Category Archives: Day 4

Think Outside the Concert Hall: Building your Musical Enterprise with Kliment Krylovskiy

Kliment Krylovskiy of the Zodiac Trio and Zodiac Music Academy & Festival led an evocative class on entrepreneurship.  With a background in PR and marketing, his thoughts on building an artistic presence were especially compelling.  “Every performance, no matter how big or small, should be seen as an opportunity to remind the musical community that you exist.”  Krylovskiy personally does this with visually appealing  newsletter that he sends to an extensive mailing list he’s built over the years.  He also recommended maintaining a regular website, using social media, and using traditional press releases with media outlets. These forms of communication should be used to inform your audience anytime something beneficial happens for you (aside from a press release).  This will keep you constantly in the mind of others, exactly where you want to be.

Another important aspect is your performance reputation.  To expand a performance schedule musicians should seek out venues (churches, community centers, libraries, unique spaces, etc), apply to perform at showcases (such as CMA), contact presenters using the Musical America database, contact presenters from other artists’ schedules, and self-produce concerts.  One way this can be done is through collaboration.  Collaborating with composers can be an artistically fulfilling experience as well as leading to artistic residencies.  Setting a long-term goal or project for yourself could also be another tactic to expand your schedule.  This could include anything from having a concert series to hosting a summer festival.

As your organization grows, Krylovskiy highly encouraged developing educational programming.  Many grants are offered for community programming, and in his experience, often times groups with at least some educational initiative will be  chosen to perform at a festival or showcase over an ensemble who focuses solely on artistic endeavors.  In a very practical sense, educational programming is a way to insure you have a future audience, add income, and make yourself more marketable to presenters.

–Notes by Melissa Morales
Melissa Morales is a master’s student at DePaul University studying with Julie DeRoche and Larry Combs.  She currently teaches at The People’s Music School and performs with The Candid Concert Opera’s Orchestra Nova and the Chicago Symphonic Winds.


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Buffet Crampon Gala Concert

10556216_857259564285448_2699921473091380692_n[2]On the final evening at ClarinetFest 2014, we enjoyed incredible works for clarinet and orchestra.  Alcides Rodriguez and Gabor Varga give a jovial opening to the concert playing Krommer’s Concerto for Two Clarinets and Orchestra, Op. 35.  With bubbling lines and a beautiful blend, the duo played with poise and grace. The two clarinetists displayed great sensitivity to throughout the second movement, playing with great control and intonation over a subdued Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.

Following was Ralph Skiano with his poignant interpretation of Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsodie.  The clarinet weaved its way in and around the orchestra with incredible ease, wafting through elongated phrases and impish flourishes.  In these moments the interplay between soloist and and the orchestra’s principal winds was delightful, particularly with the oboist.

Taking the stage, Greg Raden performed Weber’s Concerto No. 1.  His first note stilled the room with his pure sound floating high above the orchestra.  The third movement was lively with delicate inflections and a variety of colors which made for a lovely contrast between themes.

Antonio Saiote gave a lively performance of Canongia’s Clarinet Concert No. 3 in E-flat.  With wild technical demands, Saiote took command of the stage and played with abandon.  Taking some artistic license, his virtuosic performance of Canongia’s work was a memorable performance from the night.

In a last-minute change of performers, Robert DiLutis took the stage instead of the programmed David Drosinos to perform Ben-Haim’s Pastoral Variee for Clarinet, Harp and Strings.  A consummate professional and profound musician, none would have assumed he was not the originally programmed artist.  In many respects, it was the most impressive performance of the evening.

A full, lush string section cued the start of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, and the final piece of the evening. Paul Cigan delivered an inspiring performance of our cornerstone work.  His pianos seemed to draw you in, peering into intimate moments of repose.

–Notes by Melissa Morales
Melissa Morales is a master’s student at DePaul University studying with Julie DeRoche and Larry Combs.  She currently teaches at The People’s Music School and performs with The Candid Concert Opera’s Orchestra Nova and the Chicago Symphonic Winds.

