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Musician Spotlights - Walker Kermode, Bassoon

Musician Spotlights - Walker Kermode, Bassoon
By Musician Spotlights • Issue #15 • View online
The 11th was International Bassoon Day, so we’re celebrating our bassoonists all week! Next up, Walker Kermode!

Question 1: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I was raised on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii where I spent lots of time in the ocean. My folks ran a mom and pop construction business. So I got to spend a lot of time in the wood shop too.
I went to the University of Puget Sound and majored in music. After college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I rode my bike from Tacoma, WA to Laguna Beach, CA, hoping the experience would give me inspiration and direction. I mostly just realized I really like to ride a bike.
Ended up moving to Ashland on a whim, meeting my beautiful wife to be, Karli, and becoming a public school music teacher for 17 years. After getting laid off due to budget cuts, Karli and I became real estate agents and are still doing that today.
Question 2: What brought or inspired you to pursue bassoon? If you’d like to share one of your favorite pieces of music as well, I’d like to know!
I became inspired to play the bassoon when in sixth grade. The middle school band came to our elementary school and did their recruiting concert. When I saw some seventh grader demo that funny looking thing that looked sort of like a bazooka or something, I new I had to give it a try! Hard to believe that was 40 years ago!
I really love the Andante & Rondo Ongarese by Weber.
Question 3: What do you enjoy most about being with the Rogue Valley Symphony?
What I love about being a part of the Rogue Valley Symphony is the rich and sometimes complex harmonies and variety of voices and timbres found in the symphonic ensemble. I also love being surrounded by the smart, hard working, witty people that make up our RVS and the sense of community and teamwork with them all. And Martin, who is a delightful conductor! 
Question 4: What do you do when you’re not playing music i.e. what are your hobbies or interests?
When not playing music, I enjoy riding bikes, sailing, windsurfing and woodworking. I love camping with my wife, Karli and our dog, Makana.  
Question 5: Finally, one unusual fact, story, or tidbit about you or your instrument?  
When I was in high school, I auditioned to play the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the Honolulu Symphony. The piece had to be played by memory and I was doing great until I failed to remember… 
I was completely disappointed, so I went for a hike. Suddenly a herd of cows and at least one bull came stomping out of the bushes. Startled, I climbed a tree just as a thunder storm broke loose overhead. I tried “moooing” at the cows, but that just made them curious and more emerged until the tree I’d retreated into was surrounded by bovines. I decided to try barking at them and that worked. They quickly trotted back into the bushes. My earlier disappointment was replace by ludicrous laughter at the situation. Standing in a tree in the pouring rain, barking at cows. 
Walker Kermode by Christopher Briscoe
Walker Kermode by Christopher Briscoe
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Musician Spotlights

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