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April 2011 Hot News - from 1st to 17 April 2011


16th to 17th April 2011


Karl Leister - Solo Klarinettist Emeritus Berliner Philharmoniker, International Soloist and Chamber Music Artist; Honorary Member, Royal Academy of Music, London, UK

 "Els Poblets (Alicante) Spain

First International Clarinet Meeting with Karl Leister 
From 16th to 17th April 2011 was held the First International Clarinet Meeting with Karl Leister at 
Auditorium "Els Poblets (Alicante). The Meeting was attended by JM Santandreu, clarinetist and 
pianist, Christian A. Esteve Zinsser, professors of the Conservatory of Utiel (Valencia).  
In this event, there were professors from Conservatory of Tarragona, Reus, Galicia, Granada, 
Murcia, Ciudad Real, so professionals and students from Galicia, Valencia and Alicante, which they 
could share experiences, both musical and personal, of the Maestro. 
The event was organized by “Els Poblets” WindBand and Council of the City, being sponsored by 
Clemenete Pianos, Bancaja, Xilema Reeds and Sanganxa Music Store. They also collaborated with 
a magnificent exhibition of products, such as their mouthpieces, reeds, barrels, CD's, etc ... and 
Sanganxa Music Store with an exhibition of the best brands clarinets, presented by Miguel Angel 
From the desire and the sense of sharing and disseminating experiences and professional music, 
Wind Band "Els Poblets" and Council of Els Poblets present this new project based on the idea of 
starting a series of musical encounters with international artists and extensive musical career.  
It aims to provide an extraordinary experience with world-class teachers who bring their experiences, 
expertise, recordings, advice, and above all, the concept of music from the score reflected. The next 
meeting will have the collaboration of JM Santandreu, player and professor of clarinet, and Christian 
A. Esteve Zinsser, as accompanist. They have a national and international training and extensive 
career, both as professors and courses, as performers in concert halls and recordings.  

13 - 16 April 2011

Clarimania Festival, Jan Jakub Bokun, Director

Wroclaw, Poland


9 April 2011

Ohio University Clarinet Gala with Guest Artist Dr Scott Wright (University of Kentucky) - Dr Rebecca Rischin, Director

Athens, Ohio USA

         The annual Clarinet Gala hosted by Dr Rebecca Rischin was held with a good turnout of students and teachers from throughout Ohio and other states.  Guest Artist included Dr Scott Wright from the University of Kentucky who gave a recital and a lighthearted Master Class to four students covering varied repertoire and dealing with their specific issues. An important idea instilled to the students was flexability in style and getting out of a caste too often instilled in classically trained players.  Mention was made of jazz greats such as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Eddie Daniels and the like and how their openness has made them great.  Communication with the audience was a key idea brought across.       Dr Rischin the next session at her class covered fundamentals with junior students and a future grad student covering how to play accurately and dealing with their developmental needs.  There was something to learn from both sessions regardless of your level.

  A Clarinet Choir reading session was held for all who came covering standard works and transcriptions which was fun for all attending, conducted by Dr Rischin.  After this session there was a class covering reed making by Lacey Stokes, a Clarinetist with the USAF Heritage Band from Langley, Virginia.  As the gallery shows, she laid on a table for all to see equipment including various reed tube cutting tools, a Reedual duplicator which was demonstrated with after the make try to see how things worked.  Session was very useful and made students think about how these made reeds compare to commercially bought reeds for consistency and longer life.

8 April 2011

Sergeant First Class John Parrette, in his last Solo appearance as Soloist and Solo Clarinetist in the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, New York before Retirement, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Keene, Commander,  performing the Wilson 'Liquid Ebony' for Clarinet and Winds under Guest Conductor Dr. Wesley J. Broadnax as part of the Conducting Workshop and Great American Works Concert 2011 held through 8 April 2011

West Point, New York USA

           A major Conducting week was hosted by the USMA Band at West Point with Legend Guest Frank Battiste, who worked with several selected upcoming Band Directors in preparation for a Grand Concert the last day of this Conference.  A major item of importance was the last Soloist appearance of the Band's Principal Clarinetist Sergeant First Class John Parrette in performance of Dana Wilson's  'Liquid Ebony' for Solo Clarinet and Winds, a work originally for Clarinet and Piano commissioned by Larry Combs, a veteran of this Band from 1967, and recently retired as Solo Clarinetist in the Chicago Symphony.   Combs premiered the Wind version 3 years ago with this Band as part of the West Point Clarinet Summit. Information about this Festival Conference is below.

