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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000907.txt from 2000/04

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Gender bias - survey?
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 22:32:10 -0400

At 05:32 PM 4/20/2000 CDT, Michael Lawrence wrote:
>My experiences:
>1) Tech band camp 4th band: maybe 3 of 14 clarinetists were male- two were
>in the top two chairs (I wasn't...;-))
>2) My school band- 3/20 are male, six clarinetists are in top band, 3 of
>which are male (we used to have another, but he dropped band when he made
>3rd band or so...).
>3) Local youth orch: 4 in two orchestras... 1 male (2 if you count me when I
>was a "guest artist" on two of their songs). He is first chair second
>Our flute section is comprised entirely of females- 5 in 1st band, 8-ish in
>second, and three or four in third. Next year, however, we will definately
>get a up and coming freshman who beat all but one of our flutes at regional
>competition. Our first chair trombonist is a female, and she is awesome!:).
> As is our first chair trumpet, come to think of it, and she plays in the
>army band (don't know if that's just this particular area or what, I just
>know she plays in some military band...). That is just a sampling of my
>band- I can give a more complete gender-based composition if anyone really
>wants it... Hope this helps!
I have not made a study by the numbers, but in travelling around the state
as a school services rep for a music store, I must admit that I notice the
gender bias thing is apparent in MOST school bands. Very few male
flutists, although most of them are in top or near-top chairs. Few male
clarinetists, but the chair distribution is not so clear. Many of the
bands are somewhat female-dominated anyway by high school, since the boys
tend to drop out to do team sports instead. Also, when we go into schools
to do testing and fitting for beginning bands, most girls seem to ask
almost AUTOMATICALLY to try flute and clarinet, but few boys do. The bias
development PRECEDES us! To get ANYBODY to play low brass is like pulling
teeth. I assume they have made a mental measurement of the size of the
instrument as compared to their seat on the bus and done the math! My
son's high school band hasn't had a tuba player in years, not even in
marching band! They get by on a couple of bari saxes and bass clarinets.
(There IS one in the middle school now, as I recall.) Low brass players
seem to be predominantly male, but not by a great margin. Probably the
BEST school tuba player in the area is a girl!

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732
ICQ UIN 4862265

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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