Bassoonist Kassandra Ormsby is passionate about community outreach, and is an active performer and teacher. As the Adjunct Instructor of Bassoon at Lenoir Rhyne University, Kassandra is continuing to advocate and create opportunities for music to be accessible to the community and most recently founded the organization Music Ancestry. Many musicians use their “musical family tree” as an important source of information and pride in their history. MusicAncestry.com strives to fulfill its vision to create a knowledge database of music pedagogical lineage available to the entire online music community for free.
She is an active member of numerous music and education organizations such the International Double Reed Society (2016 conference social media coordinator and photographer), alumni of Sigma Alpha Iota, former interim president and secretary of the National Association of Music Educators Collegiate chapter of Columbus State University, and founded both the Katherine Mahan Ethnomusicology Society and the Mizzou Double Reed Society. She was the Odyssey Chamber Music Series Performance Fellow, in which she led the design and implementation of the Odyssey Instrumental Petting Zoo, as well as the implementation of a new Odyssey Chamber Music Series concert specifically aimed at the young professional audience.
Kassandra has been able to create and help facilitate different programs and events on the local and international levels. These events include Nadam: Music of India with Grammy nominated sarod virtuoso Tejendra Narayan Majumdar and violin maestro Ganesh Rajagopalan, masterclasses and performances by Belgian overtone flute and fujara maker Winne Clement, local instrument “petting zoo” events at Columbus, Georgia Market Days, and most recently creation of The Higday Instrument Petting Zoo. In 2019, she created, proposed, and secured full funding through a grant to expand upon the mission of the Paul D. Higday Mozart Outreach Concert Series, which is to provide the youth of Columbia, Missouri the opportunities to experience live music of great composers, by giving as many students as possible hands-on experience to play and try musical instruments in a supervised environment with a goal of impacting the lives of as many students as possible with music. Launched 2020 with a full set of new instruments (violins, cello, guitar, flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, euphonium, trombone, snare drum, glockenspiel, full Orff set, and assorted rhythm instruments), volunteer uniforms, tables and station supplies, sterilization equipment, and banners. The program reached over 4,600 children and their families in 2020.
Kassandra was the bassoonist of the UNCG Graduate Woodwind Quintet for three years, and previously performed with the Union Symphony Orchestra, Mallarme Chamber Players, Hilton Head symphony Orchestra, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Missouri Symphony Orchestra and Southside Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, she has had experience performing with various internationally touring chamber ensembles including the Schwob School of Music (SSOM) Baroque Consortium, the SSOM Bassoon Quartet with recitals at Facultad de Música UNAM and Encuentro Nacional de Fagot in Mexico City, Mexico, and the Uptown Winds Woodwind Quintet. While attending the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Brazil, she represented the United States of America on the Concert of the Nations, and was chosen to perform solo and with her woodwind trio on a private concert for the mayor of Massaranduba, Santa Catarina, Brazil. She actively performs at community events as a soloist and with her chamber groups at hospitals, farmers markets, public and private schools, and previously the Healing Notes Music Therapy Program in Columbus Regional Healthcare System.
She maintains a private studio for students of all ages, offers lessons scholarships in order to keep bassoon accessible, and is a CommonTime Online teaching artist. She was the coordinator and instructor for the Community Lessons Programs at UNCG, an instructor for the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus, a bassoon instructor for the Schwob Preparatory Division, and woodwind instructor for various high school marching bands.
Kassandra Ormsby is a graduate from the University of Missouri with a Master’s Degree in Bassoon Performance in which she was the graduate assistant of the Community Outreach Program, and received graduate certificates in Music Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management. She is also a graduate of the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education.
Her mentors include Dr. Michael Burns, Dr. Leigh Muñoz, Dr. Stephanie Patterson, Dr. Ronald Wirt, and Raymond Patricio III.