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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000102.txt from 1998/03

From: "Kevin Fay" <>
Subj: Re: alto mpcs
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 20:47:39 -0500

You are absolutely, positively, completely and totally correct. I am
humbled and hereby withdraw my earlier flame alto clarinet-wise.

A very wise friend of mine--a local legend in the music ed
community--was of much the same opinion when LeBlanc introduced their
colored clarinets. All of us big-ego "players" poo-pooed the idea. Tom
remarked that anything--really anything--that could convince a kid to
play could have a profoundly positive effect on their lives. Big deal
if the clarinet is pink. Maynard Ferguson once remarked that no one has
ever robbed a 7-11 with a trombone--good point.

Back to the alto clarinet, though. If you got some dusty ones, by all
means use them. Virtually any mouthpiece made for the thing will do--if
you need to buy a new one, go cheap (the "student line" molded plastic
ones are all OK).

Our point on the flaming is this: in order to have a dusty alto
clarinet, some guy (back when all band directors were men) made a really
poor decision on what to spend his budget on. For the same price, he
could have gotten a bass or a french horn.

Best of luck.


----Original Message Follows----
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 01:41:00 -0600
From: Matthew Hanson <>
Subject: Re: alto mpcs

I think most of you commenting must not have a very good understanding
of what it is like to know or come from a poor school district. I am
not condoning the use of alto clarinets for marching band. However, it
is a fact that poor schools have to do what will tide them over.
My example can be what I've seen happen in several high schools THIS
past semester: Fall semester. A poor high school with next to NO band
budget gets several freshmen and move-in students who are clarinet or
bass clarinet players. They are very lucky to have enough instruments
for the students already enrolled, so the new students cannot be issued
the instrument they play. However, the school has a few old altos in the
storage room that still "play".
This may not be "right" or may sound silly to some of you, but some
programs, unfortunately cannot worry about that luxury. The students
just want to march. They don't care. In such cases, you have to make due
with what you have. I know that some companies allow instrument exchange
for credit toward new or different ones, but when you get in a bind like
this, that isn't something you have time to do, especially when all you
may have to trade are a few old dirty alto clarinets. Something to think

For those of you who are high school band directors, would you rather
march a couple of alto clarinets or have to tell several students they
can't march?
Matthew Hanson
Houston, TX

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