Hot News December 2006

Spanish Clarinet Festival Activities, Master Classes, Seminars, and Concerts

22 -23 December 2006

 I Encuentro de Clarinete (First Clarinet Meeting), 

Valencia (Spain) 


CANYES XILEMA organized this event to bring Spanish Clarinetist new experiences and knowledge about their instruments, as well as displaying a variety of high quality products.  There were four Master Classes and we also had the opportunity of enjoying two concerts:


 Bass Clarinet & piano. Pedro Rubio (clarinet) and Ana Benavides (piano). They performed for the first time two pieces.
 The closing concert was interpreted by Ben Redwine, Cornelio Gomez, Javier Vilaplana, Emilio Tornero and Jose Vicente Herrera. 
Teachers who did the Master Classes:
    PEDRO RUBIO. -   Conference about Bass Clarinet.
Professor of Clarinet and Bass Clarinet at the Joaquin Turina Conservatory in Madrid, member of the executive committee of the Spanish Clarinet Society (ADEC) and President of the Spanish Bass Clarinet Society.
   OMAR HENDERSON. - Conference about taking care of the Clarinet.
   BENJAMIN REDWINE. -   Conference about mouthpieces.
   JOSE VICENTE HERRERA.-   Conference about reeds.
      Principal clarinetist of the Valencia Orchestra. 


Clarinet Day students

Stamitz Concerto rehearsal

Sharon Kam Class

Gil Class

Gil Shaked

Israel Chamber Orchestra

Antony Pay in class

Pay and Clarinet Ensemble

Gil Rinot with Period Clarinet

Period Clarinet tryout

Krommer Double Clarinet rehearsal

Stamitz Concerto and student

Israel Philharmonic's Richard Lesser with Finnish students

Tel Aviv Conservatory Plaque

23 December 2006

Clarinet Days -  Tel Aviv Conservatory

Tel Aviv, Israel

        Israeli clarinet students  are especially fortunate to have  an array of internationally known players visit and work with them each year. The seventh annual Clarinet Days, which was held in the Israel  Conservatory of Music, Tel Aviv between December 17 and 21,  offered to 45 students the opportunity of private lessons, ensembles, and master classes with a faculty including Antony Pay (London), Harri Maki (Helsinki), David Howard (Los Angeles), Gili Rinot (Israel-Holland), Sharon Kam (Israel ĖGermany), Richard Lesser, Mauricio Paez and Sarah Elbaz. The students were from Israel, Finland, Turkey, Italy. One of the highlights for the students was to rehearse and perform in ensembles together with the guest teachers. Sharon Kam coached and played with 7 students a charming arrangement from Mozartís Magic Flute, and Anthony Pay played with and conducted a student group performing an arrangement of Mozartís Abduction of the Seraglio and Gran Partita. Another highlight was the solo competition in which the winners were presented in concert, performing works by Mozart, Stamitz, Krommer and Crussel with the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the conductor Ishay Stekler. Both the ensembles concert and the winners of the soloist competiton concert were open to the public free of charge.

       The entire project of Clarinet Days was conceived by Sarah Elbaz, and is organized by her almost single-handedly. Sarah studied with Jacob Barnea and Richard Lesser in Israel, and with Mitchel Lurie in Los Angeles. She performs in Israel and abroad, and teaches at the Israel  Conservatory of Music and the Buchman-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv.   The course is sponsored by Jerusalem Music Center and America Israel Cultural Foundation.


MidWest Official Book

MidWest Hilton Christmas Tree


Friends, Mike Getzin and Ricardo Morales

Julian Bliss playing at display

Morrie Backun, Julian Bliss

LeBlanc display with Bliss and staff

Buffet displays

AirMax display

Bois Clarinet Ligature display

Sam Ash display

Legere Reeds display

Selmer Institute with Morales

Music Software

Chinese Touring Festival

23 December 2006

60th Anniverary Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic - 18 - 23 December

Chicago, Illinois USA

        This year hails the 60th year of this great annual event, with a huge attendance of over 25,000 participants, including Band and Orchestra Directors from both the professional and Music Education areas, 650 Industry Exhibitors representing the entire Music field, including Publishers, Computer Music Software firms, Instrument firms including manufacturers, Retail firms supplying the nationwide market including Public and Private Schools, Colleges and Universities, and accessory firms covering the range across the board on all instruments.   The website details all the events haven taken place, with major events of near Historic importance occurring almost every day.  Details of the high points are mentioned throughout this summary.

