Growing up, never once did Nicole Sonneveld consider becoming a professional musician. As a child, she idolized the first female astronaut, Sally Ride, and desperately wanted to go to space, too. Apart from that, multiple career aptitude tests throughout her life overwhelmingly suggested that Nicole, lover of all things spooky, become a mortician or funeral director. Music and art, despite their constant presence in her life, never factored in a career equation for young Nicole.
Thankfully, life doesn’t always go according to plan. Dreams change. Fears of heights and tight spaces present themselves. Sixth-grade band directors choose painfully awkward students to play equally awkward instruments. Awkward students fall in love with awkward instruments and decide to become musicians.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go according to plan. Awkward college graduates find themselves broke and directionless. Awkward instruments are sold for rent money. Dreams fade and problems ferment. Music is lost.
Eight years ago, shivering, drunk and hopeless in a Chicago area hospital, Nicole Sonneveld awoke from a comatose state caused by an overconsumption of alcohol. For the previous six years, Nicole struggled with severe substance abuse, and, on this particular evening, it nearly took her life. Finally at rock bottom, she realized the only way to go from there was up. Feeling like Scrooge on Christmas morning, Nicole sought help for her addiction, rebuilt her life and, most importantly, found music again.
Today, sober for six years, Nicole Sonneveld is a freelance musician, educator and accomplished scholar whose analytical work has been presented at regional and international conferences. Always seeking a challenge, Nicole continues her musical education as a graduate student at Roosevelt University where she is a proud bassoon disciple of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Dennis Michel.
It only took twenty years, an overdose, hundreds of reeds and a 12-step program, but bassoonist Nicole Sonneveld has arrived and is here to stay.
Honor the Ghost – Joshua Jandreau
for oboe, viola, bassoon, bass
Three Miniatures – Megan Anderson
for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano, conductor