Professor Carl Rath

Carl Rath with BassoonCarl Rath teaches bassoon and courses in popular music, arranges for and directs the Viking Bassoon Ensemble (ViBE), and coaches woodwind chamber music ensembles. Rath returned to Lawrence following his tenure at the University of Oklahoma School of Music and 22 years as Principal Bassoon in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra. During this time, he established an international reputation as a bassoon performer and teacher. At OU, he performed with the Oklahoma Woodwind Quintet, a very active ensemble that performed in Carnegie Recital Hall, Austria, England, and throughout the U.S.  They were the first woodwind quintet to release a compact disc of Christmas Music, which included two arrangements by Rath.

He has presented concerts in Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, England, Hungary, Taiwan, and the U.S. Rath performed as Principal Bassoon with the Classical Music Festival (Eisenstadt, Austria) for 17 summers and was solo artist three times in several performances of concertos by Mozart and Haydn. His performances have been heard on national and international radio programs and are featured on five CDs: A Christmas Delight (Oklahoma Woodwind Quintet), Moosmann Artists Sampler Disc, Moosmann Live (live performances from the 2002 IDRS conference in Banff, Canada), Moosmann 25th Anniversary, and Landscapes: The Double Reed Music of Daniel Baldwin. He studied bassoon with Fred Schroeder, Stanley Scheller, Stephen Basson, and Wil Roberts; composition with James Ming; and Conducting with Joel Rosenberg and Vincent C. LaGuardia. In 1985, he was a Quarter-finalist in the Concert Artists Guild Competition.

A patron member of the International Double Reed Society, he has performed at 18 annual conferences. In 2010, he was the bassoon host of the 39th annual Conference at the University of Oklahoma and in 2017 will again host the Conference, at Lawrence University.

He has presented masterclasses in Beijing, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Taipei, and the U.S. In addition to bassoon-related courses, Rath has taught music theory, woodwind methods, music appreciation, band, percussion; developed new courses in popular music; and supervised student teachers. He has been a guest performer and clinician for the Bocal Majority Music Camp (Dallas), Double Reed Days in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, and Utah., and soloed with several high school/college bands.

In addition to Lawrence and the University of Oklahoma, Rath has taught at the University of Denver, Northwestern State University (LA), Centenary College, Louisiana College, and Ripon College.

Rath is an advocate for bassoon ensemble performance forming the Sooner Bassooners at the University of Oklahoma and the Viking Bassoon Ensemble (ViBE) at Lawrence University to supplement his teaching. The student groups perform original music for bassoon ensemble, as well as arrangements by Rath, providing the students with experience in a varied repertoire of classical, jazz, rock, and popular music. Some of his arrangements are available through Imagine Music (NY).

Rath also arranges music for woodwind ensembles. His most recent commission was the Queen Medley Fantasy for woodwind quintet for Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble (OKC). As Artist-in-Residence with the Chinook Winds (Great Falls, MT Symphony Orchestra) in 2009, he performed with them on bassoon and arranged music by The Beatles, including a 45-minute multi-media Guide to The Beatles for Wind Quintet, Powerpoint, and Narrator, and Yellow Submarine in La Mer.

Rath is in demand as guest speaker on The Beatles and other popular music topics. He presented a 5-day course on The Beatles as part of the 2015 Bjorklunden Seminars program in Door County, Wisconsin. He is a conductor for 1964 the Tribute and was a founding member and drummer of a classic rock band, MidLife Crysis.