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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000523.txt from 1999/06

From: "Patricia Smith" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Cold weather outdoor concerts
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 00:26:10 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: Dodgshun family <>
Subject: [kl] Cold weather outdoor concerts

> I'm about to go on tour with my orchestra, and I've discovered we're
> supposed to be doing an outdoor concert in an alpine town in the middle of
> winter. Am I justified in not being very happy about playing my R-13
> outside in freezing temperatures? Is it likely to cause problems? I'm
> considering taking a plastic clarinet down for that one concert, but I'm
> wondering if that's a little bit extreme. Any advice much appreciated.
> Anna

Dear Anna,

By all means take a plastic horn for this concert! Although one hears all
kinds of stories that allege that wood horns are "conditioned" and there is
no need to worry, frankly, I don't believe that for a minute. The moisture
plus the extreme temperature changes from the inside (warm air blown through
by player) to the outside (weather) can cause many serious problems, not
just a small crack. No doubt you are a fine enough player to compensate for
any inconvenience the plastic horn will give you. BTW, I would think if it
is cold enough (middle of winter!!!!) they would simply bring the concert
indoors! When I was a Navy musician, there was a ship christening where it
got so cold (this was in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin) that my gloved fingers
would no longer move. Of course I had an old worthless horn that barely
played, just because I was required to be there, but as I progressed in
rank, I became much more assertive about not even taking plastic horns out
in such extreme conditions. Ditto for parades in the rain. Even on a
plastic clarinet, a downpour is going to ruin a set of pads.
Anyway, good luck on your tour; I hope you enjoy your travels!
Sincerely, PAtty Smith
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