Rick Shepard, bassoon

Years playing with the PSO: since 2010
Lives in: Kittery, ME

How old were you when you started playing the bassoon? Why did you chose the bassoon?

I was 15. I played saxophone first. A teacher at summer music camp thought that I had the right “temperament” to play the bassoon so I gave it a try.

What do you like about playing with a symphony orchestra?

I like the collaborative part of making music together with other people, and the experience of playing great works of music. I like being part of the group’s commitment to excellence, everyone giving their all and doing the best they can every time.

What is your favorite piece of music to play on bassoon?

Nielsen wind quintet, Tchaikovsky 5th symphony. Bucket list: Shostakovich 10 and the Rite of Spring.

Tell us about your musical education.

I have a bachelor’s in music from Ithaca College with an emphasis on saxophone performance. I studied bassoon with the late Edward Gobrecht formerly of the Baltimore Symphony.

Any accolades you want to share?

I have had the privilege of performing at Carnegie Hall and the Chautauqua Institute.

Beyond musician, do you serve in any additional role(s) with the PSO? If so, describe what you do and/or your contributions in that capacity.

I have served on the board of directors and was personnel manager for several years.

How do you spend your time outside of the PSO?

Never ending home repairs. My partner and I are also foster parents; we have adopted one boy and are now fostering a second. Two teenage boys and two dogs keep us busy.