       As with each year, the Special and Premiere Military Bands are represented in concert and in Exhibition, the USAF Band featured this year.  Other ensembles included the US Navy Commodores, a Brass Quintet from the US Marine Band, and a Chamber Winds Ensemble from the US Coast Guard Band.   Gallery photos above represent the scope and opportunity available to young people thinking of getting a professional start and maybe a career in the Band Programs.  The WKA Performing Organization List Page lists all the Military Bands with links so folks can find out about programs and vacancies. 

          A very special interview was held with legendary USAF Band Commander retired Colonel Arnald Gabriel, where during this session the full house crowd of Band Directors heard about his illustrious career, including his wartime past in World War II where he was decorated as a war hero, a fact many knew nothing about.  Of special interest as his music career developed after the war, Gabriel is credited with having built up to the world-class level the USAF Band he commanded for 21 years.  Many in the Band field consider him a hero, and he explained some of the very important recipes for success of a Band program, the most important of which is to reach out and get people outside the Band involved, as a guest, promoter, soloist, including people of influence in the community.  This suggests political interaction to get the mission done, but in fact that is important strategy to make a program strong.  Of special interest to Clarinetists, after the seminar was over and we spoke, we talked about the Klar/Fest program started in 1981 and 82, of which I was Director, and how the USAF Band was a major part of the success of the Festivals.  Stanley Drucker, Solo Clarinetist in the New York Philharmonic, and wife Naomi, along with Ignatious Gennusa from the Baltimore Symphony, Allen Sigel from the Buffalo Philharmonic, Michelle Zukovsky from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Eddie Daniels, Jazz great, and Loren Kitt from the National Symphony in Washington, were all involved as soloists under Colonel Gabriel's conducting the USAF Band in 81, and the USAF Orchestra in 82.    This is all a tribute to his outreach to advance the performance field and bring inspiration to everyone in contact with him.  After the Klar/Fest 81 festival finished, the 4 soloists with the Band (Druckers, Sigel, and Gennusa) performed gratis with the Band the next day at their weekly Jefferson Memorial Summer Concert, which further gives tribute to this great man. 

Dr Janice Minor

Introduction of Class

Demonstration on teaching Clarinet to beginner


       There were two important Clarinet seminars given, one by Professor Charles West from Virginia Commonwealth University, in which he spoke about tone production and position, air speed and control, and many other fundamental points of importance. Demonstration was constant and questions were encouraged and addressed.  Above gallery photos outline the content of this session.     Dr Janice Minor, Professor at James Madison University in Harrisionburg gave a seminar : Clarinet 1,2,3, - Clarinet 101 making emphasis on fundamental teaching of beginners and advancing students through a Band Program.  Working with teachers from the audience demonstrated what had to be covered.   Both sessions were packed with over 300 people each and well presented.

Dallas Wind Symphony

Symphony with John Corigliano

Dallas conductor introducing Corigliano

Musashino Academica Wind Ensemble

Weber Solo Clarinet Section

Oregon Symphonic Band

Central Michigan University Chamber Winds- Mozart Gran Partita

Monterey Jazz Festival

McCadden Middle School Band

Downbeat Jazz

         As every year, selected Bands and Orchestras are invited to perform, and special recognition goes to groups with remarkable performance.   The Musashino Academica Wind Ensemble from Japan performed to professional standard for a College ensemble, with the majority of the players, including the entire Clarinet section being women.  One special treat was performance of the Rondo of the Weber Clarinet Quintet Op 34 with the Clarinet section in unison and memorized.  Performance took the audience by surprise and stunned most of the 3000 students in the hall.     The Dallas Wind Symphony gave 2 concert sets, to professional standard, with one concert dedicated to the performance of a recent Band work named Circus Maxima by John Corigliano, who was present and explained the work and its design.  Performance was at the incredible edge and surely was a work many directors want to perform in their programs. As can be well noted, the Service Bands gave stunning performances, and each year a different Band appears as a main feature.  These groups are the role models for young aspiring players and Directors alike.    Not to forget Mozart's 250th Birth Anniversary, the Central Michigan University Chamber Winds performing the Grand Partita K 361.    

      As mentioned many times before, this is a mecca festival not to be missed.  One meets friends from years back and the great pros to aspire to.  The next Festival is posted on their site for December 2007.



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Revised: October 13, 2007