 7 AM to 1 AM each day. 


I encourage you to contact me for information on auditions, to arrange for a free lesson, and to visit Lawrence University.

Professor Carl Rath



Viking Bassoon Ensemble with Rainn Wilson

On November 11th, 2015, ViBE was guest artists for An Evening with Rainn Wilson, actor (The Office) and author of The Bassoon King, at the Community Christian Church in Naperville, IL. Opening the show with a medley of hits by the rock group Chicago, Wilson was introduced to the audience while ViBE played The Office theme.

Office Hours

By Request