Profiles: Rasch not giving up on music any time bassoon


Hailey Kraft

Bearden junior Tyler Rasch practices playing the bassoon during symphonic band earlier this week.

Sitting outside the audition room door, junior Tyler Rasch feels the nerves begin to rise. He debates with himself whether the person auditioning before him is doing better or worse than he will.

In truth, though, his evaluations are irrelevant because his auditions always go well – he’s been accepted into All-East Band, All-State Band, and the Knoxville Youth Symphony Orchestra (for three years straight).

Rasch was also recently chosen to play with the United States Navy band at Cox Auditorium at the University of Tennessee.

“There were a bunch of people there, and they were really old, but that’s okay,” Rasch said. “A lot of them were army guys or retired vets, so it was cool.”

Along with all of these honors, he has been accepted into the Governor’s School for the Arts, all while being Bearden symphonic band’s one and only bassoon player.

“Not many are interested in bassoon because it’s a very unique instrument, and it takes a very gifted person to be able to play it,” band director Mrs. Megan Christian said. “For him, I’m sure it requires a lot of confidence in the fact that he has to play by himself with no one to help him and make sure his part is covered.

“I just think it’s pretty neat to have such a talented bassoon player.”

While Rasch is skilled at bassoon now, it was a long haul to reach the point where he is today.

His love for music began when he was young and learned to play the piano, which is where he planted roots in the process of learning and becoming passionate about music.

His love for music grew, and eventually his middle school years rolled around. In his sixth grade year at West Valley, he made a decision he was unaware would provide amazing opportunities in his future: he decided to play clarinet for the West Valley Middle School band.

After a while, however, the clarinet began to bore Tyler, so he decided to try the saxophone, but it wasn’t as much fun as he had hoped. He continued to search for an instrument that could fuel his desire to learn and be intrigued.

Finally, he found the instrument that he continues to pursue today: the bassoon.

“[West Valley’s band director] took me into this room with a bassoon, and when I saw it, I didn’t know what to do,” Rasch said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know how to put this together. Where do my fingers go?’”

After some work in private lessons, he blossomed into the bassoon player that he is today: a musician with a love for his art that consumes much of his schedule.

“I’m so impressed with all of the initiative and effort he puts into his music,” said junior Lauren Leisenring, Rasch’s girlfriend. “The amount of practices, rehearsals, and tryouts he has is crazy.”

Thanks to a pretty regular schedule, however, Rasch manages to find time for other things, such as video games, sailing, Science Olympiad, and of course spending time with Leisenring.

With his interests spread so thin, he is unsure if he will pursue music as a career in the future, but he does know that music will remain a huge part of his life.

“If my other plans with science don’t work out, then, yeah,” he said, “I’m going to be playing music until the end of time.”