Alan Hawkins

Professor Emeritus, Bassoon and Music Theory
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Summary

Alan Hawkins was professor emeritus of bassoon and music theory at KU, where he taught from 1975 until his retirement in 2004. Alan was succeeded at KU by his former student, Dr. Eric Stomberg. Alan also taught bassoon and music theory at West Texas State University from 1968 to 1975.

Alan played under the baton of Robert Shaw in the Atlanta Symphony between 1964 and 1968. During that turbulent time in U.S. history, he taught in the rural schools around Atlanta and witnessed several burning crosses in various locations on his way home during the nights.

Alan grew up in Wichita, KS and attended Wichita East High School where he sang in their state-ranked choir. He played saxophone in a locally famous mariachi band and was an enthusiastic rider of British motorcycles, much to his RN mother's chagrin. After high school, he spent one year working at Boeing Aircraft as a draftsman assistant.

But the call of music was too strong and Alan enrolled at Kansas State Teachers College to earn a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He started playing clarinet in the orchestra and noticed the girl playing the bassoon was struggling with her part, so he thought, "how hard can it be?" He asked his clarinet professor, Leopold Liegl, if he could switch to bassoon and the rest is history.

Alan then followed his love of music theory and composition to the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Kent Kennan, with whom he was having lunch when they heard the tragic news about the Kennedy assassination in Dallas. He received his Master of Music Theory degree in 1964.

During his tenure at WTSU, Alan started his Doctorate in Musical Arts in Bassoon Performance with L. Hugh Cooper at the University of Michigan. He spent his summers in Michigan as a part-time employee of the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp where it was his duty to drive around a 50-mile radius of Interlochen in his 1960 Karmann Ghia convertible and post their performance schedules. Alan also was an usher for Interlochen's concerts and remembered ushering German-born rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, to his seat. Eventually, Alan was awarded his DMA degree in 1975.

Alan will be best remembered for his double reed publishing company, Bocal Music, that he established in 1988, thanks to the development of music notation software for his favorite Macintosh computer. His family remembers him from the age of seven pushing a pencil around on music staff paper, then an ink pen, followed by the clacking of a musical typewriter as technology advanced. Alan not only published his own compositions, but also hundreds of arrangements for solo instruments and ensembles. Today, Bocal Music is known throughout the world and will help continue Alan's legacy to music.
 


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