Name: Jenni Groyon
Hometown: Topeka, KS
At what age did you begin playing your instrument? 16
Who have been your greatest musical influences? All of my bassoon teachers; also Carlos Kalmar, the conductor at Grant Park.
Who are your favorite composers? Brahms, Mahler, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky.
What career path would you have taken had you not chosen music? I would have said architecture 15 years ago; if I had to choose a new career now, I think I would be as a nutritionist.
What's currently playing on your iPod or CD player? NPR podcasts – specifically, Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me and This American Life.
Your hobbies and interests: Running, tennis, watercolor painting.
Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: Cheese is my downfall. Maybe everyone knows that already.
Funniest concert moment:It was the seventh pops show of the week and everyone was getting a little punchy. We played Jaws and at the climax of the piece one of the orchestra members screamed like a little girl. Then another player reached under his chair and pulled out a shark fin he had made out of cardboard and duct tape and started passing it around the wind section.
Daily practice rituals: Scales, arpeggios, thirds, fourths, fifths. I have to switch it up and do my Oberlin scale and interval studies some days and my Rice scale and interval studies other days so I don't get too complacent. Also, I've been doing those Arnold Jacob breathing exercises every day lately. They help my tone production a lot.
The question you're asked most often about your instrument (and your answer): "Bassoon – what's that?" My answer: "It's the big, tall wind instrument. Sits next to the clarinets. Looks like a big wooden tube."
Your favorite part about playing in the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra: The people. This is the nicest orchestra of all time. No drama, no politics, very little conflict.