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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000036.txt from 2002/02

From: (Anne Lenoir)
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2002 22:26:42 -0500


Dear Friends,
I just got back from Denise Schmidt's Clarinet Retreat at Mars Hill
College, and I had such a great time. I felt like a character from the
Andy Griffith Show, maybe Thelma Lou's eccentric cousin who kept losing
her clarinet. At one point I almost dialed 911 hoping that Deputy Barney
Fife would help me find my sheet music, which was actually in Denise's
MARS HILL COLLEGE in Mars Hill, N.C. is a very well kept secret.
Mars Hill is nestled in the Appalacian Mountains near Asheville, and it
appears to be operating in a 1955 time zone. All of the buildings are
red brick, many of them built in the late 19th century. The bathrooms in
the music building had separate hot and cold water faucets, and tiny
little tile designs that sort of twinkled. Denise invited some mighty
fine clarinetists for the retreat, including Dr. Kirby from Brevard
College and Dr. Nathan Williams from Interlochen Arts Academy. They both
played exquisite clarinet recitals, and Denise was also great. All of
the concerts were quite informal, and I was very impressed by the fact
that they didn't bother to print up programs, so they announced all of
the compositions. In one number, some of the younger students applauded
in between all the movements, which was fine with me. That happens every
year when I give my recital at church.
Dr. Danny Schmidt, Denise's husband, conducted the Mars Hill Wind
Symphony, and I have never heard anything like that in my life, except
when I lived in Lenoir, N.C. for one year, the year that Joe Robinson
was a senior at LHS. (Joe is now Principal Oboist with the New York
Philharmonic). Anyhow, Dr. Danny is a magnificant conductor and managed
to get the Wind Symphony to sound like a first rate ensemble. My daddy,
the late great Scotty Lenoir, was also a great conductor. He had often
told me, in reference to talent that "You can't make a banquet out of
hash". But Daddy was wrong. Only at MARS HILL can you hear a first rate
performance of the Hindemith Wind Symphony, magically rehearsed and
performed. He had a few members from the community playing, including
Father Chris, a local priest, on Oboe, a string bass player & Carol
Talbot from our List on clarinet. I'm sure there were others. The
clarinet section was awesome because of Denise's excellent teaching and
coaching. I think the entire population of the college is 1000 or less,
and it was so refreshing to hear a smaller clarinet section work so well
together. Dr. Danny also conducted the Clarinet Choir, and I just loved
it. I have never had a chance to play in a clarinet choir where I could
actually sit back and check out all the alto, bass, contras, and
whatever that big huge silver contraption was. I just loved it. I wish
Tony Pay, Dan Leeson and Dr. "Raph" had been there.
Denise played a great piece with the Wind Symphony, that had been
influenced by Kurt Cobain from Nirvana, and parts of it also sounded
like an Eric Dolphy improvization. I can't remember what it was, but it
got me goin'!
Anyhow, I'm going back next year to visit their dogs, Murphy and
Guiness. ANNIE

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From: dschmidt <>
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Subject: RE: Mailing the Quilt
Message-ID: <3C5C5D5F=mail>

Dear Annie,

Thank you so much for being such a positive part of my clarinet retreat- you
were wonderful! Thank you also for my beautiful quilt. I will always treasure
it- and your friendship. I hope that you had a good time with us and that
you'll come again.
Love, Denise

Dr. Denise Schmidt
Assistant Professor of Clarinet, Coordinator of Music Education
Mars Hill College
Mars Hill, NC 28754
(828) 689-1426



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