Monica Schwartz

Bassoonist, Monica Schwartz moved to Vermont from Maryland in 2019. Since then performed with the Vermont Symphony for their 2022 summer tour, the Valley Winds, in the Vermont Wagner Festival for the opera Walkurie, the Windham Philharmonic, and ensembles at Dartmouth College. A Washington DC native, she attended the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University earning three bachelors of music in Bassoon Performance, Music Education, and Music Composition, and two masters degrees in Music Education and Music Composition. She was on the faculty of the Peabody Preparatory for Bassoon and Music Theory for ten years. She was also a public school band and orchestra director in Howard County Maryland for twelve years nominated several times for teacher of the year her her county. Monica also founded the Gallery Winds Chamber Music camp for talented youth which continues in Ellicott City, MD. She operated Orchard Music Studios for over a decade, a facility that housed her bassoon studio of 25-30 bassoonists and ran regular master classes with distinguished artists such as Frank Morelli, Sue Heineman, Lynn Hileman, Ryan Romine, and others. Many of Monica’s bassoon students have gone on to wonderful careers in music on full scholarship to schools such as Curtis, Yale, Oberlin, Ithaca, Peabody and other fine schools. Also an active performer, Monica was principal of the Columbia Orchestra for many years, and performed the as soloist with them on the Haydn Concertante and in major works such as the Rite of Spring. With wind quintets being a passion in particular for Monica, she founded many chamber groups in the Washington area and performed recitals regularly with different chamber ensembles over the past twenty years on established concert series such as the Tiber Winds and Venteaux. Monica’s principal bassoon teachers include Linda Harwell (National Symphony while at Peabody) and Barrick Stees (Cleveland Orchestra while at Interlochen). As a composer, Monica’s compositions have been played widely locally and abroad, her chamber opera about Lilith; “Wings of Fire” was produced by the Peabody Opera department. Monica’s main composition teachers were Thomas Benjamin, Mark Lanz Weiser, Nicholas Maw, Joel Puckett and Morris Cotel. Since moving to Vermont, Monica has enjoyed spending lots of time in nature with her kids, raising a flock of egg laying chickens, eating and cooking local food, becoming a certified yoga and meditation instructor.