Bassoonist, Professor, Clinician & Former IDRS President (2014-17)
Keith Sweger is Professor of Bassoon on the Ball State University School of Music faculty. He currently teaches applied bassoon and performing with the Musical Arts Quintet (MAQ) and is a faculty ensemble in residence at Ball State University.
He is currently principal bassoon with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Ballet Orchestra, and contrabassoon with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. He performs regularly as first-call extra bassoon/contrabassoon with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he has performed with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Penn’s Woods Festival, and Green Lake Festival Orchestras as well as the Algoma Wind Quintet and the Oakwood Chamber Players.
His recording credits include various CDs, including Songs of Madness and Sorrow, On the Beach At Night, Expressions in Units, Christmas Lights, and August Was Foggy. Albany Records recently released, by Sweger and the MAQ, the album American Breeze, which has been received with critical acclaim. Partially funded by a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant, this CD includes works by American composers Bruce Adolphe, Amy Beach, Jenni Brandon, Jennifer Higdon, David Maslanka, and Steven Stucky. Dr. Sweger has also recorded diverse projects as touring ice shows, national tours of Broadway shows, and cartoon scores.
He has been a recitalist at numerous conferences, including the International Clarinet Association (ICA), Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI), College Music Society (CMS), National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and Music Educators National Conference (MENC). He also performs regularly at colleges and universities around the country and abroad. He has performed and presented masterclasses at the 2011 Asian Double Reed Association (ADRA) conference in Bangkok, Thailand and the 2012 Beijing International Bassoon Festival in Beijing, China, the 2013 ADRA conference in Chiayi, Taiwan and the 2017 Brazilian Double Reed Society conference.
Dr. Sweger is very active in the International Double Reed Society (IDRS), where he is a regular performer at IDRS conferences and has served on its Executive Committee since 2006, currently holding the position of Past President (President from 2014-17). Additionally, he was chair of the 2008 and 2010 Gillet-Fox International Bassoon Competition and hosted the 2006 IDRS conference on the Ball State University campus.
Highly committed to teaching students, Dr. Sweger is in high demand as a clinician and guest teacher at colleges and universities and at summer festivals and camps. His students have received many honors and are playing in orchestras and teaching in universities, colleges and public schools around the country. Former or current students are in a number of leading performance roles around the world, including the Assistant Principal Bassoon position with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Contrabassoon position with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Principal Bassoon position with the Michigan Opera Theater, Principal Bassoon with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Co-Principal Bassoon and Associate Bassoon positions with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Co-Principal Bassoon position with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan in Merida, Mexico.
His undergraduate students have been accepted into graduate programs at Rice, Juilliard, New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Peabody, McGill, Michigan, San Francisco Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Mannes School of Music and others and his students have been selected to attend the Tanglewood, Aspen, Sarasota, Kent Blossom, Texas, Brevard, Eastern, Opera in the Ozarks, Manchester, Tuscia Opera Festival, Bowdoin, Penn’s Woods. Ohio Light Opera, and Domaine Forget Music Festivals.
Dr. Sweger was the recipient of the 2007 College of Fine Arts Dean’s Teaching, the 2008 IMEA Outstanding University Music Educator, and the 2013 College of Fine Arts Dean’s Creative Endeavor Award.
He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in bassoon performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990, and holds degrees from Bowling Green State University and Lebanon Valley College. His principal studies have been with Richard Lottridge (formerly with the Chicago and New Orleans Symphony Orchestras) and Robert J. Moore (formerly with the National Symphony Orchestra).
Dr. Sweger is a Fox Artist and performs on a Fox 201.