Samuel Banks

Samuel Banks

Sam Banks

Samuel Banks is in his 14th season with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Bassoonist Samuel Banks joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in September 2009. Before coming to Toronto, he was a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for five years.

He has performed as a guest in the first chair of the Canadian Opera Company and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and as a substitute musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Starting on bassoon in middle school in California, he played in local wind ensembles and youth orchestras, and at age 14 was accepted into the University of California’s Young Musicians Program, where he studied through high school. He attended Northwestern University, where he studied bassoon with Robert Barris. After graduation, he performed as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

As a soloist, Banks made his New York debut in 2008, performing Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. He has performed recitals and master classes across the United States and Canada.

Away from music, he enjoys cooking, travel, and long-distance running.

Watch a terrific video from Sam here.

And…a his thoughtful podcast on the subject of conductors here!

Kathryn Brooks

Kathryn Brooks

A Strong Tradition in Winnipeg

Kathryn Brooks maintains the elegant traditions of her predecessors Vincent Ellin and Alex Eastley 

Kathryn is Principal Bassoon of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 2018. Prior to playing principal, she was Second Bassoon of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra since 2013.
Kathryn was a bassoonist with the elite training orchestra, New World Symphony in Miami for two seasons before winning her job with the WSO. Ms. Brooks was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music in their prestigious Orchestral Performance Program. She holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
During her studies Kathryn attended many music festivals some of which include: Tanglewood Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, The Aspen Music Festival and National Repertory Orchestra.
When she’s not playing her bassoon, Kathryn enjoys hiking, working out, skiing, eating amazing food and spending quality time with her husband, Mike, their infant daughter, Lillia, and all of their cats and dogs!

Unvericcht and Sellar

Unvericcht and Sellar

SSO…long time musical partners

Saskatoon Symphony bassoonists Stephanie Unverricht and Marie Sellar have shared a long standing musical partnership.

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Stephanie Unverricht moved back in 2011 to join the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra as Principal Bassoonist. She began her studies on the bassoon with Peter Gravlin in Saskatoon and then continued at the University of Ottawa for her Bachelor of Music with Christopher Millard. She completed her Master of Music degree in Bassoon Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, studying with Richard Svoboda.
Stephanie performs around the city in various chamber groups, including Prairie Virtuosi and her trio “Chicks with Sticks”, and is also a multi-instrumental member of a semi-experimental alternative folk music band, Minor Matter. Stephanie maintains a private studio in Saskatoon and a few surrounding rural communities, including Humboldt and Middle Lake.





Every good bassoon section needs to dress up!

Marie received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Saskatchewan and is an alumnus of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. She first performed with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in 1991 and became a full-fledged member of the bassoon section in 1995. Marie has also performed professionally with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Saskatoon Opera Association.
Marie maintains a private studio and is active locally as a freelance musician and clinician. She has been a sessional lecturer for the Department of Music, University of Saskatchewan since 2003.
Marie and husband Troy Linsley co-ordinate the Saskatchewan Band Association’s Saskatoon Summer Band Camps. Together, they have two brilliant young sons, Nathaniel and Samuel (a.k.a. ‘Trouble’ and ‘More Trouble’).

The Victoria Symphony Team

The Victoria Symphony Team

Gunter and Power!

Two Rice University grads make a great section in the Victoria Symphony!

Jennifer Gunter is principal bassoon of the Victoria Symphony in British Columbia.  She holds degrees from Eastman School of Music and Rice University, and serves as bassoon instructor at the University of Victoria. Having held positions in Mexico, the United States, and Canada, Gunter’s career spans North America.  She frequently participates in chamber music, new music ensembles, and is a member of the Britt Summer Music Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Anne Marie Power is a native of Santa Monica, California, and has been with the Victoria Conservatory of Music since 2011.  She teaches bassoon for the Winds and Brass Department, of the Ann & George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music.
Anne studied with Benjamin Kamins at Rice University and John Clouser at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival.
Performing with the Victoria Symphony as second bassoon since 2010, she has also served as Acting Principal Bassoon during the orchestra’s 75th anniversary season which included a Canadian tour.  Anne has also held the position of principal bassoon of the Shreveport Symphony and second bassoon in the Sarasota Opera. In the Pacific Northwest, she has performed with the Oregon Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony and the Astoria Music Festival.

Mélanie Forget – OSQ

Mélanie Forget – OSQ

Mélanie Forget – Orchestre symphonique de Québec

Auparavant : Professeure au conservatoire de Trois-Rivières.

Ses premiers pas dans la musique : À l’âge de 10 ans.

Son œuvre préférée : La Symphonie no. 1 de Brahms.

Son compositeur préféré : J’en ai plusieurs!

Son plus beau souvenir musical : Le concert avec Marie-Nicole Lemieux.

Études et professeurs : Études supérieures au conservatoire de musique de Montréal, avec Gerald Corey, Stéphane Lévesque et Christopher Millard.

Ses autres intérêts musicaux : La musique de chambre.

Ses passe-temps et/ou son Violon d’Ingres : Jardiner et voyager.

Dans la vie, elle aime : Enfiler mes souliers de course, manger avec des amis.

Elle n’aime pas : Les talons hauts.

Son livre préféré : Oscar et la dame en rose, d’Éric Emmanuel Schmitt.

Le rêve le plus cher/fou qu’elle aimerait accomplir : Faire le tour du monde avec ma famille.

Le rêve le plus cher/fou qu’elle a accompli : Jouer dans un orchestre professionnel.

Ce qui la passionne en dehors de la musique : La course à pied.