Tag Archives: Performances


Well, here we are folks…the “final” year of my doctorate. The end of my professional career as a college student.

The year entails many exciting (and stressful) events and adventures. Numerous recording projects coming up. I’ll be making an album of clarinet trios including the Brahms and Beethoven. There is one new work that is currently in the final stages of composition.

The second album will be a collection of new works for clarinet. It’s in conjunction with some up and coming composers.

Later this Fall I have been invited to give a couple masterclasses. Which I’m looking forward to!

There’s a possibility that I may have signed too many contracts for solo performances this Fall…and likely will be going PSYCHO by the end of December. It’d be one thing to repeat rep, but most are different works every single time. Oy!

Livin’ the life!

I’m slowly working on my calendar, as soon as its up I will be posting it here!

Exciting time!

Off to practice.

Remember: Breathe, Listen, and Make Music!

Speed Demon

Speed Post GO!

It’s 2:41 in the morning, just finished up some work for a huge Beethoven Workshop this weekend at University of Cincinnati. It has been interesting to say the least; I won’t say nightmare, but very close to it.

Working with musicians – I won’t say artists because there are very very very few musicians that I call artists – I’ve learned what traits and idiosyncratic behaviors to completely avoid and NOT emulate.

You know, like never responding to emails until the last-minute. Waiting to distribute time sensitive information – then blaming it on someone else. Expecting everyone, and everything, to come to the sound of your ringing bell.

What’s funny to me is that many students meet these high-profile musicians that function at a higher level, crumble and gravel in their presence… because “they’re so great!!!”

I have no patience for that and will quickly, if not almost immediately, say something. Not snarky, but in a calm collected and sassy manner. I first thought this would back fire, nope actually it worked in my favor because you have a brain – and use it. Sometimes, high-profile artist and musicians need to be brought back down to the real world – I’m happy to assist!

This is my fast post before bed – so it’s jumbled and scattered, don’t expect me to edit it.

Next topic

Started working on the first chapter of my book – the “Caffeinated Clarinetist.” It will be an exciting little ped book with new and innovative practice techniques as well as focusing on developing your skills as a teacher of the clarinet.

For some reasons, I decided to start writing on scales. The process has been, to put it mildly, interesting. I start writing, scribbling bubbles of thought here and there on the page, come to one conclusion about something – then realize, NOPE that makes NO sense…When that moment hits you, at least in regards to your own clarinet playing, a deep pit of regret emerges…and I end up saying to myself…”Did I really just spend 6 years of my life playing Baermann scales cover to cover everyday for 2+ hours. Uhm, can I get a refund on those hours? What about a prorate refund?”

Tons of performances this year and – stomach drops a little bit – I begin the job hunt. There are, currently, only three potential job positions open…St. Olaf in somewhere or another, MSU, and FSU. I’m not really ready at this point to apply, but will be shortly.

HUGE recording project this year – tons of great music, I’m really quite excited – Muczynski Time Pieces, Stravinsky Three Pieces, Babin Hillandale Waltz, and Mozart Kegelstatt – it will be a professional recording. You better get excited!

Time Finished: 2:57 am

Speed Blog Accomplished

Landscape Me Somethin’ Pretty

Join me this evening for a wonderful event at Faith Lutheran Church.

No, not to repent.

I’m still surprised that I don’t catch on fire after I walk into a church. Though, I do still cautiously look around waiting for a crazed Nun to jump out of the shadows and attack me.

BUT, So far so good.

Nope, tomorrow Vivre Musicale, an exciting and passionately driven young chamber group, will be performing a fantastically versatile program ranging from the great classics to the up and coming composers of today.

The event is free, though a 5 dollar donation is suggested at the door.

Here’s a link to their website with information on the ensemble, their mission, and artists.


Here’s a link to the concert information.

Cheers and hope to see you there!



ear ye, hear ye! All hail the…VIOLA!

Cincinnati is going to see an influx of violists starting this Wednesday. The Conservatory will be a SWARM with them, like ants to sugar.

CCM is hosting the 2010 International Viola Congress (check the site out!), where – and you probably guessed it – violists congregate! Here’s a snippet from their site:

“The 2010 congress will build on the traditions of congresses past while exploring new events and ideas. Inspired by the Roman god Janus found above the doors to the College-Conservatory of Music, our theme looks forward and back at the various roles of violist as soloist, pedagogue, chamber, orchestral, and experimental musician.”

I’m actually rather excited about this event; I know, it’s rather odd being a clarinetist and all. But, there’s something really fascinating about watching and learning from other instrumentalist, particularly stringed instruments. I remember watching a string quartet masterclass in upstate New York – there I learned how the body is directly linked to the sound production of the instrument. The body acts like a resonator, in a way, and creates this core for the sound. With the viola (and violin) I learned that the core sound comes from the abdomen, stomach, and chest and poor posture can really effect the players timbre and sound. This pedagogical concept easily applies to other instruments, and for that matter, SHOULD be applied to other instruments. It parallels exceptionally well!

I suppose that me really liking the viola kind of helps perpetuate my excitement. It’s such a rich and warm instrument and no wonder Mozart  love it so much. To me, its dark-toned sonority resembles that of the clarinet (probably the reason for my said proclivity).

Though it doesn’t share the large solo repertoire that its sister, the violin, has – it most definitely has its own lush and unmistakably wonderful “tour de forces” works that can stand in unabashed light  in the classical world. Many of my favorite composers wrote for the viola: Milton Babbin, Claude Debussy, Malcolm Arnold, Bartok, and Albeniz. Each composer beautifully crafted works that really exemplify the characteristics of the viola and all its gorgeousness.

Tōru Takemitsu, a very serious Japanese man

I’m actually fortunate enough to be performing at the viola congress this Thursday night for the Gala Concert. I’m playing the CONTRABASS clarinet (and all it’s rather odd glory) on the Tōru Takemitsu. Here’s the program for that evening (if you can go, GO):

Elgar: Cello Concerto with David Aaron Carpenter, viola
Takemitsu: A String Around Autumn with Nobuko Imai, viola
Rösel: Viola Concerto with Walter Küssner, viola
Bartók: Viola Concerto with Lawrence Dutton, viola

While browsing the internet, I found these really wonderful works for viola, and wanted to share them with all you none viola playing friends (or viola playing friends). They’re definitely worth a listen:

Claude Debussy, Sonata for flute, viola and harp

Ivan Eröd Viola Concerto

The Takemitsu is such a great work. It’s such an exciting experience playing with amazing musicians that are sensitive to the music, phrasing, and PITCH! (The orchestra is a mix of CCM faculty, CSO musicians, Dayton Phil, and CCM students).

Now, I understand that a lot of violist think that Brahms wrote the Op. 120 Sonatas for you, but alas, you’re wrong. Brahms was inspired by a CLARINETIST; it just so happens that they sound pretty damn good on the viola too. Actually, when I’m preparing to performing the Brahms, you can always find that I have a few recordings of violists close at hand.

See for yourself how great they work on the viola!

And of course, I can’t forget the quaint Max Bruch 8 Stücke for clarinet, viola and piano, Op.83. These are really fun little works, dripping in all its romanticism et al. OR the Mozart Kegelstatt Trio! So many GREAT works! The classical world is fortunate to have such an instrument!

I’m excited about this week. Wish my bloggied blog was a little more cohesive, my thoughts are EVERYWHERE!


And Happy Music Making (huge a violist)!