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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001350.txt from 1998/03

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: Clarinets and Auditions
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 18:37:35 -0500

On Sat, 28 Mar 1998, Mark Charette wrote:

> Reading the list and comments on the usage of the correct clarinet has
> me in a bit of a quandary. With a son who is nearing college age (next
> year) and the specter of auditions looming in less than a year, what
> should the student do when a piece is presented to them for sight
> reading that (let's say) is for D clarinet?

In my experience of over 32 years of listening to college auditions, I
don't think the example you give has ever occurred, and I don't believe it
ever will happen in the lifetime of anyone reading this.

> In the research I've done it seems as if the requirement for the
> audition is based on sight-transposing, but I or he _could_ rent a set
> of properly keyed clarinets for the occasion (he has A and Bb, the
> school has the Eb and C, and we'd just rent a D and basset clarinet).

I would doubt that there are very many schools, if any at all, who require
transposition at sight as a part of the audition procedure. Generally,
the items with which the auditioning committee will be concerned are far
more fundamental than that. They are trying to satisfy themselves
concerning such questions as "Does this candidate seem to be teachable,"
"Does he/she play with good tone quality, good intonation, good breath
support, reasonably clean techinque, and with some semblance of

> Many auditions require the playing of at least one of the movements
> of K. 622 . What of playing it on the basset clarinet instead of A?
> (having basically all the proper clarinets available and being
> able to play on any of them) would be considered pretentious.

I can tell you this, while I don't expect that this has ever happened, if
a student brought something as rare as a basset clarinet into an audition,
they had better be able to play it VERY well. If the student shows that
they have the instrument but don't know what to do with it, then that
definitely would be considered either pretentious or ill-advised.

I suggest that you can lay to rest your concerns about having a half-dozen
or more clarinets available for an audition. Your son would be better off
to devote all this effort and attention to preparing the audition.

Ed Lacy

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