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Lagniappe Recital: Lulich-Luzembourg Duo

This recital of all contemporary music provided a wide variety of styles within the modern medium. Benjamin Lulich of Cal State – Fullerton performed Five Easy Pieces by Bacewicz, which turned out to be not so aptly named. Lulich’s fast tempos provided for a lively interpretation. As a special treat Lulich performed the second movement of Lutoslawski’s Dance Preludes.  This charming and recognizable movement was performed with great energy and style.

One of the highlights of all the conference performances was the Luxembourg Duo. Sebastien Duguet (clarinet) and Simone Weber (bass clarinet) began their portion of the program with Meeting by Alfred Prinz. From Ms. Weber’s first note, I was struck by her carefully shaped and beautifully refined bass playing. Each note took on special meaning. Sebastien Duguet executed the work’s many dangerously high entrances with grace and perfection. His smooth connections between wide intervals were especially noted in the first movement of Gunther Schuller’s Duo Sonata. Duguet masterfully performed the tricky arpeggiated flourishes of the second movement. Jonathan Russell’s KlezDuo finished this portion of the program, a tasty work more understated than most of his compositions for various clarinet ensembles. The Luxembourg Duo presented this work with great authentic style, yet had a refinement not often heard in the Klezmer setting. The extremely high level of communication demonstrated by this duo throughout the program was thrillingly evident during the last note of their performance — a tremolo that started slow, sped up, and ended perfectly together, with exact synchronization. The performers achieved this feat by facing each other and following the movement of their fingers. Bravo Luxembourg Duo for a spell-binding performance!

–Notes by Melissa Bowles Snavely
Melissa Bowles Snavely holds degrees in performance and music education from The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins, Shenandoah Conservatory, and James Madison University. She currently teaches and performs in the Washington DC area.

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Body Mapping as Teaching Tool – Dr. Jessica Lindsey

lindseyDr. Lindsey gave a thoughtful, entertaining, and informative presentation with useful tools for teachers of all student levels.  She covered four main areas: clarinet-specific approaches to body mapping,  jargon, incorporation of body mapping in teaching, and how to become a licensed Andover Educator (a body mapper).  Perhaps the most helpful, Dr. Lindsey discussed the concept of the body map — the brain’s concept of personal physical structure.  Injury occurs when the map doesn’t match the anatomical structure.  She demonstrated this through audience activities namely locating the Atlas Occiput or AO joint, and through discovering awareness of movement.  She concluded her lecture with helpful tips on how to incorporate body lindsey2mapping into teaching.  Namely, through enabling fluid finger function (natural curve of hand, movement from the back of the knuckle, and understanding the relation of the finger/hand/arm to the clarinet) through the awareness of the motion of the wrist.  She encouraged exploration of the hand position in front and behind of the clarinet, and strongly advocated discovering a relationship, not a place for the fingers.  Through discovering a relationship, the musician can better understand and create quality movement.

For more information, Dr. Lindsey suggested exploring, and contacting her directly with any further questions.

–Notes by Nora Shaffer
Nora Shaffer, a recent DePaul University graduate (CER ‘14, MM ‘12), is a passionate performer and dedicated teacher in the ChicagoLand area.  Additionally, she is Principal and E-flat Clarinetist with the Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet.  

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Lagniappe Recital: Ackerman-Phillips-Carter

Phil&friendsThe first performer on this morning’s concert was Timothy Phillips (Troy University), accompanied by Adam Blackstock (marimba) with Lisa Canning conducting a pop-up interview prior to his performance. It was most interesting to hear about his work in developing the Troy Clarinet Day, and through his recently syndicated radio show, Clarinet Corner (episodes currently available online via soundcloud at Phillips performed an interesting work inspired by Sylvia Plath’s poetry for clarinet and marimba. Originally for saxophone and marimba, the composer, L.Mark Lewis, adapted it at Dr. Phillips’ request. The first movement was a real romp, featuring excited marimba playing by Adam Blackstock. Phillips sounded particularly lovely in the second movement, as his first entrance seemed to effortlessly emerge from the marimba sound. The unusual pairing of these instruments was really interesting and enjoyable. The mellowness of the marimba truly complimented and supported Phillips’ dynamic clarinet playing.

