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Assistant Dean/Professor

University of Central Oklahoma


Lori Wooden holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Wisconsin, a Master of Music from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from St. Cloud State University. She is currently principal bassoonist with the Enid Symphony Orchestra.  She has also performed with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra.  Prior to moving to Oklahoma, Wooden was a member of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra (contrabassoon), the Madison Symphony Orchestra (contrabassoon/third bassoon), the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra (principal bassoon) and the Greater Rochester (NY) Women's Philharmonic Orchestra (bassoon).  

Wooden teaches bassoon, music theory,  chamber music and arts management.

Her teachers include John Miller and Mark Kelly (Minnesota Orchestra), Chuck Ullery (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra), Richard Lottridge (Chicago Symphony), Abe Weiss (Rochester Philharmonic), and Jill Marderness (Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Opera). 

While in New York, Wooden was the assistant conductor and manager of the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Hochstein Music School in Rochester as well as a music faculty member at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Monroe Community College.  She has served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. From 1988-2003, Wooden was the instructor of bassoon and saxophone at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, MI. 

She is a founding member of the Sugar Fish Reed Trio and actively promotes chamber music in the area. 


Who has most influenced you?  Why and how?

My first bassoon teacher, Jill Marderness, because she stuck with me and made me better than I ever thought I could be.  Jim Smith and David Becker, Nancy Strelau and Kevin Casey; all conductors in different genres of music and all, by far, the best I've ever worked within their areas of expertise. They taught me the importance of being prepared, being professional, being humble, and how to be a musician. 

Name a play, production, film, recording, book or composition that has influenced you and that you would recommend to others.

Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring for thirteen players.  This is the piece that spoke to me and told me I needed to make the switch to the bassoon.  Up until this point I had been a saxophone major.  After hearing Appalachian Spring, I knew that if I didn't learn how to play the bassoon I would never be able to perform it; and that was just not acceptable to me!  This was undoubtedly the most pivotal moment in my musical career. 

What is the most important quality for any student in the performing arts to cultivate?

Endurance and patience.  Days are long, weeks are longer and true learning never happens quickly. 

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