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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000372.txt from 1998/04

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: Bass Clarinet Majors
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 10:17:39 -0400

On Wed, 8 Apr 1998, Daniel A. Paprocki wrote:
> My first answer is "WHY"? With the job market for performance being like
> it is I wouldn't recommend anyone to major in performance. Get a music ed
> degree and then go on for a masters in performance. Do you REALLY know
> what the competition is like at orchestra auditions? You better have
> something to make a living at besides playing the clarinet. Now I'll
> assume that the student knows the odds and still wants to major in
> performance.

Dan's recommendation is fairly standard, and many people have done very
well following such a recommendation. I would only add that, if the
person is not interested in teaching but gets the degree anyway while the
work towards a performance career, I would not recommend the ed. degree.
In fact, I am on a committee that denies (or accepts) people into upper
division study based on their reasons for teaching, skills, and knowledge
of repertoire etc. If a student ONLY wanted to play but got the degree so
they could feed themselves while they were working toward a job in an
orchestra, we would probably deny admittance to upper division study in
Music. Ed.

> I'm a substitute with about 6 professional orchestras and have done
> about 20 orchestra auditions (a couple for bass). Most of my work is
> playing bass clarinet. Any audition for bass clarinet the orchestra will
> also want to hear regular clarinet and usually the first round is only
> regular clarinet. So why would a student major in bass clarinet? Major in
> being the best musician you can be and a complete clarinetist (can you
> sight transpose, read bass clef, play Eb,etc).

I think the student who was being discussed was ONLY a bass sounds as though you are very versatile! The reason you
get those jobs, undoubtedly, is because you are probably very, very good
at all of them!

Roger Garrett

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