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Blaire Koerner image standing with bassoon

Photo by Anna Maxwell NSP Studios

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BLAIRE K.S.
KOERNER

 

Bassoonist | Educator | Career Advisor

ABOUT

Dr. Blaire Koerner is an accomplished chamber and contemporary bassoonist, educator, and career advisor. She is co-founder of Hats+Heels, a bassoon and harp duo that focuses on interdisciplinary storytelling and commissioning. As a freelancer in upstate New York, she has performed with groups such as Ensemble Signal, Symphoria, and Broadway’s tour of My Fair Lady. As an educator, Dr. Koerner is adjunct bassoon professor at Syracuse University and instructor at Eastman Community Music School, where she received the Jack L. Frank Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016. As the Assistant Director of Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership, Dr. Koerner instructs and advises musicians of all levels on developing knowledge, skill sets, and connections that will help them fulfill their dreams and career goals. Dr. Koerner has a Doctorate in Bassoon Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.

Photo by JKShafer

BASSOONIST
Blaire sitting on rock wall

BASSOONIST

FREELANCER

As a freelance bassoonist, Blaire has performed and collaborated with a variety of ensembles from local orchestra’s to Broadway tours. She is a returning artist for the June in Buffalo Festival and Slee Sinfonietta at the University at Buffalo. There she played with the New York group Ensemble Signal and renowned violinist Irvine Arditti. Blaire is also a substitute bassoonist for Syracuse’s Symphoria & Binghamton Philharmonic. In addition, Blaire has traveled internationally on her instrument including in Austria, Italy, Germany, France, and Switzerland.
Hats + Heels Logo

HATS + HEELS

Blaire is a founding member of Hats + Heels, a quirky duo of bassoon and harp that focuses on storytelling. Their innovative performances are infused with a variety of art forms and technology that help them weave colorful tales ranging from comedic to heart-wrenching, educational to ludicrous, and exploratory to enlightening.  They aim to engage audiences through the universal intrigue of an entertaining story, incorporating words, images, fashion and movement, allowing space for individual interpretation.

Aiming to expand bassoon & harp repertoire, H+H commissions new works, encouraging composers to incorporate elements beyond the musical realm. Their album Women Are…, released in 2022, includes all new repertoire by women-identifying composers exploring women-related figures, characters, topics, or ideology to celebrate the 100th year since the passing of the 19th Amendment supporting women’s right to vote.

Hats + Heels Duo photo
EDUCATOR

  "Now THIS is an incredible demonstration of what the bassoon should sound like. So many different tone colors, but always with clarity, connection, and intent. Absolutely gorgeous.

Jaw dropping." 

Vinny LaMonica, bassoonist,

educator, and composer.

"Esther Swift's Alice in Wonderland Suite is another highlight. This four-movement work is haunting and highly imaginative. There is an edge of intensity in Koerner's lower register that works perfectly in contrast with her sweet sounding upper register..."

Dr. Ryan Reynolds, International

Double Reed Society

2023 Album Review

Women Are... album cover

EDUCATOR

Through my bassoon teaching, I strive to provide a sense of community. Oftentimes, young bassoonists find themselves alone in their section and have little familiarity with the instrument prior to starting their double-reed journey. Together, we explore the opportunities to connect with other players, listen to repertoire that demonstrate the power of the instrument, and discover fantastic professionals who have changed the landscape of the bassoon.

A key component of Dr. Koerner's teaching is the overarching mission of building self-sufficiency and independence in her students. A firm believer that learning is a never-ending, life-long process, she strives to give her students the skills necessary to become their own teachers. Her lessons and discussions include setting individual goals, determining outcomes, asking critical-thinking questions, directing student self-assessment, ultimately amassing a wealth of resources and connections.

 

These teaching practices have been integral to Dr. Koerner’s bassoon teaching for over a decade. Be it younger students, college-level or practicing adults, as adjunct bassoon instructor for Syracuse University's for Setnor School of Music, and instructor at the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS), Blaire encourages, guides, counsels and assists her students in every way she can.

 

In her chamber coachings, Dr. Koerner emphasizes the need for players to collaborate and rely on one another to guide rehearsals and improve as a group, focusing on providing constructive feedback, and developing acute listening skills. She has coached the ECMS Honors Wind Quintet, wind chamber groups for the Summer Classical Studies Camp at Summer@Eastman, and New Horizon chamber ensembles for adults.

Syracuse Bassoon Student

“I loved that we started the year by discussing what I wanted to learn about. It made the entire experience feel like my choice in my education. Many times, that element feels kind of lost, but in our lessons, I always felt that I was gaining knowledge in things I needed to learn in terms of bassoon and things that I wanted to learn, especially in reed making.”

Eastman Community Music

School Student

"Blaire is awesome! I Ioved interacting with her and I always looked forward to talking with her during our office hours!

 

She really helped me understand something when I wasn’t always getting it."

Honors Wind Quintet Member

“I just wanted to thank you for helping me with my applications for colleges. I have been accepted at Eastman, Juilliard, and Curtis!! I also wanted to thank you for all the guidance you provided in quintet rehearsals, and for sticking it out no matter how obnoxious we were… It was a blast and I really miss it!”

Blaire teaching a Reed Class at Luzerne
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Dr. Koerner addressing a class at Eastman Community School
CAREER ADVISOR

CAREER ADVISOR

As the Assistant Director of the Institute for Music Leadership, at the Eastman School of Music, Dr. Koerner guides young artists on creating successful and fulfilling careers in the arts. Through curriculum development and 1-on-1 guidance, she supports musicians as they pursue their personal and professional goals.

 

Outside of Eastman, Dr. Koerner has been invited to present on topics such as majoring & minoring in music, networking, drafting application materials, and discovering career options. Higher education institutions where she has presented include The College of New Jersey, University of Oregon and Florida State University.  In addition, she has been invited to speak at summer programs and festivals including Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, and Eastman Community Music School Summer Classical Studies Camp.

Eastman Student, D.M.A in Performance Literature, Piano

“I have worked with Blaire Koerner many times over the past twelve months, and while I have progressively fine-tuned my job application materials since the beginning, I am always amazed that her insight and constructive criticism never runs dry. She makes me feel confident with my submissions because she knows the field and how we measure up on paper. I’ve recommended Dr. Koerner to my fellow classmates because she is one of the best-kept secrets at Eastman, and one that I hope doesn’t remain a secret.” 

MUSIC & VIDEOS

Blaire K.S.Koerner, Bassoonist | Educator | Career Advisor

MUSIC & VIDEOS

VIDEOS

PODCASTS

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