Friday morning started bright and early with a wonderful offering of different pieces by clarinetists Deborah Bish, Shannon Scott, and Deborah Andrus. The concert was filled with different instrumentations and timbres and was sure to please even the sleepiest convention attendee!
Dr. Deborah Bish, Associate Professor of Clarinet at Florida State University, began the morning wish a rousing arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Her jazzy glissandos and rich timbre brought great excitement to the performance. Her collaborative pianist, Read Gainsford, played with richness, power, and wonderfully balanced balanced with Dr. Bish’s playing.
Next on the recital was Dr. Shannon Scott, Instructor of Clarinet and Music History at Washington State University, performing Ryan Hare’s Drei charakteristische Übungen. The work showcased a different clarinet for each of the three movements, so Dr. Scott had ample opportunity to play on E-flat clarinet, B-flat clarinet, and bass clarinet. The work had many different moods, alternating between soft and musing tones in the bass clarinet to strong flutter-tongue passages in the E-flat clarinet.
The recital ended with Dr. Deborah Andrus, Artist-Lecturer in clarinet at Moravian College, in conjunction with Nora Nohraku Suggs, a professional shakuhachi and flute performer. The work was an arrangement of a traditional Japanese tune, Shika no Tone, which depicts the embrace of two deer during the mating season. The shakuhachi was particularly noticeable, with a distinct timbre. Both performers, through the use of several music stands, came closer together throughout the work to depict the closeness of the deer. The balance between players was outstanding and the work was very memorable.
-Joel Auringer is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He currently maintains a private studio in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas metroplex, and will begin doctoral study at the University of North Texas in the fall.