The final piece, Hietor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras, was performed by David and Angela Carter (both of the Tulsa Symphony), with Katherine White (mezzo soprano), Ricardo Coelho de Souza (vibraphone) and Christine Souza (marimba). This interesting instrumentation brought this familiar piece to new life. Particularly of note was the sensitive playing by David Carter (clarinet), and the lovely support and leading of the bass line by Angela Carter (bass clarinet). Their sounds melded together well, sounding as one. Throughout both movements, the great interplay of parts and excellent communication between performers was appreciated.

–Notes by Nora Shaffer
 Nora Shaffer,  a recent DePaul University graduate (CER ‘14, MM ‘12), is a passionate performer and dedicated teacher in the ChicagoLand area. Additionally, she is Principal and E-flat Clarinetist with the Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet.

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Breathing Life into the Clarinet – Dr. Shawn Copeland

Dr. Copeland led a workshop on breathing and the body with the audience up on their feet, participating in awareness exercises.  The first exercise focused on awareness of the body and how change of focus and attention affected breathing.  At first, Dr. Copeland had the audience stand with closed eyes and focus only on breathing, reminding the audience to be aware of “the space above your head, and the space behind your back.”  Gradually, he had the audience open their eyes and transition from focusing on one person, to several, to widening their attention to the entire room.  Through this exercise, he demonstrated that breathing is easily and dramatically changed through lessened focus on the space of the self.  He encouraged the audience to always remember that “I have space”– space to move in, space to breathe in, space simply to exist!

Following the first exercise, Dr. Copeland gave a detailed lecture on the anatomy from a Body Mapping standpoint.   Dr. Copeland explained the body map as a physical and literal map of locations and interactions within the body.  These maps influence all body motion, and are continually evolving and changing as the body develops. Occasionally, however, the maps don’t “update,” which leads to injuries.  Dr. Copeland stressed that “the quality of the map influences the quality of the movement.  The quality of the movement affects the quality of the sound.”

Dr. Copeland shared a multitude of helpful anatomical and diagnostic information about the body, specifically related to posture (spine/arm/clavicle curvature and alignment) and breathing (shape, length, and function of the lungs).  Throughout this discussion he consistently advocated getting the mind out of the way and allowing the body to do what it is built to do, stating that “if the intention is clear, the breathing will automatically regulate.”

For more information, clarinetists can look for Dr. Shawn Copeland’s soon-to-be-published book, What Every Clarinetist Needs to Know About the Body (GIA).

–Notes by Nora Shaffer
 Nora Shaffer,  a recent DePaul University graduate (CER ‘14, MM ‘12), is a passionate performer and dedicated teacher in the ChicagoLand area. Additionally, she is Principal and E-flat Clarinetist with the Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet.

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Shared Recital: Stephan Vermeersch and Jacques Merrer

MerrerRecitalIt appears bass clarinet is the new black when it comes to new music. Stephan Vermeersch performed four very different yet very new and exciting works featuring the instrument during his shared recital at 4:00 p.m. in Shaver Theatre, Saturday. The first, Eric Honour’s Quirk for Bass Clarinet and Computer, made audiences want to get up and dance, wondering  if DJs would soon begin lugging basses to their gigs, along with turntables and other electronica.

Vermeersch played along with a click track, executing slap tonguing passages and other extended techniques as the piece jived through a catchy prerecorded hip hop beat, along with a bevy of distortions and computer-generated sound effects. Audience members recognized the sound of a record scratching on the prerecorded track, whereas the distorted bass clarinet sound was reminiscent of the Mario Brothers Nintendo game circa 1992 or alien-esque sounds à la The X-Files. At other times, it was hard to tell which sounds were acoustic, which were distortions and which were prerecorded. Vermeersch was truly in his element, executing a flawless rendition.

