John Pope began studying music at the age of 11, first taking lessons on the acoustic guitar. His curiosity in music lead him to explore playing other instruments throughout grade school, from piano to saxophone and from tuba to bassoon. Upon studying music in undergrad at Valdosta State University in Georgia he developed a passion for performing on the bassoon, bringing him to Chicago to study a master’s of music. Within a week of attending Roosevelt University he felt instantly like it was home. Not only from the thrilling experience of being in the conservatory atmosphere, but also by the morals of RU being one of the first social justice institutions. It is because of RU and CCPA that he feels he has found his identity of being a social justice warrior within music.
John plays bassoon with many of the premier community orchestras such as Lakeshore Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra both under the direction of Russell Vinick. He also regularly is a substitute bassoonist for professional orchestras in the far west suburbs such as Fox Valley Orchestra (Aurora.) He also premiered as a guest conductor at City Wide Symphony Orchestra in Jefferson Park, leading the orchestra to perform the third and fourth movement of Brahms’s third symphony.
His long-term goals are to play professionally in orchestras all over the country and teach applied lessons and a music course, or also conduct an ensemble at the collegiate level at a college or university.