           "Great American Works" was presented by the West Point Band during a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eisenhower Hall.

Energetic works, including "Mambo" from "West Side Story" by Leonard Bernstein, was conducted by Band Director Lt. Col. Jim Keene, and a moving piece, "Symphony for Band" by Vincent Persichetti, was led by Frank Battisti, guest conductor. The concert is the culmination of a Conducting Workshop led by Battisti, who is founder and conductor of the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble.

            The evening featured some of the nation's new conducting talents, including Wesley J. Broadnax, Benjamin Chamberlain, Lauren Heller, Benjamin Lorenzo, Richard Henebry and Anthony Marinello. While these are all new names and faces to West Point's regular concertgoers, Sgt. 1st Class John Parrette is not. As the band's principal clarinetist since 1996, who started his musical life with his father, who also served with the West Point Band, he's been very visible. Friday's concert will mark Parrette's final solo performance with the band as he is retiring this summer. We wish him well.

            Sergeant First Class John Parrette, principal and section leader, received his Bachelor of Music with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with Peter Hadcock.  Originally from Kansas City, he began his studies with his father, who also served with the West Point Band.  SFC Parrette has been with the Military Academy Band since 1987 and assumed the position of principal clarinetist in 1996.  He has made numerous solo appearances with the band, including the 2001 North American premiere of Martin Ellerby’s Clarinet Concerto.  He has also performed many of his own arrangements with the band, including Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Sinfonia Concertante.  SFC Parrette is a founding member of the Academy Wind Quintet and the Academy Clarinet Quartet.  John Parrette is an Artist Officer VIP with the World Clarinet Alliance.

            The West Point Concert Band is a direct descendant of the small Band of Musick that had assembled at West Point by 1817.  The modest twenty-piece military band of that era has evolved into the 48-member wind band of today.  Over the years, the Concert Band has earned the reputation of being among the finest of its kind in the world.  The band’s events annually attract thousands of visitors to the academy to hear the finest in new and traditional concert band literature. 

          The Concert Band has a history marked with several world-class performances and close associations with renowned composers.  Percy Grainger, one of the first composers to fully utilize the unique instrumentation of the wind ensemble (other than to substitute for orchestral instruments), often called upon the band at West Point to proofread his new compositions.  Additionally, Mr. Grainger appeared as a soloist with the band on several occasions between 1937 and 1951. In 1940, the Concert Band premiered Mr. Grainger’s work Hill Song #2.  The band also enjoyed its relationship with American composer and conductor Morton Gould.  His 1952 contribution to the sesquicentennial of the United States Military Academy, Symphony for Band, commissioned by the Concert Band, still stands as a staple in the contemporary wind band repertoire.

          The West Point Band performs concerts, ceremonies, and at athletic events for the U.S. Corps of Cadets.  It can also be heard around the Greater Hudson Valley, New York City, and throughout the United States.   Over the band's 193-year history, it has performed for numerous U.S. Presidents, Heads of State, and foreign dignitaries.   The West Point Band recently received the Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence for Military Concert Bands.   The West Point Band is regularly invited to participate in high-profile events around the Northeastern United States. In April 2009, the West Point Band performed the National Anthem at the first home game in the new Yankee Stadium.

          Some of the major concert venues the West Point Band has performed include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, at Tanglewood, and the Meyerson Symphony Center.  The band is pleased to reconnect with the New York Philharmonic collaborating on Musical Fireworks events in July of 2008, and on a New York Philharmonic Brass holiday concert in December of 2009 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.  

