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Clay Zeller-Townson is the founder of Ruckus. He is a bassoonist and educator based between Vermont and New York City.


He plays with the leading period instrument ensembles in North America including: Tafelmusik, The Handel and Haydn Society, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists and Musica Angelica.


He has produced and premiered many new works for early instruments. From 2011-2016 he taught at The North Carolina Governor’s School as Instrumental Music Faculty. He has given coachings on performance practice, masterclasses and lessons at New England Conservatory, UCLA, The Colburn School, The University of Missouri and The Eastman School of Music.


Clay was born in Nova Scotia, raised in eastern North Carolina, and found his way to the baroque bassoon by way of the tenor saxophone. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and Performer’s Certificate from The Eastman School of Music, a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School and the Advanced Certificate in Music Education from CUNY-Brooklyn College.


Extremely passionate about rural arts education, Clay teaches around 100 K-8 general music students part-time in the Stamford and Readsboro, Vermont public schools.

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