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Josie Whiteis, Bassoon

An Ohio native raised in Texas, Josephine (Josie) Whiteis a bassoonist, student, and pedagogue based in Tallahassee, Florida. While working on her DM in Bassoon Performance at Florida State University, Josie frequently performs with orchestras around the Florida Panhandle, and is a founding member of the Fountain Five Wind Quintet. She is passionate about the effect of music on communities, and has been involved in much performance and educational outreach.

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About Josie

Josie Whiteis is a performer, student, and teacher based in Tallahassee, Florida. She studies with Jeffrey Keesecker at Florida State University (FSU), where she is pursuing a DM and serving as a teaching assistant for the Florida State University Bassoon Studio. Josie previously studied with Kristin Wolfe Jensen at the University of Texas (UT) in Austin and received a BM in Bassoon Performance in 2021 where she graduated with high honors. She earned her MM at Florida State University in 2023.

In 2021, Josie was selected as the 2nd bassoonist for the Panama City Symphony Orchestra (PCSO). In addition to playing with PCSO, Josie has performed with the Tallahassee Symphony, Tallahassee Community Chorus, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, FSU University Symphony Orchestra (USO), FSU Wind Orchestra, Polymorphia Ensemble, UT Wind Ensemble, UT New Music Ensemble, UT Symphony Orchestra, Density 512 Contemporary Ensemble, and the UT Bassoon Ensemble. Most notably, Josie performed with the FSU USO on their 2023 tour through Sarasota, Orlando, and the Dominican Republic. 

Josie is the bassoonist and a founding member of the Fountain Five Wind Quintet, with whom she has given performances in collaboration with the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Orchestra, PCSO, and the South Georgia Ballet, and recitals and performances around the FSU campus. The Fountain Five Wind Quintet were selected as the ensemble division winners for the 2023 Music International Grand Prix Competition.

Passionate about the importance and influence of music in the community, Josie has also been involved in many chamber ensembles with an emphasis on outreach opportunities. She has performed in venues such as nursing homes, elementary schools, public libraries, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers, focusing on bringing live music to groups who do not have access to concert halls. 

 In 2022, Josie was named a finalist in the Florida State University Young Artist Concerto Competition. She has received music scholarships from Music Doing Good and performed as a concerto soloist for the Houston Youth Symphony in 2017. Josie also advanced to the live round of the Young Texas Artists Competition, was a finalist in the Houston Symphony League Concerto Competition, and placed 3rd in the Gina Stevens Bassoon Competition. 

Josie has been a guest clinician at the bands of Thomas County Middle School and Thomas County Central High School. She also has experience coaching the woodwind sections and woodwind quartets of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra, and works with undergraduate woodwind chamber ensembles as part of her assistantship at FSU.  Josie maintains a private studio in the Tallahassee area with students performing in the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra, earning superior ratings in Solo and Ensemble Competition, and placing in District. 

Her primary teachers include Jeff Keesecker, Kristin Wolfe Jensen, and Elise Wagner. She has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses for musicians and pedagogues such as Frank Morelli during the 2020 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Symposium, Rebekah Heller, Michael Harley, Martin Kuuskmann, Rian Craypo, Wind Sync, Brandon Patrick George of Imani Winds, and Marion Reinhard.

When she is not practicing, teaching, or making bassoon reeds, Josie enjoys cuddling with her two small dogs Lucy and Cha Cha, drawing, playing rhythm games, and solving jigsaw puzzles. 

Get to Know Josie

Q: When did you learn to play your instrument? 

A: I started on bassoon when I was 11 during the summer before sixth grade.

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