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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000594.txt from 2001/04

From: rgarrett@-----.edu
Subj: Re: [kl] Revelli
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 08:03:45 -0400

At 12:36 AM 04/25/2001 -0400, you wrote:
> Based on the many stories that I have heard about Mr. Revelli's tactics,
> I have often wondered
>how his unprofessional actions would have been accepted by the University
>of Illinois GI's (V-12 Program) and ex-GI's.

If memory serves me correctly, University of Illinois had a few of their
own "tyrants" - including Harry Begian - who also got wonderful results
from the band.

>In my short career at the U of I, I played under the direction of Dr.
>Austin A. Harding, Dr. Clarence Sawhill and Dr. Mark Hindsley. I don't
>remember of any time that any of them raised their voices in anger, much
>less made personal attacks on members of the band. We treated our
>conductors with great respect and they treated us with respect. And
>without the "Revelli Intimidation Method", they produced a very
>good Concert Band.

I have a great recording of the Michigan band in 1955 with Harding, Sawhill
and others conducting them in concert. These were well-respected band
conductors of the time.

>Roger, was Dr. Revelli teaching at the college level in the later 40's and
>early 50's when he would have faced the WWII veterans? If he did and used
>his well-known "methods" on them, I wonder what the results were.

Yes - they were in the band. My father (who by now you may have figured
probably didn't care for Revelli's approach either) told me a pretty funny
story. He said that Revelli, in an effort to get the student to think
about pitch and sound, would ask them in front of the band......"WHAT'S
WRONG WITH THAT" - referring to the way they played something when he went
down then line. Often, this approach forced the student to verbalize that
which he was denying - that it was out of tune or that he simply wasn't
paying attention. However, he tried it once on the bass clarinetist - who
was a WWII vet - and after he was put on the spot with the question, the
bass clarinetist looked at his horn in surprise, looked Revelli right back
in the eye and said, "Not a God Damned Thing!" And Revelli said, "Right!"
and moved on.

I don't think the vets took any s--- from Revelli!

>Just curious..................

Thanks for asking - it made me recall this funny story. I have a bunch of
them - I will just have to think about them. I also have a list of 500
Revelli sayings that a band member (1965-69) wrote down during
rehearsals. I can post them somewhere I suppose if people are
interested. They are actual comments he said to the band.

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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