          At Carnegie Hall, the West Point Band premiered Morton Gould's Symphony for Band, conducted by Gould, in celebration of the U.S. Military Academy's sesquicentennial in 1952.  Fifty years later, the band returned to Carnegie Hall to celebrate the Academy's bicentennial with selected works from more than 35 commissions that honored the 200-year tradition.  Composers who wrote for that project include Samuel Adler, Eric Ewazen, Donald Grantham, Joseph Turrin, and James Kimo Williams.

        The West Point Band's popular concert series attracts thousands to West Point each year for displays of world class musical talent.   Recent artists to perform with the West Point Band include Joseph Alessi (principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic), Jay Ungar and Molly Mason (Grammy-winning folk duo who performed music on Ken Burns The Civil War), Larry Combs (principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a West Point Band alumnus), Caissie Levy (Broadway and L.A. Wicked star),  John McDermott (PBS - The Irish Tenors), Lea Salonga (Les Miserables and Miss Saigon), and Philip Smith (principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic).  Check your local PBS TV station and look for Marina at West Point: Unity through Diversity.   The West Point Band and Cadet Glee Club performed a variety of musical styles with pianist Marina Arsenijevi

8 April 2011

Stanley Drucker honored guest at New York City Board of Education Music Teachers at their Workshop Day

New York City USA

2 April 2011

Iowa Clarinet Day at Simpson College - Dr Gregory Oakes, Director

Indianola, Iowa USA

             On April 2, clarinetists from all over Iowa as well as Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio converged in Indianola for Iowa Clarinet Day 2011. This year's guest artist, Michele Gingras (professor of clarinet, Miami University of Ohio), gave a spirited master class as well as a clinic on playing klezmer clarinet. Her recital charted a gradual evolution of pieces from romantic to klezmer with cameo appearances by Iowa Clarinet Day organizers Gregory Oakes and Cynthia Doggett.

             A potpourri recital earlier in the day featured clarinet quartet and quintet music with appearances by the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble and Maurita Murphy Mead's University of Iowa Clarinet Quartet. The other Iowa Clarinet Day organizers, Clarence Padilla and Kariann Voigts, performed as well as Daniel Friberg, Jesse Krebs, Daniel Sheridan, Joyce Wheeler, and Jeremy Wohletz. There were masterclasses by Voigts and Krebs as well as a clinic on extended techniques by Oakes and Wohletz.

           Representatives of Vandoren, Rico, Buffet, and Yuan Gao displayed their wares for clarinetist to try. The vendor area sounded like a warm-up room for an audition! Lots of free things for people to sample and instruments and accessories to try.

           Iowa Clarinet Day 2011 had its best attendance to date, and plans for 2012 are already in the works. Stay tuned.

Troy University (Alabama) Clarinet Day - Dr Timothy Phillips and Dr Katrina Phillips, Directors held 2 April 2011

The Fourth Annual Troy University Clarinet Day in Troy, Alabama was hosted by Dr. Timothy Phillips, Assistant Professor of Clarinet on April 1st and 2nd, 2011. Sponsors included Buffet Crampon USA, Vandoren, Rico Reeds, and the Troy Arts Council.

                The clarinet studio at Troy University was delighted to spend time with Gabor Varga, Principal Clarinetist of the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, on the morning of April 1st. Varga gave a master class to students who played works by Hoffmeister, Stravinsky and Weber and made notable improvement after receiving his advice.

                That evening the official event began with the Faculty and Guest Artist Recital, held in Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy University campus. Yasmin Flores, Assistant Professor of Clarinet from the University of North Alabama, performed the La Traviata fantasy by Donato Lovreglio. Next, Troy University faculty members Timothy Phillips and T. Adam Blackstock, percussion, premiered the Meditation on the Nature of Kali by their colleague, composer Traci Mendel. This was followed by a spirited performance by the Busan Clarinet Quartet from South Korea, which featured a version of the theme from the movie “The Terminal” with Gabor Varga as soloist. After the intermission, Gabor Varga performed three Homages by Bela Kovacs with great flair. This was followed by Alcides Rodriguez, the bass clarinetist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, whose colorful performance of Chausson’s Andante et allegro was quite astounding. The recital concluded with J. David Harris, the Professor of Clarinet from the University of Illinois. His solid performance of the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Leonard Bernstein was fantastic.

