The 1pm concert in Shaver Theater began with Catherine Wood and the Brandon University Clarinet Choir from Brandon, Manitoba (members include: Christopher Byman, Eric Calrow, Danning Chen, Alyssa English, Amanda Forest, Alexandra Harrington, Iris Hwang, Vanessa Klassen, Stevie MacPherson, Gregory Monias, Joelle Nielsen, and Preston Rocan). They opened the program with the U.S. premiere of Jeff Presslaff’s Subtranslucence. The work featured active parts for all players with several small solo moments throughout. Ensemble member Christopher Byman composed the second piece, Signs VII, which is based on the Zodiac sign Libra. The dense textures and thick harmony in both pieces worked well with the ensemble, which played with good balance and tone. They ended their set with Klezmer Suite – a fun set of two traditional pieces and one newly composed kelzmer piece that highlighted three student soloists.
The University of Delaware Clarinet Ensemble is directed by Christopher Nichols and includes members Caroline Aylward, Kourtney Bastianelli, Rachelle Dizon, Matthew Fischer, Eliza Goldman, Heather Heacock, Samantha Hitchell, Robin Lamel, Joanna McCoskey, Sarah Miller, and Samantha Romero. The two-part work Chorale and Danza by Vaclav Nelhybel displayed the ensemble’s versatility of styles, from the organ-like blend in the opening chorale to the rhythmic dance finale. Recent composition Summoning, by Michael Scott-Nelson, acted as a theme and variations on a 16th century chorale. Changes in the melodic treatment, tempo, style, and harmony kept the melody fresh through the whole piece. The concert concluded with the premiere of Anthony O’Toole’s Technodrone. The work opened energetically and made great use of the colors and articulations possible in a clarinet choir.
–Notes by Jennifer Tinberg
Jennifer Tinberg is currently Adjunct Clarinet Faculty at Troy University and a doctoral student at Florida State University.