Helena Kopchick Spencer joined the faculty of Willamette University in fall 2007 as Instructor of Bassoon. Her previous teaching appointments include Oregon State University and Lane Community College.
Ms. Spencer is principal bassoonist of the Oregon Mozart Players and the Salem Chamber Orchestra and second bassoonist of the Eugene Opera Orchestra, and she he has also performed with the Oregon Bach Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Oregon Festival of American Music, and the Colorado, Eugene, Corvallis, Portland-Columbia, Rogue Valley, and Canton (OH) Symphony Orchestras.
As a chamber musician, she is a member of blå, the faculty woodwind quartet at Willamette University, and has appeared regularly on the Oregon Mozart Players’ Chamber Music & Chocolate series. She is also interested in historical performance practice, and has played Baroque bassoon with the Oregon Bach Collegium, in addition to Classical bassoon, dulcian, shawm, and recorder with period instrument ensembles at the University of Oregon and Case Western Reserve University.
Originally from upstate New York, Ms. Spencer holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Oregon, where she was named Outstanding Performer in Woodwinds and University Outstanding Performer in Music. Her primary teachers have been Barrick Stees and Steve Vacchi, and she has also studied with Per Hannevold and Steven Dibner at the Aspen Music Festival & School as the recipient of a three-year fellowship in contrabassoon. Ms. Kopchick Spencer is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Musicology with a supporting area in Bassoon Performance at the University of Oregon, where she has held Graduate Teaching Fellowships in both bassoon and musicology.