Went and visited my old professor from undergrad today, Dr. Charles West. I still refer to him as Dr. West even though I’m technically a doctor. He is helping me sell my back-up A clarinet; I really don’t see much need for holding on to it and need the money more than I need the back-up. It’s a Festival, plays beautifully, just needs a little work. Unfortunately it just doesn’t fit my needs as far as tone and sound anymore – I can’t project in a big hall or cut through an orchestra. I had some wonderful years with that instrument, won many competitions on it, performed around the world on it – but it’s time. The R-13’s have always been the right fit for me…and boy can I wail in a concert hall if I wanted too!!! We settled on an asking price of around $1,200…which I think is pretty fair. comes with two barrels and I’m throwing in a $500.00 BAM case as well. It does need an overhaul, otherwise I’d sell it for a lot more…I just don’t have the time or funds to send it off right now.
I will, however, hold on to my B-flat…it needs some serious work and I’ll likely take it to Jacobi and drop a $1,000 bucks…but I’m more concerned about having a sold backup B-flat than an A.
But back to my visit.
It was soo great talking clarinet shop again…mouthpieces, players, pedagogy! I forget just how lucky I was to be one of his pupils…I learned a great deal from him: how to network, research, how to teach, rep, and really how to be a total musician. Something I find very few professors teaching their students these days.
He insisted I come and do a masterclass at the University…and I was utterly flattered. That was the ultimate compliment, knowing that he respects both my playing and teaching as a professional clarinetist to invite me as an artist. I’ve given masterclasses all over the US and throughout Europe…those were great opportunities…but something about this invitation seems all more special. Coming back to my roots, no longer as a student, but as a professional clarinetist.
Life is good. Now if I can just figure out how to play this instrument…it would be much better.