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CHS Alum Returns to Teach Bassoon

Alex Abuaita tutors CHS sophomore Amanda Howard on the bassoon.

The CHS Band program was recently honored to have the first chair bassoonist from the Brown University Orchestra spend three days teaching bassoon to current students. What made it even more special was the fact he happens to be Cuthbertson High School alum Alex Abuaita! Alex graduated from CHS in 2014. He started band while he was in middle school, and went on to play in the CHS jazz band, concert band, and marching band serving as Drum Major during his  junior and senior years.

Alex also participated in the Charlotte Youth Symphony Orchestra during his senior year under the tuteledge of Grammy Award winning Lori Tiberio. Tiberio is the principal bassoonist for the Charlotte Symphony.

Todd Ebert, the CHS Band Director said, “The bassoon (a woodwind instrument in the double reed family)  is considered one of the most difficult instruments.  The cost alone makes the instrument almost inaccessible to many students and programs.  It also takes some very skilled fingers to play it.  There are nine thumb keys just for one hand alone.  It can be one of the most beautiful instruments to play but takes dedication and hard work.”

Ebert has worked closely with Alex for several years.

“During his high school career, Alex was an integral part of the band program serving as drum major for the marching band, principal bassoon in the Wind Ensemble, and on the executive council with the Tri-M Music Honors Society. He came to Cuthbertson Middle School in 7th grade and was playing the saxophone. We needed some bassoon players so we asked him to make the move to a different instrument which he did. He was a hard worker and soon became recognized for his playing ability on the bassoon. He has attended honor bands in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and has been recognized as an all-state player with the North Carolina Band Masters Association,” said Ebert.  

This week’s visit was not the first time Alex has helped out in the Band program.

“While in high school Alex would often come over to the middle school and help us start beginners on the bassoon and he demonstrated natural teaching ability.  After graduation he moved to Brown University and began performing with their Symphony Orchestra which made me as a director very proud that he continues to perform,” said Ebert.

“When he was in town we were able to call upon him to come back and help us move some new students to bassoon for the 2015 school year.  The students respect him because they see what he was able to accomplish with the instrument and some of the enrichments that it has brought to his life.  I was very happy to have someone so accomplished help out the program and get the new students started on the right track,” Ebert continued.  

“It was nice to serve in the program I’d been with for so long and come back and see it is still doing so well,” said Alex.

Alex returned to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island this week to begin his sophomore year. He has not yet decided on his major.

Ebert said that this past week Alex worked with 4 high school bassoon players (two who were new and just starting the instrument) and a middle school 8th grader.  Over his high school career he worked with about 6 to 8 students on the bassoon.

“It’s great to see so many kids excited about music education - it can take you so many places,” smiled Alex.

Ebert concluded, “I have the utmost respect for Alex and wish him all the success and happiness that life can bring.  He will always be welcome in the Cuthbertson band room as a former student, musician, and a friend.”

Written by: Paula Tautfest - Media Specialist
Posted: Sep 03, 2015 by Paula Tautfest

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