Hot News April 2004

Dr Connie Rhoades, Festival Director, Dr David Etheridge, and Andrea Cheeseman

Eastern Kentucky University Clarinet Choir

17 April 2004

 Eastern Kentucky University Clarinet Festival – Richmond, Kentucky  USA

The fourth Eastern Kentucky University Clarinet Festival, hosted by Connie Rhoades, Associate Professor of Clarinet at Eastern Kentucky University, and the EKU Clarinet Studio, was held on Saturday, April 17, 2004.  Attended by middle school, high school, and college-aged clarinetists, the EKU Clarinet Festival featured David Etheridge, Professor of Clarinet at the University of Oklahoma, and Andrea Cheeseman, Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Delta State University.

The Festival began with a host recital by Connie Rhoades which included Half Moon at Checkerboard Mesa for clarinet and CD by Phillip Bimstein, Capriccio for Solo Clarinet in A by Heinrich Sutermeister, Lamb of God by Twila Paris/Culpepper, and for clarinet and CD by Nikola Resanovic. 

Following the first clarinet choir rehearsal, the participants attended an outstanding reed masterclass given by David Etheridge.  During the masterclass, Dr. Etheridge discussed how to listen, diagnose, and adjust reeds so that they both respond and sound better.  The participants received very useful information from Dr. Etheridge.

After lunch, the participants attended a wonderful recital given by Andrea Cheeseman.  The recital began with Witold Lutoslawski's Dance Preludes  in which Dr. Cheeseman demonstrated wonderful contrasts in dynamics and style.  A Set for Clarinet by Donald Martino was followed by Weber's Concerto No. 2 in E flat Major which brought the recital to an exciting conclusion.  Following another clarinet choir rehearsal, David Etheridge performed a recital which included a variety of works.  The recital began with a beautiful rendition of Sonata in D Major by Nino Rota.  In the next selection, the Adagio and Rondo movements from Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet, Dr. Etheridge demonstrated the extremely soft dynamics which are possible on the clarinet as well as the technical virtuosity required to play the third movement. The recital concluded with Leonard Bernstein's Sonata.

The EKU Clarinet Festival ended late Saturday afternooon with a clarinet choir recital which included a performance of the participant's clarinet choir and the EKU Clarinet Choir.  The EKU Clarinet Studio is looking forward to hosting the fifth EKU Clarinet Festival which is scheduled for April 23, 2005.  For more information, please contact Connie Rhoades at (859)622-1342 or

Ohio University School of Music

Ohio Gala Faculty

Dr Richen in Recital

Richard Hawkins in Recital

Hawkins solo piece

Hawkins Master Class with student

Hawkins Student coaching

Randall Paul Reed-Making seminar

Rebecca Rischen with Student

Rischen demonstration

Ann Marie Bingham solo

Jane Ellsworth and Willam Conable in Duo

Clarinet Choir Reading session

Columbus Camerata Wind Quintet

Clarinet Choir reading

17 April 2004

Ohio University Clarinet Gala

Athens, Ohio  USA

       The 3rd Clarinet Gala was held with an intensive day of Master Classes, a Clarinet Choir Reading session, a Reed – Making seminar class, and two major solo and Potpourri recitals held that evening. Dr Rebecca Rischen, Associate Professor of Clarinet and Chair of the Woodwind Division, directed and actively participated as Soloist, Master Class Teacher, and directed the Clarinet Choir reading. Several known Clarinet Professors participated including, Ann Marie Bingham from Marshall University in West Virginia, Dr Randall Paul from Wright University in Ohio, William Bruce Curlette at Cedarville University in Ohio, Jane Ellsworth, Professor at Kenyan College, and the Columbus Camerata Wind Quintet.  Special guest Soloist and Master Class Teacher was Richard Hawkins, faculty at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and a well known artist/performer, having served on faculty at the Interlochen Arts Academy, a chamber music/ contemporary performer with the Cleveland Orchestra, and a frequent Clarinet soloist.  In addition, he is a master mouthpiece craftsman with his own array of mouthpieces, and is a woodwind design technician with G. Leblanc and Artist Clinician.  All performances were artist-class and some added items of interest made this Gala a standout, including a very well presented Reed-Making Class with Dr Randall Paul, where thorough explanation was presented on the  from scratch making of a reed and using a  DiLutis Reed Machine to duplicate the ‘model’ reed which can save a fortune in reed purchases. The model reed used here was a Legere synthetic #4, which produced a good average reproduction.  Of interest, Mr Hawkins uses the Legere reed as an all-out replacement for regular reeds, and the tone from the performance seemed no different, but without the  headaches and time involved to get a good reed and keep them playing. Every clarinetist should have a Légere reed as a backup and a model reed to copy.   The potpourri recital involving the above guest artists was diverse and interesting, covering chamber music and solo performance.  This Gala is held every year and includes artists of high stature, and encourages students and professionals to keep up with the performance/ teaching field.


Michigan State University School of Music

Dr Wes Broadnax, Musique 21 Conductor, Joan Tower, Elsa Verdehr, and Mike Getzin

Musique 21

Clarinet Quatredecet Ensemble

Musique 21 performance of John Adams Gnarly Buttons with Soloist John Bruce Yeh

Clarinet Duet Tower Fanfare

Eric Mandat Contemporary Recital of own works

Caroline Hartig in Recital

Richard Faria in Recital

Sonia Sielaff in Tower Clarinet Solo Wings

Turning Points Clarinet Quintet Master Class with Joan Tower, composer

Solo coaching

Joan Tower in music analysis

Dr Wes Broadnax, conductor and Joan Tower

Tower Clarinet Trio

Clarinet Contemporary Student, Alumni participants with Prof Elsa-Ludwig Verdehr and Composer Joan Tower

Informal gathering with MSU celebrities

Clarinet Quintet Turning Points

Musique 21

John Bruce Yeh discussing Adams work

3 April 2004

5th Contemporary Clarinet Festival

Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan USA

    On the campus of this major School of Music was held an extraordinary festival of Contemporary Music performed by Alumni and students under the directorship of the School’s Distinguished Professor of Music Dr Elsa Ludwig-Verdehr.  As professor of this school for the last 42 years, Dr Verdehr has set a major accomplishment in the commitment to the Clarinet pedagogic profession in producing an incredible number of successful students who have won major positions in Universities, Symphony Orchestras, many of whom appeared in concerts and recitals this week.  A major event had Joan Tower, a very prominent American woman composer, come as a guest in residence covering major works for Clarinet in coaching sessions and master classes.  Works of interest included her Clarinet Concerto, Wings for Solo Clarinet, a Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, and her Turning Points for Clarinet & Strings.   Those involved in these classes were well prepared which made the works very approachable to the participants. During this symposium, several world premieres of solo and chamber works were performed in recitals and major concerts.  Supporting ensembles included the Musique 21, conducted by Dr Wes  Broadnax in two performances, performing works of Joan Tower and John Adams, the last  concert featuring Clarinetist John Bruce Yeh, Associate Solo Clarinetist in the Chicago Symphony performing Gnarr Buttons for Soloist and Chamber Ensemble.   Michigan faculty member James Niblock premiered a new work for 14 Clarinets named Clarinet Quatredecater.   Of special interest in Contemporary performance was the work of Eric Mandat in a recital of his music involving multiphonic techniques with explanations and methods,   There were 2 Alumni Recitals and one Student Recital involving both undergraduate and graduate students.  Remarkable about this Festival is the high level of performance demonstrated by all the students and graduates, attesting to the solid training attained under Dr Verdehr’s mentorship.  This festival represents one of the highest standards witnessed at any event of its kind.


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Revised: October 13, 2007