Cassandra Bendickson is a freelance bassoonist living in beautiful Tucson, Arizona and has been playing professionally for more than 20 years. Her love for this glorious instrument was cemented in elementary school when a bassoon quartet darkened the sunny stage with its dulcet, tenor tones. She holds a Masters in Bassoon Performance from the University of Arizona and has held principal positions with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Tucson, Catalina/Tucson Chamber Orchestra, and the Bella Carita Chamber Ensemble. Additionally, she filled the roles of Personnel Manager, Stage Manager, and Principal Bassoon for the Catalina/Tucson Chamber Orchestra up until its final year. Among others, she has also performed with the St. Francis & Clare Theatre Ensemble, Arizona Repertory Singers, Tucson Pops Orchestra, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and with Celtic Woman's “Winter Wonderland 2012” tour.
Cassandra organized, programmed, and performed in the inaugural concert of Bassoons and Oboes of the Old Pueblo (BOOP), featuring double reed players from the freelance community, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Arizona Faculty. That same summer, she took the Maderas Bassoon Quartet to the International Double Reed Society Conference to perform for an international audience of double reed players and enthusiasts. In August of 2012, Cassandra collaborated with acclaimed oboist, Cindy Behmer, to program a concert of “Winds, Keys, and Cords”, featuring combinations of reeds, horn, piano, and guitar comprised again of musicians from multiple spheres of the Tucson music community. For seven years, she worked as a Teaching Artist in the Opening Minds through the Arts program within the Tucson Unified School District, bringing music and the bassoon to thousands of kindergartners. She regularly appears with the Tucson Repertory Orchestra (TRO), on the St. Philip’s Friends of Music programs and in small chamber ensembles, such as the TRO Wind Quintet, Maderas Bassoon Quartet, Trio Desta, the Zephyrus Reed Trio, the 5th Period Remedial Band, and in the Garage Classical series known as ChamberLab. Cassandra has also been blessed to have been included in concerts to benefit such organizations as the St. Philip's Summer Music Program, Imago Dei Middle School, Southern Arizona Aids Foundation, and the Academy for Cancer Wellness.
In December of 2013, Cassandra founded a Tucson branch of the acclaimed Church of Beethoven concert series begun originally in Albuquerque, NM by Felix Wurman. Dedicated to breaking down the "Fourth wall" between performers and concert goers, this series celebrates chamber music and the art of the spoken word in more intimate and casual settings, and is keeping her busier than ever. Cassandra also maintains a growing private lesson studio, a fledgling reed-making business, and a home with a beloved family and many pets!
stuff I play in
church of beethoven-tucson
southern az symphony
tucson repertory orchestra
bella carita chamber orchestra
tucson duo project
To rediscover our purpose, to live long and prosper, we must let go of our focus on programming favorite artworks, old and new, and instead boldly experiment with engaging people in artistic experiences. We must reconnect with the human art instinct. - Eric Booth