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May 18, 2022

Musician Feature: ISO Principal Bassoon Ivy Ringel

Ringel will make her solo debut with Jerod Tate's "Ghost of the White Deer" on May 20-21, 2022.

This week’s DeHaan Classical Series program is “Greetings from Worlds Old & New” which explores the musical roots of North America. Featured in Jerod Tate’s piece, Ghost of the White Deer is ISO Principal Bassoon Ivy Ringel. We had a chance to ask Ivy a few questions ahead of her performance to learn more about her experience as an ISO musician and the piece she will be debuting as a soloist this week. Originally from Hillsborough, North Carolina, Ivy is currently in her third season with the ISO.

Can you share a little bit about your background prior to joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra?

Prior to joining the ISO, I was the Principal Bassoon of the Atlanta Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestras. I studied at Rice University and the Eastman School of Music with teachers Benjamin Kamins, John Hunt, and Charlie Bailey. 

When did you begin playing an instrument? 

I started playing the violin at 5 years old and switched to bassoon when I was 12.

What have you enjoyed so far about being a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra?

My colleagues inspire me every day with their creativity. There’s simply nothing like playing with a symphony orchestra like the ISO. My favorite musical moments happen when the orchestra is in sync and working towards a common musical goal. 

You are the featured soloist for the upcoming program performing Jerod Tate’s Ghost of the White Deer. What are you looking forward to most about performing this piece?

I’m looking forward to sharing Jerod Tate’s wonderfully cinematic music with our audience, as well as getting to make music with my ISO colleagues as a soloist for the first time.

How would you describe the piece to someone who isn’t familiar with it?

Ghost of the White Deer is a narrative showpiece depicting the Chickasaw legend of the sacred white deer. The legend is an ultimately tragic love story between the two characters, Blue Jay and Bright Moon. In the story, Blue Jay must successfully hunt a white deer in order to win the hand of Bright Moon. Things don’t quite work out as planned, and the journey Blue Jay goes through along the way is what Ghost of the White Deer is all about. The piece turns from romantic and peaceful, to violent and relentless, and finally to longing from a distance. 

What do you hope the audience gains from listening to you and the ISO perform this piece?

I hope the audience hears something new to them, and I hope that they’re taken on a musical journey. 


You can hear Ivy perform her solo debut this weekend, May 20-21, 2022 at Hilbert Circle Theatre. Tickets are available on our website.