Bruce Hammel is an associate professor of music at VCU Music, where he serves as artist/teacher of bassoon and instructor in the music theory program. Hammel received his Doctor of Music in bassoon performance at Florida State University where he studied with William Winstead. His other degrees were earned at the University of Michigan (Master of Music in wind instruments), the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam (Bachelor of Music Education) and Hamilton College (Bachelor of Arts in biology).
Hammel’s performance experience is extensive. He has served as principal bassoonist with the Amarillo, Tallahassee and Charlottesville symphonies, and frequently performs with the Richmond Symphony on bassoon and contra-bassoon. Hammel has been an active performer of chamber music, as well, and has performed as a member of the Atlantic Winds (VCU), Currents (University of Richmond) and the Albemarle Ensemble (University of Virginia). He can be heard on numerous recordings of chamber music with the National Wind Players, a recording ensemble for Klavier records, and with Currents. As a soloist, Hammel has performed regularly in recitals at the state, national and international levels. For his solo recording of the bassoon music of Allan Blank, which includes the “Concertino for Bassoon and String Orchestra” recorded with the Polish National Radio Symphony, reviewers praised Hammel for his “superior playing” and for delivering the works with “fluidity and exceptional ease.”
Dr. Hammel is currently chair of the Council for Creativity for the Virginia Music Educators Association, and is a long-standing member of the International Double Reed Society. Hammel teaches students of all levels and frequently has students performing in the All-Virginia Band and Orchestra, Virginia Band and Orchestra Director’s District I and III bands, the Richmond Youth Symphony and the Greater Richmond Youth Wind Ensemble. Many of his students have been featured soloists with the Richmond Youth Symphony. His bassoon quartet, the VCU BassMasters, has entertained local audiences for many years, performing music in styles ranging from Baroque to Heavy Metal. Many of his arrangements are played throughout the U.S. Dr. Hammel recently joined the summer faculty of the InterHarmony International Music Festival held in Italy and Germany.
Dr. Hammel is married to Dr. Alice Hammel, and has two children, Hannah and Hollie.