I had a great pleasure of attending ClarinetFest 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas from August 3-7 and it was a fantastic conference! In addition to meetings, I attended some incredible concerts, perused the exhibit hall, and performed as an alumnus with the MTSU Clarinet Choir on Sunday. There was so much to see and do this year, and the performances were truly inspiring.
I also served as a conference writer this year and penned a couple of articles for The Clarinet Online. You can read them, and others by following the links below.
Sunday’s performance with the MTSU Clarinet Choir was loads of fun, and I thank Dr. Todd Waldecker for inviting me to play. What a great program and group. The group performed an arrangement of John Mackey’s Strange Humors, Mozart, Weber and Co. by Roland Cardon, and Clarifunkation by Paul Saunders. You can hear recordings of the ClarinetFest performance and other performances by the group on YouTube here. It’s so much fun to perform with young students that are discovering their passion for clarinet right before your eyes! It was evident that the ensemble had worked hard, and I’m thrilled to see the group flourishing. I hope to be able to work with them again in the future!
The Exhibition Hall
I tried some interesting products in exhibition hall. I tried some 3D printed bells and barrels, ligatures, and mouthpieces. Of the things I tried, I purchased a Silverstein Ligature and an OmniCap to go with it. There were so many great deals on sheet music as well. I am most excited about the clarinet ensemble music literature that I purchased. Check back with clarinetensemblemusic.com in a few weeks to see those works
added to the database. I also left a vintage mouthpiece that was recently given to me by my mentor and high school band director Paul Brown with Ramón Wodkowski for refacing. Ramón is one of the foremost experts on vintage mouthpieces. For more information on his work, you can visit his website here.
Buffet Crampon’s New Clarinets
I was also finally able to get my hands on the new Tradition clarinet from Buffet and I really loved it. The instrument uses the fingerboard of the Tosca line but has a nice resistant feel to it. The color of the particular Tradition that I tried was very warm and the projection was fantastic. I would recommend trying the Tradition out if you are in the market to purchase clarinet in the future.
Buffet also announced a new student level instrument called the Prodige. This instrument is unique in that it features at professional bore, which is a fantastic way to help a student grow with their instruments as they progress. The instrument feels pretty good, too. I didn’t play on the horn, but I was able to hear it played and it sounded fantastic. Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of this instruments was its intonation, which was spot-on and very evenly pitched, which is rare among students instruments. You can read more about these new horns on Buffet’s website here.
That’s it for now. I’ll have some exciting news to share in the coming weeks about a concert performance in Korea this fall, as well as some news about ClarinetFest 2017 in Orlando, Florida! Take care and go practice!