John Schroder was the second bassoon player of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for 45 years until he retired. His wife, Julie, has also retired from playing and teaching the flute.

On John’s side you can find out how he plays the bassoon, with techniques, tips, hints, and eccentricities! It may not be the best way or the way that you do it, but it is “My Way”. This is where you find out how I play quiet bottom notes, find hints on slurring and on using your tongue – including double tonguing. I show how I count bars rest and my reed box. There is a page on how I get my reeds to work by measuring them and how I support my bassoon. I have a large section on fingerings for you to try which should be easy to understand since it is displayed graphically.

If these pages don’t help or you have any suggestions, please send me a message.

There is a page on my last CBSO bassoon section and another with some quotes of conductors while rehearsing with the us.

Where? is a picture guessing game. We show some photos that we have taken over the years and have a guessing game with anyone that wants to play. (Photo uploaded July 2023.)

On Julie’s side there is the story of her late father, Trevor Greenwood, who commanded a tank in the Second World War. He wrote frequent letters to his wife and also kept a diary which provides a unique view of the action. Trevor Greenwood’s war diary is now available as a book published by Simon and Schuster in association with the Imperial War Museums.

People sometimes ask Julie for copies of her recipes and here she shares some of them so everyone can enjoy them.

On 28th July 2005 Moseley (where we live) experienced a tornado. Here are some pictures that we took of the aftermath.

If you have any difficulties viewing any of our web site or if you notice any mistakes or broken links then please send us a message.

We are both interested in geology and are members of the Black Country Geological Society. Julie edits their Newsletter and John is their webmaster. We have helped Ruth Siddall with 3 building stones trails for Birmingham. Ruth has produced many trails for London (see her Urban Geology website) and her Birmingham trails can now be found on the Black Country Geological Society’s website. Our latest project is on Birmingham’s glacial erratic boulders (see the project website: This is a National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project and is run by a partnership of BCGS, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust and The Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham.

John also is the webmaster for the Community Conservation Champions. They are a loosely knit group of volunteers who are actively involved in the maintenance and public promotion of 19 geological sites spread across the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Another website that John has taken over is El Ultimo Tango. El Ultimo Tango is a quintet created by Eduardo Vassallo (an old friend and colleague), Section Leader Cello of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, in 2002.