Susan Hess is an avid teacher, coach and performer. With doctorate and bachelor's degrees from the University of Colorado and a master's degree from Florida State University, she joined the Colorado Mesa University faculty in 2014 after serving on the University of Idaho faculty for 16 years. Her principal teachers include William Winstead (Cincinnati Symphony), Robert Olson, John Wetherill (Indianapolis Symphony) and Ryohei Nakagawa (Tokyo Philharmonic).
Hess maintains an active performing schedule, recently performing with the Grand Junction Symphony, Mesa Winds, Rimrock Winds, Walla Walla Symphony, Mahler Festival, Boulder Bach Festival, Idaho Bach Festival, Spokane Symphony, Northwest Wind Quintet, Walla Walla Winds and Intermontane Bassoon Trio. She has also performed with artists such as Gunther Schuller, Christopher O'Reilly, Thomas Hampson, Jonathan Feldman, Zuill Bailey, Toni Tennille and the Moody Blues. Past engagements include Colorado Music Festival, Northwest Bach Festival, Vauxhall Baroque Consort (London), Cottonwood Chamber Music Festival, Boise Philharmonic, Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia.
Hess is passionate about teaching bassoonists of all ages. In addition to teaching at Colorado Mesa University, she has a thriving studio, Rimrock Bassoon Studio, in Grand Junction, and in the summers, she coaches and performs at the Midsummer Musical Retreat in Walla Walla, Wash., a unique and popular "summer camp for grown-ups."