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Technical Sergeant Carl Gardner

Technical Sergeant Carl Gardner is a dedicated bassoonist with the United States Air Force Academy Band. He joined the ensemble in October 2023 driven by a desire to serve his country while pursuing his passion for music.

TSgt Gardner began his musical journey under the guidance of his father, Larry Gardner, who was his first bassoon instructor. He honed his skills and deepened his knowledge at prestigious institutions, earning his undergraduate degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and his master's degree from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Frank Morelli. TSgt Gardner is a former member of The Orchestra Now, a fellowship-based orchestra located in the Hudson Valley for young professional musicians with emerging careers. He now studies towards a doctorate at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of bassoonist and pedagogue George Sakakeeny.

An avid performer of both solo and chamber music, Carl has a particular affinity for the works of Andre Previn and enjoys adapting Johann Sebastian Bach's solo suites for cello and flute partita for bassoon. His talent and dedication have been recognized with several awards, including the Andrew J. Bogiages Memorial Prize in 2023, fellowships to attend Yale School of Music in 2014, the Fresno Philharmonic Young Artist Concerto Competition in 2014, and the Oberlin Concerto Competition in 2013.

Outside of the Air Force Academy Band, Carl has performed with esteemed ensembles such as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Fresno Philharmonic, and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. Despite his busy performance schedule, he also finds time to volunteer with the USAF Academy Cadet Orchestra and participates in high school educational outreach programs.

1.  October 2023 – Present, USAF Academy Band, Peterson AFB, CO