Darrel Hale joined the UNT College of Music in August of 2021 as Associate Professor of Bassoon. A native of Denver, Colorado, Darrel Hale is Principal Bassoon of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. He served as Acting Principal Bassoon of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra under Lucas Richmond. An active orchestral performer, Mr. Hale has also served as the Principal Bassoonist of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Symphony Orchestra and performed with a number of other orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Dayton Philharmonic, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Gulf Port Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Meridian Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Players. As a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, Hale performed as a member of the Aspen Academy of Conducting Orchestra under Maestro David Zinman and for three summers as the second bassoon in the Aspen Festival Orchestra alongside Per Hannevold. He comes to the University of North Texas from Louisiana State University where he was an associate professor.
A dedicated teacher, Mr. Hale has presented master classes in a variety of venues including the International Double Reed Society Conference in 2019, Meg Quigley Symposium Pre-College Camp in 2021, Hot Springs Festival, Midwest Musical Imports Master Class Series, and at many universities and conservatories throughout the United States including the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Texas Austin, Baylor University, Ohio State University, University of Southern Mississippi and University of Georgia Athens. During the 2020 Covid pandemic, Mr. Hale worked with colleagues Ann Shoemaker (Baylor) and Yoon Joo Hwang (UCF) to create a series of online master classes that virtually connected students from around the globe with major international professional bassoonists for a series of masterclasses. This seven-part series entitled the International Bassoon Meet-up featured more than 42 young bassoonists from five continents performing for the principal bassoonists from the Berlin Philharmonic (Stefan Schweigert), the New York Philharmonic (Judith LeClair and Kim Laskowski), Los Angeles Philharmonic (Whitney Crockett and Shawn Mouser), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Gustavo Nuñez), and Vienna Philharmonic (Sophie Dervaux) among others. Mr. Hale also currently serves as a co-editor with Amy Pollard (UGA) of the IDRS Online Fingering Chart Project and as a Competition Committee member of the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition.
As an active advocate for the expansion of the bassoon repertoire, Darrel Hale has commissioned several new works for bassoon and voice with his duo partner, mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen. These new works include Ahead of All Parting (2019) by Jenni Brandon, Aurora (2019) by Hannah Rice, White Ash (2019) by Mara Gibson, Washing Water Buffalo in the Ocean (2019) by Gregory Brown, and Millary Songs (2020) by Dana Kaufman. Hale has also been a consortium member on works by Drew Baker, John Steinmetz, and Nico Muhly. In May 2021, Darrel Hale will premiere a new concerto for bassoon and orchestra written for him by Mara Gibson entitled Escher Keys.
As a recitalist, Darrel Hale has performed at several International Double Reed Society Conferences including those held in Spain and Tokyo, Japan as well as at the Meg Quigley Symposiums in 2019 and 2021 and International Clarinet Association Conferences in 2014 and 2016. As a soloist, Mr. Hale has appeared with the ensembles at LSU performing the Mozart Concerto in Bb Major, K. 191, Weber’s Andante and Hungarian Rondo, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Concerto. In January 2020, Hale appeared with his colleagues in the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra to perform the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with BRSO under the direction of Maestro Timothy Muffitt.
He received a Bachelor of Music degree in bassoon performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied with Dr. Yoshiyuki Ishikawa. He continued his training at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio where he studied extensively with William Winstead. His other teachers include Per Hannevold and Chad Cognata.