Maralyn Sommer was appointed Principal Bassoon in September 2015. She is a native of Idaho where she graduated from Boise State University with a bachelor’s degree in music education and taught in the Council Public Schools. She earned a Master of Music in bassoon performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. After teaching four years at Adams State College, Colorado, she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance from the University of Arizona. She began her career at Henderson State University in the fall of 1990 as chair of the music department and subsequently served as Dean of Arts and Sciences and interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, a position she held until retirement in 2014. Throughout her tenure in administration she also taught bassoon, elementary music methods, and music literature.
Sommer served as principal bassoon with the Arizona Opera Company, the Arvada Chamber Orchestra, and the Boise Philharmonic in addition to having participated in many other ensembles throughout her career. She currently plays bassoon with the Faculty Woodwind Quintet of Henderson State University where she continues to teach as adjunct professor of bassoon. She often plays with orchestras for the UALR choral program and for Second Presbyterian Church.