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Miles Maner

Miles Maner is thrilled to be one of the newest members of the Kansas City Symphony. In addition to his position here as associate principal bassoonist and contrabassoonist, Mr. Maner is the principal bassoonist of the Breckenridge Music Festival and has previously attended the Pacific Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, and the Texas Music Festival. A winner of Rice University’s Shepherd School Concerto Competition, Mr. Maner performed the Weber Bassoon Concerto with the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra in 2008. His former teachers are Benjamin Kamins of Rice University and Kristin Wolfe Jensen of the University of Texas.

Ten questions about me:

How did you choose your instrument?

Rarely does a bassoonist choose to play the bassoon. While in middle school, my band director noticed the need for a bassoonist in the band and soon after, I was on my way home with a lovely plastic bassoon to figure out over holiday break.

What is your favorite thing about performing music?

Doing the bassoon justice and changing the reputation of the bassoon for the better!

What is the most challenging work for your instrument?

Too many buttons to press, not enough reeds to play.

Which composer would you most like to have dinner with? And what would you serve or where would you eat?

I would really enjoy having dinner with John Williams. We could meet at the very famous Abbey Road Studios where there would be some steaks and a banana cream pie, dyed green and in the shape of Yoda. To me, his Star Wars score is wildly inspiring.

If you weren't a professional musician, what occupation would you choose?

I don't think I quite have the stuff, but if I did, I'd like to be a professional disc golfer. It's the only other thing at which I am mildly adept.

What quality do you most admire in others?

Work ethic. My mind requires absurd quantities of inspiration to get going. Many people require less inspiration to get good work done and I am envious.

What good book have you read recently?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. What a good movie too!

Who would play you in a movie?

When I visited Japan, loads of people told me that I looked like Michael J. Fox. I don't see the resemblance but I like the guy.

What is the one item you must have on a desert island?

A magical chocolate bar that: A) never ends B) turns into a glass of water when needed. Chocolate makes me thirsty!

What is a "must-have" in your fridge?

Cold air.