High school students from Alabama, Georgia and Florida joined together along with college students from Troy University to play clarinet choir music, which would be worked on throughout the day interspersed with informative master classes. J. David Harris presented a master class where works by Baermann, Mozart and Arnold were performed. Harris encouraged students to think carefully about clarinet fundamentals while trying to bring the essence out of the music. His class was thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.

Saturday afternoon began with a very enlightening presentation by Wolfgang Lohff, instrument repair and acoustics specialist from Copenhagen, Denmark. In this class, Lohff talked about the importance of keeping one’s clarinet in good condition and having the pads and springs checked by an accredited specialist on a regular basis. His analogies explaining air loss in a leaky clarinet to gas loss in a car with a leaky gas tank resonated with the students. He also mentioned that silver plated keys are more common in Europe than in the United States. He even mentioned that in some European countries, it is illegal to sell nickel plated items. This caused surprise among some attendees. After Wolfgang’s class, students had an opportunity to try the vast array of clarinets Wolfgang had brought with him.

                Alcides Rodriguez gave the final master class of the day. In this class, students played works by Weber and Rabaud. Alcides spoke with a soft voice, yet every person in attendance hung on his every word. He discussed the importance of listening to the piano part while playing, and he urged students to consider the historical context of a work before developing an interpretation. His class was well received and students enjoyed his demonstrations as well as his verbal guidance.

                The Fourth Annual Troy University Clarinet Day ended with a final concert including performances by the Troy University Clarinet Choir, the Busan Clarinet Quartet, Alcides Rodriguez, Gabor Varga, and the combined clarinet choir including all in attendance. A highlight of the Troy University Clarinet Choir performance was Felix Mendelssohn’s Concert Piece No. 2 featuring soloists J. David Harris and Katrina Phillips (who also teaches clarinet at Troy University). The Busan Clarinet Quartet delighted the audience with their performance of lighthearted works with a Latin feel, and a fun version of American Patrol. Alcides Rodriguez played a bass clarinet version of the Hommage to Manuel de Falla by Bela Kovacs and Gabor Varga performed the Sonata for Solo Clarinet by Tiberiu Olah. The concert concluded with several selections performed by the mass clarinet choir. Useon Choi, a member of the Busan Clarinet Quartet and an important contributor to Clarinet Day, conducted two of the selections with the mass clarinet choir.

                The Fourth Annual Troy University Clarinet Day was a tremendous success from every vantage point. All clarinetists in the South should consider coming to the Fifth Annual Troy University Clarinet Day in the spring of 2012.

2 April 2011

Ithaca College (New York) Enduring Masters Clarinet Day with Stanley Drucker,  Dr Michael Galvin and Dr Richard Faria, Directors 

Ithaca, New York USA

            A very special Clarinet Day was held this past Saturday at one of the finest Clarinet Studios in the United States, headed by Artist Faculty Dr Michael Galvin and Dr Richard Faria, with a large number of superlatively advanced and professionally prepared students, all 30 of them.  The level of playing was outstanding for each of the students who were critically coached by Dr Drucker.   The very first student, Brenden Lucas, who came very prepared the McAllister Black Dog, performed with incredible authority, and was critically scoped in every aspect of the work, which unknown to him and the others present, is that Dr Drucker has already recorded the work and knew it like no one could expect.  Much time was spent in reviewing this piece.    Another advanced student played the Rosza Sonatina for Solo Clarinet with the same attention to detail and expansion of musical horizon.    The other students who played covered important Orchestra audition works.  The afternoon session was eye opening for all who came. 

          The evening concert included standard recital works as the program indicates on the above galleries.   The collaboration between Drucker and faculty artist Pianist Jennifer Hayghe was electric without a miss throughout the recital.    The students and Ithaca music community were very fortunate to have such a legend performance here.   Dr Drucker has been very performance/teaching active since his momentous New York Philharmonic retirement two years ago as he is as or more busy than before.  Below is a highly recommended week for all students to consider as Mr Drucker is on faculty here along with the other top-flight players and teachers.  Application deadline is 15 May 2011.



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Revised: May 11, 2011