Sue Barber serves as professor of bassoon and chair of the Woodwind Area at the James Madison University School of Music and is a member of the resident faculty ensemble The Montpelier Wind Quintet. During the summer season she is a member of the artist/teaching faculty at the Brevard Music Festival in Brevard, North Carolina. She is also an active freelance bassoonist regionally, performing with Opera on The James, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Roanoke Symphony, Opera Roanoke, and the Williamsburg Sinfonia. She has also performed and presented master classes throughout the United States, in Europe and Asia. She has served as a visiting professor at The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, teaching applied bassoon and presenting master classes during the 2012 and 2014-15 academic years.
Dr. Barber is an active solo and chamber musician. She is a founding member of The Friendly City Chamber Players, established in 2015, a classical chamber music ensemble working to create a new classical experience for both the performer and listener. Past solo and chamber performances include presentations at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, performances at International Double Reed Society Conventions, The Virginia Music Educator’s Annual Conference, The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL, The International Alliance for Women in Music's Annual Concert of Chamber Music by Women at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and The National Flute Association Conventions in Washington, DC and New York, New York. She has also appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at The Brevard Music Festival.
As an orchestral musician, Dr. Barber has performed with many of the leading artists of our time in many noted venues including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. Dr. Barber held the positions of assistant principal bassoon of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, principal bassoon of the Natchez Opera, and principal bassoon of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she has also served as the principal bassoonist with The Hartford Symphony Orchestra, The Connecticut Opera, and The Sarasota Opera. Internationally, she served as assistant principal bassoon of Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia (Spain). She has appeared with the New Haven Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra (Sarasota), Santa Fe Chamber Orchestra, and participated in the National Repertory Orchestra Festival, and the Banff and Sarasota Chamber Music Festivals.
She has taught bassoon and chamber music at a number of institutions including the Hartt School of Music, Trinity College (CT), and The New England and New York State Music Camps. She has given master classes in China, Spain, Chicago (IL), Bloomington (IN), Wichita (KS), Eugene (OR), Brevard (NC), Durham (NH), Little Rock (AR), Tuscaloosa (AL), Hattiesburg (MS), and throughout Louisiana, Virginia, and Maryland. She is a co-host of James Madison University’s Annual Double Reed Day Workshop for young oboe and bassoon players.
Dr. Barber earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam in New York, a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in New York, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University.