Bassoonist / Conductor


Dempster is an active bassoonist and maintains a small private teaching studio. He studied principally with Michael Burns, and had additional study with Peter Simpson, Kristin Wolfe-Jensen, William Winstead, John Pederson, and Bill Davis. He has performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Conway Symphony Orchestra (AR), Fayetteville Symphony (NC), Danville Orchestra (VA), Florence Symphony Orchestra (SC), Greensboro Philharmonia (NC), the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra (NC).

When possible, Tom tries to advance new compositions for bassoon. Below is a short list of some of the works he's premiered and performed.

Linda Antas - Amavasya (world premiere [GA],  AR, FL, and SC premieres)
Julius Eastman - Buddha (interpretation for bassoon;  SC premiere and likely world premiere)
Colin Kohrs - Home Feels...Different (AR and FL premieres)
John Paul Mayse - Radiance (FL premiere)
Max Tfirn - Disconnected Sound Pictures (world premiere [FL])
Isang Yun - Monolog (SC premiere)

Additional Repertoire list:
Adolphus Hailstork, Bassoon Set
Libby Larsen, Jazz Variations
Paul Hindemith, Sonata
Marvin Feinsmith, Two Hebraic Studies
Barbara York, Sonata for Bassoon and Piano
Einojuhani Rautavaara, Bassoon Sonata
Gordon Jacob, Concerto for Bassoon
C M von Weber, Concerto for Bassoon
J A Koželuh, Concerto
W A Mozart, Concerto for Bassoon K 191
Edison Denisov, Sonata
Ferdinand David, Concertino
Lars-Erik Larsson, Concertino
Sofia Gabaidulina, Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings
Primož Ramovš, Concerto Piccolo


Principally as a wind conductor, Dempster has premiered numerous wind ensemble and chamber ensemble works in Arkansas - or the world. Below is a short selection of works for which Tom has conducted or facilitated premieres in Arkansas. 

Julius Eastman - Stay On It
Nicholas Ryan Kelly - Night Highway
Tetsunosuke Kushida - Collage (wind ensemble version)
Cathy Likhuta  - Through Healers' Eyes
Adam Scott Neal - Baffin Bay
Alex Temple - Thick Line
James Tenney - In a large, open space
Zephyr Smith - Aloft
Rachel Lanik Whelan - Constellations
Dana Wilson - Colorado Peaks
Judith Lang Zaimont - City Rain

Other works in Tom's wind band conducting repertoire:

Arnold/Paynter, Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo
Arnold/Paynter, Four Scottish Dances
Arnold/Paynter, Sarabande and Polka
Del Borgo, Chesapeake
de Meij, Aquarium
Giroux, Khan
Giroux, Ouachita
Hindemith, Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Carl Maria Von Weber
Holst, Songs of the West
Holst, Suite No. 1 in E-flat
Holst, Suite No. 2 in F
Husa, Divertimento
Husa, Music for Prague 1968
Ito,  Festal Scenes
Mahr, A Quiet Place to Think
Mahr,  The Soaring Hawk
Margolis, Color
Maslanka, A Child's Garden of Dreams
Maslanka, Give Us This Day
Maslanka,  Prelude on a Gregorian Tune
McBeth, Of Sailors and Whales
Mennin, Canzona
Persichetti, Pageant
Reed, Russian Christmas Music
Wilson, Colorado Peaks
Wilson, Evolution