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Classical Happenings

Electric bassoonist rocks the national anthem in Indianapolis

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Musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
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Bassoonist Mark Ortwein performs the National Anthem before an Indiana Pacers game on May 11, 2021

If you went to see the Indiana Pacers play the Philadelphia 76ers this week, you witnessed an important moment in music history.

Bassoonist Mark Ortwein performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

According to Ortwein's YouTube post, this was the first time that the National Anthem was performed by an electric bassoon at an NBA game.

Watch his history-making performance below.

The Pacers defeated the 76ers 103 to 94.

Ortwein is on the music faculty of the University of Indianapolis and is assistant principal bassoon of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He's also principal bassoon of the Baroque on Beaver Festival Orchestra.

Ortwein is a founding member of Rock E Bassoon, an electric rock band that includes six bassoonists and a drummer. The ensemble has been featured on the Bob and Tom Show.