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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001026.txt from 2000/04

From: George Kidder <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Community Bands
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 22:00:42 -0400

At 09:23 PM 04/23/2000 -0400, Ray Whitmore wrote:
>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.

This is equally true of clarinet sections in high school bands.

>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.
The hangup, as I see it, is fostered by the view that we must have
competition for everything - hence the elaborate competitive seating system
which seems to be in vogue for school bands. IMHO, this does not produce
either the best music for any given performance, nor a healthy attitude
toward the music. I believe that the challenge should be to play as well
as possible, not to play better than your neighbor. Let the director
assign seating according to the needs and abilities - certainly in the
usual band arrangement, the director can quickly identify the problems in
the clarinet section which is right under his nose.

I don't remember this pernicious competition from my youth (say 50 years
ago). Was it present in some places, and I just missed it?
George Kidder

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