When Katie Scheerer first spotted a bassoon in her school band director’s office, she immediately knew she had to play the instrument.
“It’s a lot larger than the flute,” Scheerer said. “I was in awe of its size, and I thought it sounded cool.”
Scheerer played flute and oboe at the time. The bassoon has a warm, resonant sound, she said.
“I heard someone describe it as toasty and roasty,” she said. “I would agree with that sentiment.”
That was six years ago. Today, the Emerald Ridge High School senior is thriving with the instrument and also teaches others.
“I absolutely adore teaching,” Scheerer said.
Once she graduates in June, Scheerer plans to major in bassoon performance and eventually do a little bit of performing and teaching.
Scheerer won the Tacoma Concert Band soloist competition in December and received the Wayne Timmerman prize. The $500 award is named after Timmerman, a principal trumpet player who was a founding member of the Tacoma Concert Band. Timmerman died in 1996.
The soloist competition dates back to 1990. It was named after Timmerman in 1997. As part of the award, Scheerer will be invited to perform as a soloist with the band at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma.
Award winners are selected based on their involvement in different music groups, whether they have participated in local, regional or state solo contests, and previous awards they have won, band director Robert Musser said.
“Katie is a very mature player for a girl her age,” Musser said. “She plays extremely well with a lot of confidence. She has remarkable technique and beautiful sound and plays expressively. And these are attributes of any good musician.”
Scheerer will turn 18 on May 4. She’s been accepted at the University of Texas in Austin and is waiting on applications at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and the Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio.
Scheerer has prepared a piece called “Concerto for Bassoon in F Major” by Carl Maria Von Weber. She will perform it Saturday with the Tacoma Concert Band.
“We have had two rehearsals with Katie,” Musser said. “A third will be a final dress rehearsal this week before the concert.”
Scheerer said she was excited to learn she received the award. She applied two years ago but didn’t place. Last year, she came in second.
“I’m excited because it’s the beginning of my career, in a sense,” she said. “I’m going to college, and this is a stepping stone in the right direction.”
If you go
Katie Scheerer’s performance with the Tacoma Concert Band will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pantages Theater in downtown Tacoma. Ticket prices begin at $16. Those younger than 18 will be admitted for free. Tickets may be purchased at www.broadwaycenter.org/season/showDetails.asp?key=459. Scheerer also performs with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, the South Sound Symphonic Band and has participated in the all-state and all-Northwest Concert Bands, as well as the Western International Band Clinic.