Former students of Douglas Graham’s performing in his tribute recital.
Sunday morning, ClarinetFest was awakened by glorious sounds in the SOM Recital Hall with students of Douglas Graham presenting him with a tribute recital at 8:00 a.m. Graham served as principal clarinetist of the South Carolina Philharmonic and taught at the University of South Carolina.
The last movement of the Lalo Piano Trio was performed with LSU pianist Willis Delony. He was joined by Jeremy Cohen (clarinet) and Wendy Cohen (flute). Both played with beautiful depth of tone and a wonderfully expressive dynamic range. Delony played with great integrity and flowing lines.
David Gresham’s performance of Karel Husa’s Three Studies showed excellent execution of the clarinet techniques of the 20th century while maintaining lyricism and fun. Gresham took the third movement with a firm resolve!
Peregi Verbunk by Weiner was performed by Mark Brandon with Willis Deloney. These performances highlighted one of the strengths of Doug Graham’s teaching: evenness of tone.
Seven Deadly Sins by Goodwin for clarinet and marimba provided the audience with some humor at both the melodic features of the piece and the commentary from the composer. The brevity of the final movement brought about a chuckle from many in the audience. The piece was performed by John Bittle (clarinet) and Matthew Jones (marimba).
David Callaway performed Czardas by Monti. This was a fun and entertaining addition to the program, especially for an early Sunday morning.
Don’t be that Way was featured next and performed by Gary Buss and Willis Delony. Local audiences always love performances by Delony but this pair was a match made in heaven and allowed both performers to sparkle with a charming and comfortable style.
Canonic Suite for 4 B-flat clarinets
by Elliott Carter was performed as a mixed service member ensemble. Performers represented the Air Force, Army, and Navy. The ensemble had a strong finish to an absolutely charming piece.
Students of Douglas Graham combined to present their beloved mentor with a framed photo and message and a closing performance of I’ll be Seeing You, arranged for clarinets by Dick Goodwin. The program was beautifully organized and executed and was a moment of great pride and appreciation for Professor Graham.–Notes by Dr. Mary Alice Druhan
Dr. Mary Alice Druhan is the Associate Professor of Clarinet, Texas A&M University-Commerce and a Buffet performing artist.