School of Music's Double Reed Duo

IC oboe and bassoon professors host a worldwide conference on campus.
by Chelsea Theis '08

Professors Goodhew-Romm and Morgan are no longer shoe shopping.   

In fact, they never were. But for over a year, students used “shoe shopping” as code for “Don’t bother them, they're meeting.”

Lee Goodhew-Romm and Paige Morgan, bassoon and oboe professors respectively, spent the last three years planning the annual International Double Reed Society (IDRS) conference, which was held at Ithaca College over the summer. Both agree it was like having two full-time jobs: they constantly shifted their schedules and students’ lessons, often made calls until 3:00 a.m., and rarely saw their husbands. 

But all their hard work paid off. With 1,300 guests and more than 20 countries represented, the conference was a tremendous success. “It’s great recognition for Ithaca College,” says Morgan, who like Goodhew-Romm has been a member of IDRS for a quarter century; the two decided three years ago to put in a proposal to host the conference. 

IDRS members include 4,400 double reed players, instrument manufacturers, and enthusiasts. The College, as the society’s 36th conference site, held clinics, workshops, and other activities for attendees, as well as three evening concerts that Goodhew-Romm and Morgan opened to the public as a gift to the community. 

Hosting a five-day conference at which  there were three or more events happening at any given time, both Goodhew-Romm and Morgan learned a lot. They read hundreds of proposals from performers, solidified the schedule, created the program and website, and even set up transportation. “We’re professional musicians,” says Goodhew-Romm. “We had to learn everything else from scratch. We didn’t have a method, but luckily it worked out.” 

The two did have help from two grad students, their husbands, many student volunteers, and other offices on campus. “We definitely couldn’t have done this without Conference and Events Services,” says Morgan appreciatively.

While both women were extremely busy and often stressed, they wouldn’t have traded the opportunity. “I’ve found I am still very inspired every day by the experience,” says Goodhew-Romm.

Goodhew-Romm and Morgan insist that it will be a while before they ever consider hosting another conference, but they are excited to attend next year’s event.  They plan to put any profit from the conference back into the music school and its students. 

Perhaps the best news is that the professors are done “shoe shopping.” Their students (and spouses) are happy to have them fully back.