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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000577.txt from 2001/04

From: Richard Bush <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Hindemith
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 21:37:38 -0400

I played in the 1969, M.E.N.C. Western Division All Conference Band. Rehearsals
were held at Highland High School in Salt Lake City. It was late in the spring,
close to or just after the end of the school year. The weather was exceedingly
hot for that time of year in SLC. The gym where we rehearsed was not air
conditioned. By mid afternoon and our second full rehearsal, the room was at
least 85 degrees F., maybe even hotter.

Dr. Revelli insisted on tuning the band to A@-----. All of the soprano clarinets
in the section were pulled to extremes. My clarinet must have been pulled 3 or
4 mm just at the barrel, more in the middle and even some at the bell.

He stopped in the middle of some passage we were rehearsing and decided that the
clarinets were flat on first space F. He went down the line and every player was
miserably flat (of course) on this note.

When he got to me, about five chairs down, mine was also flat. I knew it, but
since no one else had pushed back in before playing their flat F's I figured I'd
just play what was there. He looked me squarely in the eye, raised his eye brows
so you could see a lot of the whites of his eyes and said to me, "You'd be
satisfied with anything, wouldn't you." (Coincidentally, it was only shortly
after that that I learned about tuning rings.)

He also picked on a cymbal player and the bass drummer. I learned later that
picking on the bass drummer was one of his tricks. He did that where ever he
went and conducted.

I recall the cymbal player throwing the cymbals onto the hardwood gym floor and
walking off saying, "I've had enough of this shit!" Revelli retorted with,
"That's right. That's what makes the grass grow green."

This was the last musical event I played in in high school. After practicing for
the previous five years, averaging three hours per day on the clarinet, this was
the bitter-sweet pill I had to swallow.

It doesn't have to be that way, and it shouldn't have been that way then.
Clarence Sawhill got just as much music out of young people and he did it with
love, a twinkle in his eye and good humor.

Later, when I went to college, I was taught that when temperature go to
extremes, the pitch should roll with those temperatures. Off the top of my head,
I can't remember it, but it works. Conn did an intonation study sometime in the
late 30's or 40's and came to the same conclusion.

If Revelli had known jack about clarinets he would not have subjected us all to
this impossible situation, nor would he have blamed us for not being able to
cope with it. Also, he would have told us about tuning rings.

He's gone now, so I won't tell you what I really think. I will say, he was rude,
treated many young people abusively and somehow got away with it. wrote:

> At 06:31 PM 04/24/2001 -0600, you wrote:
> >And then there was this guy named Wm. D. Ravelli. After the way he
> >insulted and
> >intimidated many fellow, young musicians around me, makes me wonder how many
> >actually quit after that, or even worse.
> Richard,
> I wonder if you might go into a bit of detail here. In other words, in
> what kind of setting did Dr. Revelli insult the musicians around you? Were
> you in the Michigan Band, or was this for an honor group? What piece(s)
> were you playing, and under what conditions did he "insult" these players?
> Best wishes,
> Roger Garrett
> Roger Garrett
> Clarinet Professor
> Director, Symphonic Winds
> Illinois Wesleyan University
> School of Music
> Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
> Phone: (309) 556-3268
> Fax: (309) 556-3121
> "A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
> another's."
> Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)

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