Professor of Music Performance (Bassoon)
Keith Sweger is Professor of Bassoon Performance on the Ball State University School of Music faculty. His responsibilities include teaching applied bassoon and coaching woodwind chamber music. Additionally, Dr. Sweger is principal bassoon with Orchestra Indiana, contrabassoon/bassoon with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and principal bassoon with the Indianapolis Ballet Orchestra. He has performed regularly as first-call extra bassoon/contrabassoon with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Penn’s Woods Festival and Green Lake Festival Orchestras as well as the Algoma Wind Quintet and Oakwood Chamber Players.
His recording credits include the CDs Songs of Madness and Sorrow, On the Beach At Night, Expressions in Units, Christmas Lights and August Was Foggy. The 2011 Albany Records release by Sweger and the MAQ, American Breeze, was received with critical acclaim. Partially funded by a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant, the CD includes works by American composers Bruce Adolphe, Amy Beach, Jenni Brandon, Jennifer Higdon, David Maslanka and Steven Stucky. In addition, he has recorded and performed for such diverse projects as touring ice shows, national tours of Broadway shows and cartoon scores.
Dr. Sweger has been a recitalist at conferences of the International Clarinet Association (ICA), Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI), College Music Society (CMS), National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and Music Educators National Conference (MENC) as well as at colleges and universities around the country and abroad. He performed and presented masterclasses at the 2011 Asian Double Reed Association (ADRA) conference in Bangkok, Thailand, the 2012 Beijing International Bassoon Festival in Beijing, China, the 2013 ADRA conference in Chiayi, Taiwan, the 2014 conference of the Asociación de Fagotistas y Oboístas de España (AFOES) and the 2017 conference of the Brazilian Double Reed Society (ABPD). Active in the International Double Reed Society (IDRS), Dr. Sweger is a regular performer at IDRS conferences and served on its Executive Committee from 2006 through 2021. He served as president of the society from 2014 through 2017 and past president from 2018 through 2021. Additionally, he was chair of the 2008 and 2010 Gillet-Fox International Bassoon Competition and hosted the 2006 IDRS conference on the Ball State University campus.
Strongly committed to teaching, Dr. Sweger is in demand as a clinician and guest teacher at colleges and universities and at summer festivals and camps. His students have received many honors and are playing in orchestras and teaching in universities, colleges and public schools around the country. Former or current students have won the Assistant Principal Bassoon position with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Contrabassoon position with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Principal Bassoon position with the Michigan Opera Theater, Principal Bassoon with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Co-Principal Bassoon and Associate Bassoon positions with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Co-Principal Bassoon position with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan (Merida, Mexico). His undergraduate students have been accepted into graduate programs at Rice, Juilliard, DePaul, New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Peabody, McGill, Michigan, San Francisco Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Mannes School of Music and others and his students have been selected to attend the Tanglewood, Aspen, Sarasota, Kent Blossom, Texas, Brevard, Eastern, Opera in the Ozarks, Manchester, Tuscia Opera Festival, Bowdoin, Penn’s Woods. Ohio Light Opera and Domaine Forget Music Festivals. Dr. Sweger was the recipient of the 2007 College of Fine Arts Dean’s Teaching, the 2008 IMEA Outstanding University Music Educator, and the 2013 College of Fine Arts Dean’s Creative Endeavor Award. He is a Fox Artist.