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Directors Circle

Jan 14, 2020

This episode features my conversation with Dr. Jason Worzbyt from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA. In addition to conducting several instrumental ensembles, Jason also teaches undergraduate and graduate music courses and leads the bassoon studio at IUP. In this interview, we chat about a wide variety of topics including repertoire, recruiting the perfect bassoonist, the importance of music, and coffee!

Topics include:

(04:06) We talk about coffee and Jason’s preferred brand

(06:59) Jason talks about his life and professional background

(13:37) Starting a student on bassoon

(22:33) Jason talks about his duties and ensembles at IUP

(24:27) Repertoire selection

(18:20) Scott’s favorite resources on leadership development

(35:15) Resources for selecting repertoire

(43:47) Balancing a career as a conductor and studio instructor 

(52:41) The role of arts in a K-12 curriculum

(38:37) How do we define musical success? 

(1:06:38) Favorite rehearsal tactics

(1:11:15) Jason  discusses leaders that have made an impact on his life 

(1:14:58) Advice for music educators



Jason’s IUP faculty page:,-jason/

Jason performing with the KEystone Chamber Winds:

Jason Performing with the Yorko Bassoon Concerto No. 2 with the IUP Wind Ensemble:

Jason conducting the 2009 PMEA All-State Orchestra:

Jason rehearsing the IUP Symphony Band:



Jason Worzbyt is professor of Bassoon and associate director of Bands at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He holds a BS in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Music in wind conducting from the University of North Texas, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in bassoon performance from the University of North Texas. Worzbyt has studied bassoon with Kathleen Reynolds, principal bassoon of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and professor of bassoon at the University of North Texas; Kristen Wolfe Jensen, professor of bassoon at the University of Texas; and David Borst, professor emeritus of bassoon at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His conducting teachers include Jack Stamp, director of band studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Eugene Migliaro Corporon, director of wind studies at the University of North Texas.

Worzbyt has performed, recorded, and been featured as a soloist with wind ensembles and orchestras all across the country. These ensembles include the Keystone Wind Ensemble, IUP Wind Ensemble, North Texas Wind Symphony, North Texas New Music Ensemble, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Highland Wind Quintet, and the IUP Faculty Woodwind Quintet. In 2001, Worzbyt gave the world premiere of Bruce Yurko’s “Concerto for Bassoon and Wind Ensemble” with the Keystone Wind Ensemble at the College Band Directors National Association conference. From 2006 to 2009, he was a member of the artist-faculty at the Western Chamber Music Institute hosted by Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Additional performances include several recitals at meetings of the International Double Reed Society. In March 2013, Klavier Records released a compact disc recording (Five in the Sun) by the Keystone Chamber Players, of which Worzbyt is a member.

As a guest conductor, Worzbyt has worked with elementary, junior high, senior high, and professional ensembles in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky. Highlights of these appearances include the Indiana Junior High All State Band, New Jersey All State Symphonic Band, PMEA All State Orchestra, PMEA Western Region State Orchestra, PMEA Region III Band, PMEA Region IV Band, PMEA Region V Band, PMEA District 4 and 6 Orchestras in Johnstown and Westmont, PMEA District 2,3,5 Orchestras in Indiana and Purchase Line, and PMEA District Bands in Pittsburgh, York, Berlin, Johnstown, Punxsutawney, and Philadelphia. From 2007 through 2013, he was music director and conductor of the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds, a professional wind ensemble in residence at Seton Hill University. Committed to music education in the state of Pennsylvania, Worzbyt served as president of District 3 of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and continues to serve that organization as an adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician. He has also authored several study guides for the series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Middle School Band, and Beginning Band, published by GIA.

Worzbyt lives in Indiana, Pennsylvania, with his lovely wife, Michelle, and very active four year old, Christian James.