When introducing the next two pieces, Vermeersch charmed the audience by divulging that the two men to be performing with him were his soul mates. He played Dan Becker’s Better Late for Two Bass Clarinets with Richard Nunemaker, which started out in perfect unison, gradually broke apart into a telegraphing, minimalist riff resembling a skipping record, and culminated in a warmhearted high five and hug between the two friends. Rocco Parisi joined Vermeersch for Marc Mellits’s bluesy Black for Two Bass Clarinets next.

Vermeersch ended with the U.S. premier of his own composition, WE for Bass Clarinet and 5 Desk Bells, published just this year. Flying through harmonics, slap tonguing and other extended techniques with circular breathing to keep up the momentum, Vermeersch tapped the five desk bells—each one a different color, like a child’s glockenspiel—with his left foot. A true test of coordination on top of the skill it took to simply play the bass clarinet the way Vermeersch did, WE held the audience captivated.

The second half of the recital showcased the other auxiliary instrument we all know and love, the E-flat (and D) clarinet. Jacques Merrer played three baroque transcriptions of works by Vivaldi, Albinoni and Johann Melchior Molter with a sweet sound as his faithful collaborator, Dianne Frazer, kept steady time on the harpsichord. The music was a welcome change from the newer, albeit beautiful, music that audience members had been enjoying the rest of the week up to that point. With performances of works hot off the presses and classics predating the clarinet, this recital proved to be an interesting look at the chronological bookends of music.

–Notes by Alaina Pritz
Alaina Pritz is a recent graduate from The University of Maryland and currently plays with The United State Air Force Band – Band of the Golden West.

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ICA Awards Gala

galaEach year when a new ClarinetFest is held, it is the results of several hundred hours of planning, work, and preparation.  This year’s festival peaked at over 1400 registered attendees, making this possibly the most highly attended ClarinetFest to date.  In recognition of all of the team’s efforts, President John Cipolla and the ICA board gathered to honor the artistic team for the year’s ClarinetFest. They are:

  • Robert DiLutis, Artistic Director
  • William Blayney
  • Robyn Jones
  • Michael Bartnik
  • Ben Redwine
  • Kate Young
  • John Coppa

At this time, the board also took the opportunity to thank sponsors, conductors, coordinators, induct the honorary members, and present competition winners with their prizes.

Honored Conductors
ICA Professors’ Choir-Piero Vincenti
ICA Professors’ Choir-Robert Walzel
Baton Rouge Symphony-David Hattner
Festival Choir Conductor-Mitch Estrin
Festival Choir Conductor-Raphael Sanders

Honorary Members
David Shifrin
Michele Zukovsky
Antonio Saiote

Honored Deceased
Laura Ezinwa Onwudinanti
John Patrick Stewart


High School
Coordinated by Elizabeth Crawford
1) Alec Manasse, $1000 prize
2) Paul Park, $750 prize
3) Julia Choi,  $500 prize

Young Artist
Coordinated by Maxine Ramey
1) Jose Pinto, $4000 and Selmer professional model clarinet
2) Jose Viana, $2000 prize
3) Hila Zamir, $1000 prize

Coordinated by Michael Norsworthy
After Pear blossom dwindled… for solo bass clarinet
by Jason Lim

Coordinated by Dr. Douglas Monroe
1) Erica Low, Examination of Embouchure Force During Clarinet Performance, $1000 prize
2) Jeremy Wohletz, East Meets West: Transcribing Balinese Gamelan for Clarinet Choir, $500 prize

Orchestral Excerpts
Coordinated by Jeremy W. Reynolds
1) Jackie Glazier, $1000 prize and a Gregory Smith mouthpiece
2) Shih-Wen Fan, $500 prize and a Gregory Smith mouthpiece

–Notes by Melissa Morales
Melissa Morales is a master’s student at DePaul University studying with Julie DeRoche and Larry Combs.  She currently teaches at The People’s Music School and performs with The Candid Concert Opera’s Orchestra Nova and the Chicago Symphonic Winds.

