Richard Polonchak was the former Principal Bassoonist of both the United States Marine Band, “The President’s Own” and the White House Orchestra, in Washington, D.C. He also performed with the Marine Woodwind Quintet and “Trio d’anches” which recorded through National Public Radio in addition to appearing with both the band and orchestra as featured soloist. A frequent bassoon soloist and clinician, he has served on the faculties of The University of the District of Columbia, Catholic University, James Madison University, Southern Oregon State College (part of the American Band College), and the University of Virginia. His articles on all aspects of bassoon have appeared in The Instrumentalist, The School Musician, Woodwind World, The Double Reed, and Bandworld Magazine.
Mr. Polonchak studied bassoon with Arthur Kubey and later with Benjamin Spiegel at Duquesne University where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music. He studied woodwind chamber music with Bernard Goldberg. He has also studied bassoon repair and maintenance with Lewis High Cooper, designer of the Cooper-Puchner bassoon. In the 1980’s, through a personal interest in Jungian Psychology and body-oriented psychotherapy, he became certified in Bioenergetic Analysis and has used this perspective to help musicians connect to a different aspect of learning the instrument.
A consultant/clinician to Custon Music Company since 1977, Mr. Polonchak services the entire line of Kroner bassoons and contrabassoons. In addition, along with Lewis Hugh Cooper, he has worked extensively at the factory in Germany designing the Kroner Model 450 bassoon.