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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001017.txt from 2000/04

From: "Ray S. Whitmore" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Community Bands
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 21:23:49 -0400

Clarinet sections always sound better when there is at least one strong
player in each section. I would rather see the 3 strongest players sit first
chair on each part. Unfortunately, there is a prestige to playing first and
a stigma attached to sitting in the seconds and thirds. Probably a hangup
left over from high school band.

I play in several community bands and have had conductors apologize for
seating me with the seconds or thirds. However, IMO, the overall quality is
always better when the clarinets (or any other section) are balanced. But it
can be a seating problem for the conductor when you attract the first chairs
from several other bands.

It is the mature thing to do.

Ray S. Whitmore
COmputer COnsulting Associates, Inc.
730 Hebron Avenue; PO Box 342
Glastonbury, CT 06033
voice: 860.657.2210
fax: 860.659.0787
e-mail: ray

-----Original Message-----
From: Franklin Kercher []
Subject: Re: [kl] Community Bands

My wife, daughter and I play in two different community bands as a family.
I've never observed any sticky seating problems with either band as we are
all there to have fun and enjoy. Thats pretty much the attitude of all the
players, both young and old. In the Texas city band I started out playing
second, but this year I was asked if I would mind augmenting Third. No
problemo! Since I'm there to enjoy my clarinet and I don't really enjoy
playing in altissimo, I find the harmony parts fun too. Though we do have
some pieces where the second and third parts are more challenging because of
the fingering, I, for one am happy just to be able to play(had an emergency
4way bipass two years ago). Seating here is two young music majors on first
as they need the challenge, my 16 year old daughter on second with an older
more advanced gentleman next to her so she learns from him, and the music
dept. secretary and I on third. The Alvin band seating is probably based
more on skill but nobody really fights over seating as they know all parts
are needed. The clarinet section there is larger so I play the contra with
my daughter next to me on bass. So far in the last four years I've never
seen any squabbling over seats or parts. If the Professors ask somebody to
play a certain part, we just do it. Its a maturity thing.

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