Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund

The Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund was started in the first year of Brooke Valley Bassoon Days thanks to a small gift from the estate of Paul Buttemer, forwarded to us by his widow Amalia Schelhorn (Molly Buttemer). Paul Buttemer, a wonderful bassoonist, was an innovator in the world of bassoon reed making. His sudden death, at the age of 52 in 2008, was a tragedy not only for his family and friends but also for the bassoon world as his work in the field of computer driven reed making devices was unfinished. Paul was extremely generous of spirit and considered his research into improving the life of bassoonists everywhere through improving the art and the science of reed making more of a “calling” than a business. In this spirit of giving back to the bassoon world, the Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund was initiated.

The Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund makes it possible for young bassoonists in urban music programs to attend Brooke Valley Bassoon Days. To qualify for assistance from The Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund the applicant must be part of an “El Sistema” inspired program anywhere in the world.

Since its establishment in 2012 The Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund has made it possible for 5 young bassoonists from Moncton New Brunswick, Ottawa Ontario and Philadelphia Pennsylvania to attend Brooke Valley Bassoon Days. The fund has stayed afloat thanks to the generosity of bassoonist and reed maker, JIM EWEN of Winnipeg Manitoba. Jim, a close friend of Paul Buttemer, donates reed cane to Brooke Valley Bassoon Days every year. This cane is then sold to the campers with 100% of the proceeds going to The Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund.

Richard Hoenich and Jo Ann Simpson, the directors of Brooke Valley Bassoon Days, believe strongly in the mission to make music education, and specifically the bassoon, accessible to those who otherwise could not afford it. For this reason, we are working towards growing The Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund. Donations, no matter how small, are appreciated and can be made at this link.

Contact us to ask how you can become a sponsor and “adopt a bassoonist”!

Brooke Valley Bassoon Days is not a registered charity and therefore cannot issue tax receipts for your donations.


The Paul Buttemer Scholarship Fund is important to me because it gives me the chance to further my learning during the summer when otherwise I don’t have daily music classes and weekly lessons to guide me. At Brooke Valley Bassoon Days, I get the opportunity to meet others my age who share my passion for the bassoon and receive coaching from the outstanding faculty members, which helps me expand my musical knowledge. I’m grateful to be able to receive this scholarship, without which I would not be able to attend the camp.

–Maya Bengle Stanley – Bassoonist with Orkidstra Ottawa

Summer opportunities like the Brooke Valley Bassoon Days opens an entire world of possibilities to our students. Not only do they form lifelong relationships with other bassoonists from around the world, but they come home committed to being the best musician possible.

— Stanford Thompson – Executive Director – Play On, Philly!, Chairman – El Sistema USA

Brooke Valley Bassoon Days camp was a great experience for Empress. She was able to go to Canada and gain a different perspective on life in general and how people live in Canada. She enjoyed camping, sharing stories, and valuable bassoon lessons. This opportunity provided her the chance to grow musically and individually. After this experience, she was accepted into Sinfonia’s Youth Orchestra. We truly cherish everyone that made this possible. Children need rich experiences that help to shape them to reach beyond their expectations.

— Erica Dill mother of bassoonist Empress – Play On, Philly!

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