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Randall Paul with Successful Strategies for Clarinet Reed Making: A Step-by-Step Process

randallAfter studying the process of making reeds from tube cane for years, on his own and with such renowned reed makers as Robert DiLutis and Stanley Hasty, Randall Paul certainly had a wealth of knowledge to share at his lecture Saturday morning. The former clarinet professor at Wright State University and current dean of the School of Music provided a hand-out outlining the steps to making reeds with the use of a knife, sand paper and the Reedual, and he demonstrated the last step of making a reed over the course of the one-hour period.

Paul stressed two habits for success with reed making: Avoid trying to make one reed, from start to finish, in one sitting. It is best to perform one step of the reed making process in one sitting, on several tubes of cane. Also, when working with sand paper, it is best for the cane to have been soaked and dried completely. When working with a blade, like that found in The Reed Machine equipment, it is best for the cane to be wet. This soaking and drying process actually breaks in the material and enables hand-made reeds to last for a few months as opposed to a few weeks with commercial reeds. In fact, Paul made making reeds from scratch sound like fun, mentioning that he frequently hosts reed-making parties where he and several students meet and work on large amounts of cane for a few hours at a time.

Paul recommended several distributors for buying tube cane, saying he’s never bought a batch of bad cane. Commercial reeds amount to about $2.50 – $3.00 apiece, but reeds can be made by hand for $0.50 apiece, which adds to the argument for purchasing the pricey equipment. Even though a Reedual runs for a whopping $1000 and The Reed Machine, a slightly more modest $675, the equipment pays for itself in a short amount of time.

The informative class concluded with Paul performing the last step of making a reed on the Reedual as the participants gathered around his worktable. Class members were surprised to learn that Paul leaves the corners of his reeds square rather than rounding them out with a reed clipper. Over all, the lecture was a thorough overview of the most efficient, cost-effective way to keep a steady supply of reeds readily available. Paul provided a convincing argument for the investment in making reeds by hand.

–Notes by Alaina Pritz
Alaina Pritz is a recent graduate from The University of Maryland and currently plays with The United State Air Force Band – Band of the Golden West.

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Lagniappe Recital: Miami Clarinets—Hinckley—Smith—Shumway—Zewald

As ClarinetFest winds down, attendees were entertained Saturday with a potpourri of chamber music.

The first ensemble to perform was the ‘Miami Clarinets’ whose members are Margaret Donaghue Flavin, Dawn McConkie, Michael Walsh, and Danielle Woolery Scalia. Dr. Flavin is Professor of Clarinet at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and the three remaining members are all doctoral alumni of the program. They performed two pieces: Fugue and Prelude by Choi and Of Living Sapphire by Mulligan.

To contrast the timbre of the quartet Jaren Hinckley, clarinet, Christian Smith, bassoon, and Jeffrey Shumway, piano, performed Hinckley’s work Hinterlands in 3 movements, I. Eas Coul Aulin (Sutherland, Scotland), II. Rocky Ridge (Wyoming, U.S.A.), and III. Nordkapp (Finnmark, Norway). The first movement was a wonderful dialogue between the two as they traded off the energized main motive. The second movement truly highlighted the warm timbre of the bassoon as it soloed over the clarinet accompaniment. The piece closed with an animated movement that again highlighted the bassoon’s charming character and left the listener invigorated.

Dutch clarinetist Céleste Zewald performed Rudolf Escher’s Sonata for Clarinet Solo before being joined by members of the Ritz chamber orchestra in the final ensemble of the recital. They performed Alexander Glazunov’s quintet Oriental Reverie.

–Notes by Senior Airman Jennifer M. Daffinee
Jennifer is a member of the United States Air Force Band of the West and is also finishing her DMA at the University of North Texas with Kimberly Cole Luevano.

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