Breaking Winds

Sunday, September 24, 2017 3:00 pm

The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet is serious about the fun side of music. The group performs a unique blend of classical, Top 40, cinematic and blues music, (among other styles) on the most unlikely of instruments.  Each performance showcases the women’s wit, virtuosic bassoon technique and theatrics.  The quartet aims to demonstrate that music and laughter are universal languages.


The Breaking Winds began as a project of undergraduate students in 2008 at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.  After a YouTube video of their signature Lady Gaga saga went viral in 2011, the group found themselves in the middle of a dynamic schedule of performances at schools, festivals, conferences and community venues. In 2013, The Breaking Winds premiered a concerto written for them — Scott A. Switzer’s Breaking Out for four bassoons and wind ensemble — with the Yale Concert Band.  They have since performed as soloists with the West Point Band, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Meadows Wind Ensemble, and Northshore Concert Band.  In August 2014, they were featured performers at the International Double Reed Society conference at New York University.


The highlight of The Breaking Winds’ 2015 season was a tour to China, Hong Kong, and Japan. Through this tour, they experimented with programming and collaboration by performing a joint concert with a local bassoon ensemble in Hong Kong, staging a concert in a flexible gallery space in Shanghai, and working with Chinese beatboxers. Domestic tours took them to Pennsylvania and throughout the rest of New England to perform, as well as present various clinics for university students, beginning bassoonists, and band directors.


Advocates of creativity in music education, The Breaking Winds have taught at the Eastman School of Music, Southern Methodist University, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Sichuan Conservatory (China), and Bocal Majority Bassoon Camp.  They have introduced musical concepts to children as young as 3 and adults as old as 95, promoting music as a force that can inspire and unite us.


The Breaking Winds’ blend of classical and pop sensibilities lends them a global following on social media.  To date their YouTube channel has garnered over a million views and has received buzz from such varied sources as NPR, MTV, and Hollywood blogger Perez Hilton.  The quartet’s album, Breaking In, features an eclectic playlist of their favorites and can be found through most online music vendors.