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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000217.txt from 2002/06

From: Karona Poindexter <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Majoring in Clarinet Performance
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 20:01:54 -0400

I agree with you on some level. But even for "qualified" clarinetists the
competition is very tight. One time I auditioned for the National
Symphony Orchestra here in Washington, DC and over 150 clarinetists were
all auditioning for ONE spot that opened up in the orchestra.

Talk about your odds.

On Thursday, June 6, 2002, at 05:19 PM, Steve White wrote:

> I stand corrected. All this week my communications skills have been
> somewhat lacking - I apologize. When you were young, how many
> clarinetists
> showed for one of those three positions to audition when a vacancy was
> announced? How many clarinetists show up know for a single vacancy in
> the 8
> that are available now?
> What I meant to get across wasn't not to do it, or that it was impossible
> -
> it isn't. I really wanted to say that the choice is yours and here are my
> choices for reference only.
> As far as the number of clarinetists in general, the dynamics of the
> equation have changed. There are just more people striving for positions
> that have grown, but not at the rate of qualified applicants. This is
> just
> my opinion and I do not wish to insult or offend anyone.
> Steve White
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sean Osborn []
> Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2002 1:25 PM
> To:
> Subject: [kl] Majoring in Clarinet Performance
> Hello,
> "Steve White" <>
> said:
>> . The reality is: There are fewer and fewer
>> well-paying ensembles where a musician can make enough to support
> themselves
>> every year. This increases competition for viable positions
>> dramatically.
>> Don't get me wrong, you can still score a great gig with a top level
>> symphony or chamber orchestra, but the odds continually shift away
>> younger
>> players .
> This is just not true. While it is very difficult to make ones living as
> entirely as a professional clarinetist, there are more clarinetists and
> clarinet jobs than ever in the US and Canada. Just as an example: when I
> grew up in Washington state, there were only three clarinetist who made
> their living primarily from performing. Now there are (at least) 8. While
> 8 for a state of nearly 6 million is not a lot, there are many others in
> the state who perform a lot, and make a large part of their income from
> teaching clarinet, either at Universities or in private studios.
> It's a long tough road full of huge sacrifices to become a professional
> clarinet performer, and it's quite difficult to achieve success without
> some regrets about what you sacrificed to get there. If you're going to
> go
> for it, then GO FOR IT. Don't let things stand in your way. It is
> important to also remember that you are allowed to change your mind if you
> find it's not truly what you want, or what you thought it would be (a
> career in music) is not what it actually is.
> Though many of you may dissagree with this: I think the most important
> choice one can make when they decide to major in Clarinet Performance is
> to
> go to a school with the best music program you can get into - regardless
> of
> teacher. You can learn so much from being around other great clarinetist
> 24/7, and other great musicians (your fellow students). You'll also make
> invaluable contacts for later in your career. If you go to a small school
> where you're the best right away - you won't have as much motivation to
> improve, and you'll have no clue what's required of you in the
> career-world
> of music.
> If, after you get your BM, and you want to go for an MM, then go
> for the best TEACHER you can find, regardless of how good the music
> department is, or where the school is. If you are lucky enough to find a
> great teacher at a great school (as I was with Stanley Hasty at
> Eastman). DON'T pass up the opportunity to go there - no matter what.
> Well, I'm rambling far from the topic again ;^)
> Cheers,
> Sean Osborn
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------


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