About Dark in the Song
Dark in the Song is committed to leading the development of an adventurous and diverse new body of repertoire for bassoon ensembles. By working directly with composers to commission new pieces, performing, recording, arranging, educating audiences, and teaching a new generation of open-minded players, we seek to bring the bassoon and bassoon ensembles to the forefront of 21st century music-making.
Called a "bassoon supergroup" by the American Music Center, Dark in the Song was formed in 2010 by five of the most dynamic and accomplished young players and teachers in the U.S. Its members bring an eclectic, wide-ranging mix of sensibilities and experiences to the group. We have performed and lived on five continents, premiered works by many of the world's leading composers, collaborated with the world's most acclaimed musicians, recorded widely, played in venues ranging from the finest concert halls to bars and nightclubs, and performed with rock groups, leading symphony orchestras, and acclaimed chamber music series.
We see ourselves as active participants in the continuing conversation between the vast range of musical styles that now make up contemporary art music - from modernism and the avant-garde to minimalism, popular music and rock, electronica, and folk and traditional music from around the world. If you'd like to join in the conversation, be it from the point of view of a composer, listener, performer, educator, patron, arts presenter, or curious onlooker, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Originally from Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, Rachael Elliott is now based in Durham, North Carolina. She performs in a variety of chamber music settings including Dark in the Song, Clogs, Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, Heliand Trio and Tuple bassoon duo. She is also a frequent guest with the Vermont Symphony and Burlington Chamber Orchestra.
With Clogs, Rachael has produced five albums and toured throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. She has appeared as bassoon soloist with the Vermont Symphony, Montpelier Chamber Orchestra and University of Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and performed on rock stages with bands including The National, My Brightest Diamond and Sufjan Stevens. Rachael teaches bassoon at the University of Vermont, Middlebury College and during the summer at Kinhaven Music School.
Bassoonist Michael Harley teaches courses in music history and theory, coaches chamber music, and is assistant director of the award-winning Southern Exposure New Music Series at the University of South Carolina. Past full-time teaching positions include posts at Ohio University, Wright State University, and Goshen College. His performances have been called "spectacular" (Washington Post) and "exquisite" (Columbus Dispatch).
A proponent of contemporary music, Mike is a founding member of the acclaimed chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, called "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American musical scene" (New York Times). He has worked with and premiered pieces by many of today's most distinguished composers, including John Adams, Derek Bermel, Stefan Freund, Michael Gordon, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Wolfgang Rihm, Augusta Read Thomas, and Ken Ueno. A versatile musician, Mike has been featured as a soloist with AWS both as a bassoonist and singer. AWS can be heard on the Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, and Sweetspot record labels.
Mike has played in diverse venues on four continents, ranging from nightclubs and bars (Le Poisson Rouge and the Roxy in NYC) to Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Barbican (London), the Hermitage Theatre (St. Petersburg), and Johannesburg, South Africa's Town Hall; and with groups including the indy rock group Dirty Projectors and the orchestras of Charleston, Columbus, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Long Bay (Myrtle Beach), where he is principal bassoon. Current chamber projects include the experimental chamber ensemble LotUS and the Chiaroscuro Trio (flute, bassoon, and piano).
Mike has degrees from the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.), where he was awarded the Performer's Certificate, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (M.M.), and Goshen College (B.A., English and music). His teachers include John Hunt, William Winstead, and Gwendolyn Rose. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, U.S.C. flute professor Jennifer Parker-Harley, and daughters Ella and Lucia.
Lynn Hileman is in demand throughout the US as a recitalist specializing in contemporary music, appearing most recently at the Washington State University Festival of Contemporary Art Music and the Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival. She is Assistant Professor of Bassoon at West Virginia University, principal bassoonist of the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Laureate Quintet. Lynn is also co-founder and former president of A|V Space, a gallery and performance space in Rochester, NY specializing in interdisciplinary and multimedia works. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Yale University, and the University of Michigan, where her teachers included John Hunt, K. David Van Hoesen, Frank Morelli, Christopher Millard, and Richard Beene.
Bassoonist Peter Kolkay claimed First Prize at the 2002 Concert Artists Guild International Competition and was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004, the first artist on his instrument to receive both honors. Current highlights include recitals for Bargemusic in Brooklyn and the Asociación Nacional de Conciertos in Panama City and concerto engagements with the South Carolina Philharmonic and Waukesha Symphony. Mr. Kolkay has been named an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for the 2010-2011 season, is a former member of that organization's CMS II program, with numerous performances at Alice Tully Hall. In addition, he is a member of both the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, TN and the South Carolina Philharmonic.
A frequent performer at summer festivals, Mr. Kolkay has appeared at the Bravo! Vail Valley, Bridgehampton, Newport, Music Mountain, Angel Fire, Spoleto USA, La Musica, and Cooperstown Music Festivals. A strong advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Kolkay has given premieres of works by Elliott Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Katherine Hoover, among others, and has worked with composers such as John Zorn, Harrison Birtwistle, and Paul Moravec.
Mr. Kolkay's recordings of the works of Elliott Carter have been released by Bridge Records as part of a critically acclaimed CD of the composer's chamber music. His performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio's Performance Today and on New York's WQXR-FM. He has also appeared on the A & E's "Breakfast with the Arts," hosted by Elliott Forrest, as a result of his Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Peter Kolkay is on the faculty of the University of South Carolina as Associate Professor of Bassoon. He previously spent four years on the faculty of West Virginia University. He holds a doctorate from Yale University as a student of Frank Morelli and a master's degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with John Hunt and Jean Barr. A native of Naperville, Illinois, Mr. Kolkay holds a Bachelor's degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI.
Saxton Rose's virtuosic interpretations of traditional repertoire, and his dedication to new music have afforded him a prolific and varied career as soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. As soloist, he has given recitals and performed with orchestras throughout Europe, Latin America, Canada and the US. He appeared as concerto soloist on numerous occasions with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra as well as with the National Symphony of Colombia in Bogotá, Orquesta Sinfónica de Caldas, The National Symphony of Panamá and with the Winston-Salem Symphony. He is a frequent guest artist throughout the world having performed and taught most recently at festivals in Costa Rica, Austria, Spain, Panamá, Colombia and England.
Saxton's training includes courses in Germany, Austria, and Italy with some of Europe's most distinguished bassoonists including Gustavo Nuñez and Sergio Azzolini. He graduated with highest honors from the class of Stefano Canuti at the Conservatorio "Agostino Steffani" in Castelfranco-Veneto, Italy and is a former student of William Winstead at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Additionally his teachers include Yoshi Ishikawa and Timothy McGovern.
Saxton Rose is Artist/Professor of Bassoon at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the principal bassoonist of the Winston-Salem Symphony. He was principal bassoonist of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2008.