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PSO announces Eckart Preu as its new music director. Read More

Meet the Musicians

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Ardith Keef, bassoon

Where did you grow up? Mexico

Where do you currently live? Gorham, Maine

What instrument do you play? Bassoon – I was also a singer while at Eastman

Educational background:Bachelor’s Master’s Eastman School of Music; Doctor of Jurisprudence – U Maine

Personal Information (family, pets, kids, etc.): Preacher husband and Zipper the cat. We have a 21-room missionary guest house, so there are always lots and lots of guests, many international.

How did you get started in music? When we came back to the states from Mexico I was starting my sophomore year and was poorly adjusted to the American way of life and school system. My mother took me to the band room whee the band director put a bassoon in my hands. I had never heard of a bassoon and was “too old” to start, but it that was it for me.

What non-PSO musical activities do you participate in? I’ve been teaching at the University of Southern Maine for 34 years. I also have a bassoon ensemble called “The Maine Razzle Dazzle and Bassoonery.” We have played in Ukraine and Puerto Rico in addition to various US locations

What’s your favorite PSO memory to date? We were playing an outdoor summer concert, only to be interrupted by a sudden and very exciting thunderstorm. The skies opened and a torrential downpour brought down the tent. Those of us left onstage crowded around the harp, lifting the tent with our arms, in order to keep the harp from being damaged!

Describe a typical day: Up and into my home office by 7:30, Mexican breakfast if possible, bible study and prayer, work out with a personal trainer (almost every day), practice, teach, court, prepare for upcoming trials. Practice again or make reeds. I almost never finish the day before 10 or 11 at night.

What is the question you’re asked most often when you tell people you play with the PSO? How do you like the new conductor?

If you couldn’t be a musician, what would be your dream job? Supreme Court Justice.

Any non-musical hobbies? Knitting and murder mysteries

What is your favorite music? What are you currently listening to? Hymns, Brahms

Who or what has been your greatest influence, musical or otherwise? Musically, my McAllen, Texas high school band director, Luther Meeker Snavely. Otherwise, a friend named Elisabeth Elliot.

Do you teach? If so, how can people get in touch with you? I am devoted to my students. I can be contacted at (207) 780-5270.

What/where are your favorite eats in Portland? The Greek Corner on Exchange Street.

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