Helena Kopchick Spencer
Helena Kopchick Spencer joined the faculty of Willamette University in fall 2007 as Instructor of Bassoon. A member of the Eugene Opera Orchestra, the Salem Chamber Orchestra, and the Oregon Mozart Players, she has also performed with the Oregon Bach Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Oregon Festival of American Music's American Sinfonia, and the Colorado, Eugene, Corvallis, Portland-Columbia, and Canton (OH) Symphony Orchestras.
Originally from upstate New York, Ms. Kopchick Spencer holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance with academic honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Oregon, where she was named Outstanding Performer in Woodwinds and University Outstanding Performer in Music. Her primary teachers have been Barrick Stees and Steve Vacchi, and she has also studied with Per Hannevold and Steven Dibner at the Aspen Music Festival & School as the recipient of a three-year fellowship in contrabassoon.
Ms. Kopchick Spencer is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Musicology with a supporting area in Bassoon Performance at the University of Oregon, where she is a Graduate Teaching Fellow in musicology/ethnomusicology. She has published articles on art song settings of Ibsen's "Spillemænd" in the journal Studia Musicologica Norvegica and on composer Erik Satie in the encyclopedia Musicians and Composers of the Twentieth Century (Salem Press, 2009), and she is a contributing author for an upcoming book on the historiography of the ballet La Sylphide, edited by Marian Smith. She has also presented conference papers on musical topoi in nineteenth-century opera and ballet, Tchaikovsky's Mignon songs, and narrativity in Grieg's String Quartet in G minor. Her research has been supported by grants from the University of Oregon, the University of Bergen, the United States Embassy of Norway, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.