Monday, June 28, 2010

Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium

Last weekend I performed at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium. What a wonderful experience on so many levels! For those that may not know, it is a three day symposium filled with performances, clinics and exhibits. The evening concerts included, among others, Stanley Drucker, the Chicago Trio, Dmitri Ashkenazy and Alessandro Carbonare. As you would imagine, all were exciting and inspiring performances.

The exhibits were open all day - Backun, Luyben, Woodwindiana, Muncy, WoodwindBrasswind, Buffet, Yamaha, Selmer, Rico...the list goes on and on! It was such fun to look through all the music, try instruments, mouthpieces, bells, barrels...I am not one to experiment too much with setup. I play what I like and don't change very often. But---this was fun!!

I performed on the final day with the MiamiClarinet Quartet. This group is actually sort of an offshoot of this blog. The quartet included Danielle Woolery, Teaching Assistant and Mancini Fellow at the University of Miami, Dr. Dawn McConkie Courtney, Professor of Clarinet at Emporia State University, and Dr. Michael Walsh, Professor of Clarinet at South Dakota State University. Dr. Courtney and Dr. Walsh are both former students of mine and hold degrees from the University of Miami. They were once my students, they are now my colleagues and friends.

For anyone interested in clarinet quartet repertoire, we played some great new works. The first was Nebulous by Derek Sherron. He is also a former student of mine, and holds a degree from the University of Miami. He is currently pursuing the Master's Degree in Composition at New England Conservatory. It is a three movement work that is exciting, intense, beautiful...a great piece. We also played an amazing work by Scott Stinson, Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of Miami. It is entitled Rage against the machine, and is incredibly exciting. It is scored for two Bb's and two Bass Clarinets, giving it great depth of range and color. We thought we would end by bringing a little Miami to Oklahoma and played an arrangement of mine, Miami Beach Rhumba.

In short, we had a blast and look forward to the next time we can get together. The Symposium was terrific and I urge you to check it out for next year. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend ICA in Austin in a few weeks but I hope many of you will be going. If so, add a comment, I would love to hear about it!

Happy summer,
Dr D