Professor of Music Doug Spaniol has received a Fulbright Scholar Award that will enable him to teach at England’s University of York and restore pedagogical bassoon works by 19th century German bassoonist Julius Weissenborn.
Spaniol, who has taught at Butler for 14 years, will spend January through June 2012 in England, while he is on sabbatical from Butler. His wife and two children will accompany him.
“I’m honored to have been selected to receive a Fulbright Scholar Award,” he said. “Part of the mission of the Fulbright program is to build positive international relationships. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to return to England and help build such relationships, in part through teaching music.”
At York, he will teach a class on the relationship between the analysis and performance of music. The research component of the grant will allow him to continue to re-create some of Weissenborn’s teaching materials that have been lost.
Spaniol is the editor and researcher behind The New Weissenborn Method for Bassoon. Weissenborn’s original method was published in 1887 and became the most widely used instructional book for bassoon players.
Spaniol’s edition was part of his efforts to update Weissenborn’s original works, but there is more work to be done.
“Weissenborn wrote 60 advanced studies, 10 of which were lost,” Spaniol said. “Of those 10, we know what key they were in, what the first couple of measures were, and what order the etudes came in.” Etudes are pieces of music designed for the practice of a point of performance technique.
“I can’t pretend that I can re-compose the exact etudes that Weissenborn had written, but I can at least try to compose something that will be similar and will meet the same pedagogical goals as the lost etudes,” he added.
The Fulbright Scholar Program, the U.S. government’s flagship academic exchange program, is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) on behalf of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright program was proposed to the U.S. Congress in 1945 by then freshman Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Fulbright viewed the proposed program as a much-needed vehicle for promoting “mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world.”
For Spaniol, the trip to England will be his second. The first came as a student, when he was named a Marshall Scholar, enabling him to study at the Royal Northern College of Music. There, his teacher was eminent scholar/bassoonist William Waterhouse. Waterhouse, who died in 2007, left behind one of the world’s finest private collections of bassoons, related instruments, manuscripts and music. Weissenborn’s surviving manuscripts are in Waterhouse’s library, where Spaniol will do his research.
Spaniol is a graduate of Palatine (Ill.) High School and studied music at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Royal Northern College of Music and The Ohio State University.
He is one of four members of the Butler community to receive a Fulbright award this semester. Associate Professor of Finance Roberto Curci received a Fulbright Scholar Award to support teaching and research in Hong Kong. and Seniors Caleb Hamman and Adam T. Weaver received Fulbright Student Fellowship awards that will support their graduate studies in Northern Ireland and France, respectively.