Courtesy of the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music

Article written by Adam Goldstein. Published December 13, 2023.

Article Transcript: 
Isabel Goodwin sees a cosmic quality in their connection to the bassoon.
Goodwin graduates this month with dual Bachelor of Music degrees from the University of Colorado Boulder—one in composition and one in bassoon performance. During their four years at our College of Music, the instrument has served as a gateway to creative growth, personal connections and artistic expression. They performed with the entire bassoon studio for holiday concerts, composed works that have been performed by the Chicago-based ~Nois saxophone quartet and collaborated with the university’s dance department.
All of these achievements stemmed from a connection to an instrument that could very well be considered accidental. “I was in fifth grade and it was pick-your-instrument-night at school,” says Goodwin, recalling a pivotal moment in their native Texas suburb. “All the flute spots were filled and my next two instruments of choice were also filled,” they add, explaining how they landed on the bassoon. “Now I know it was fate.”
Goodwin soon fell in love with the instrument—its low range, its expressiveness, its unique role in the orchestra. “Bassoon just happened to be the reason why I made so many friends, too—it was my gateway into the orchestra world,” they say. 
Playing the bassoon ultimately led to an interest in composition—a passion sparked in 8th-grade orchestra class—that eventually helped steer Goodwin’s path from Texas to Boulder.
“I knew that I wanted to study both bassoon performance and composition,” Goodwin reflects. “I knew I wanted to go to a place where I was able to do both, where a well-rounded education was encouraged. The CU Boulder College of Music was one of the only schools I applied to that was flexible in terms of the course load.”
Indeed, our College of Music with its universal musician mission proved to be the perfect environment for Goodwin. In their eight semesters here, they not only successfully completed a double major, but also meaningfully connected with professors, peers and fellow musicians who helped chart their course in performance and composition. 
Specifically, Goodwin credits Professor of Composition Carter Pann and Professor of Bassoon Yoshiyuki Ishikawa for their constant support and guidance, just as they offer thanks to their fellow College of Music students for consistent inspiration.
“I feel like I learned a lot about perseverance and endurance, in terms of training and learning and studying,” they say. “I also learned about attention to detail—I think I really expanded that skill in college. Those lessons are applicable to almost any field.”
Congratulations to Isabel and all our winter grads!
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