Senior Jake Fisher comes from a very musical family. However, it took him a few tries to find “his” instruments. He played piano and violin briefly before starting bassoon in fifth grade. Why bassoon? The band teacher needed bassoonists, so that is what Fisher chose. In seventh grade, Fisher took up guitar. These two instruments have become a very important part of his everyday life.
Fisher, who hails from Lake Forest, Ill., is in his fourth year at Lawrence and is getting ready to present his senior bassoon recital. He will play works by 20th century composers Edward Elgar, Gordon Jacob, Samuel Barber and Charles Koechlin Friday April 22 at 8 p.m. in Harper Hall. Barber’s “Summer Music for Wind Quintet” is the piece that Fisher is most excited about.
Currently, Fisher plays in two wind quintets, wind ensemble and the LSO. Last year’s performance of the “Rite of Spring” by Igor Stravinsky was very memorable for him. The work, which was featured in Disney’s “Fantasia,” has quite prominent bassoon parts.
“That was one of the first pieces that really hooked me into classical music and playing bassoon,” he recalled. “I had been watching ‘Fantasia’ since I was really little, so that was big.”
Fisher, a bassoon performance major with a minor in Russian, has played guitar in several jazz ensembles on campus. He also is a member of Love Constellation and the Stars, a band that plays a wide variety of music.
“We just try to find songs that we know people are going to like and something that has a groove to it,” Fisher said. “Some are just straight funk songs from bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, but we try to find newer songs from bands like LCD Soundsystem that you wouldn’t consider funk but still have a groove that people can dance to.”
The group is playing at several upcoming Lawrence events, including LU-aroo and Jamnesty.
Earlier this week, Fisher’s latest musical endeavor made its debut on campus. Perennial, an experimental electronic music group, features Fisher playing guitar and Josh and Luke Younggren using samplers and drum machines. They played in the Chapel Wednesday night, and could possibly perform again soon.
Fisher will be back at Lawrence next year and eventually plans to move to Minneapolis, Minn. He’s sure that he wants a career in music, but doesn’t know specifically what it will involve.
So whether it’s Friday night in Harper Hall or later this term on the Café Plaza, take a few minutes to hear Fisher’s musical stylings on the bassoon or the guitar.