Friday, January 11, 2013

My Tribe

This August, I had an amazing experience at ClarinetFest 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Because the focus of the conference was on Daniel Bonade and his student Robert Marcellus, this was the largest collection of people I had ever been with who were Marcellus students. There was also at least one student of Bonade, and many followers like me of the teachings of these two clarinet superstars. I met so many wonderful people who shared my love for the sound concepts of these artists the "Philadelphia School" or "American School" aesthetics. I truly felt like I had found my tribe!

The encouragement and enthusiasm from the audience at my presentation on Bonade and his students' sounds was a really special moment for me. It made me realize that clarinetists are really hungry to know more about our predecessors and what they can teach us, and that my research is something that is important to pursue more and share with others. Prompted by someone who urged me to put my presentation up on the internet, I promised the audience that I would try to do that. Afterwards, I realized that I should bring the presentation to other universities to share with the clarinet studios first, before I made it completely available on the internet. However, when I have the time (probably not until summer break), I plan to put portions of it up on the internet. Besides my own studio, I've presented it to the clarinetists at the University of Texas in Austin in October; and next week, I'll be presenting to the clarinet studio at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. I'm hoping to show it at more colleges this year when I can work this into my schedule. 

The Bonade reeds pictured above are from the stash of my first clarinet teacher, Stan George. He pulled them out for me to try out and photograph this summer. They look kind of duck-billed to me in shape. Can't say they are my favorites to play (pretty soft), but they worked pretty well on Stan's mouthpiece. 

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