Carl Rath, internationally known teacher and performer, teaches bassoon and popular music courses at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton (WI), and is Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Oklahoma. He has been soloist with bands and orchestras in the United States, Europe and Taiwan, as well as performing recitals and teaching master classes in Argentina (2003 Buenos Aires Music Festival), Hungary, England, China, and Taiwan. For seventeen years, he was solo bassoonist with the Classical Music Festival in Austria, appearing as concerto soloist in several concerts. Since 1980, he has been teaching and performing at the Red Lodge Music Festival, in Montana, each summer. Rath is a popular performer at International Double Reed Society (IDRS) annual conferences, and he was a host for the successful Conference at the University of Oklahoma in 2010.
Rath served as Principal Bassoon in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra from 1991 - 2012. While at the University of Oklahoma, he performed and soloed with Academia Filarmonica, was bassoonist in the Oklahoma Woodwind Quintet for 31 years, and performed with Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble.
Rath has arranged/transcribed close to 100 works for various ensemble combinations. In April, 2010, he was a Performing Artist-in-Residence for the Great Falls Symphony Chinook Winds, for whom he arranged a 50 minute multi-media tribute to the music of The Beatles. A special arrangement of Rodgers’ & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma” was performed at the 2010 IDRS Conference by more than 100 double reed players! Rath has also arranged several compositions for the Bocal Majority/Operation O.B.O.E. double reed summer camps, and for Bocal Adrenaline, a professional ensemble of 2 bassoons and 2 English Horns.
In 1982, he formed the Sooner Bassooners to encourage his students and complement his teaching. The arrangements are a pedagogical approach to learning for the students, as well as providing a unique experience for audiences. Rath and some of his former students are heard on the recently released CD, Landscapes (MARK Records). Now, at Lawrence, he has formed the ViBE (Viking Bassoon Ensemble) to continue the promotion of bassoon ensemble arrangements.
A popular music enthusiast and historian, Rath was the originator and drummer in the classic rock band, MidLife Crysis, in Norman, OK which formed in 1990. In addition to his courses in popular music and The Beatles, he has presented lectures on The Beatles for civic groups, libraries, schools, and recently was an instructor in the Bjorklunden Summer Seminar program. He was a conductor for the 1964…the Tribute symphony shows for numerous years.
Rath earned the Bachelor of Music Education in 1975 from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, where he graduated with Distinction in Performance honors. He earned the Master of Arts in bassoon performance in 1977 from the University of Denver Lamont School of Music. At OU, he received both the OU College of Fine Arts Outstanding Faculty Award and Fine Arts Faculty Peer Recognition Award.