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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000165.txt from 2004/10

From: "Christy Erickson" <perickso@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] Clarinet popularity was: [kl] Re: Another Clarinet Faculty Vacancy
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 11:02:14 -0400

Kelly, I agree with you here. Our Civic Band does not hold auditions
either and when I first began playing with the group 5 years ago, the =
band
director's wife played first chair. She smoked like a chimney and had
emphysema and she finally gave it up 3 years after I moved here. The =
band
director retired and before he retired he placed me in first chair, =
which
didn't sit well with some of the other clarinet players. There are two =
in
particular, who refuse to play anything but a first part. They are OK =
as
long as we play something the band has played before but give them =
anything
new and they start asking me for fingerings! I told the current band
director to tell these people that if they don't know the fingerings for
anything above a high C, they shouldn't be playing a first part! I =
wouldn't
mind if they would simply go out and get a fingering chart or take some
private lessons, but they want me to give them free instruction and I'm
tired of doing that. We have some high school players who would do a =
better
job on those parts. In our orchestra, we have a man who plays bass =
clarinet
and last year he had the nerve to ask me to transpose a bassoon part for =
him
on a piece that had no bass clarinet part. I simply didn't do it. If =
these
people want to play they need to learn about the music, which, heaven
forbid, may require taking a class or some lessons. =20
At times, it is embarrassing to play with these people and I may =
just
stay out of Civic Band next year and do my own thing. I really think =
some
would balk at the idea of auditions but in some ways it would be a very =
good
thing. Everyone would work a little harder and we would have a better
clarinet section. I do, however, think people need to be given credit =
for
time spent with a group. The older members are often very devoted and =
they
never miss a rehearsal or a concert. Some of the newer members or the =
high
school kids don't necessarily make it a priority to play with the band =
and
we need to have people we can count on so that is important also. We =
need
players for ALL the parts and they are all important. If half the 2nds =
or
3rds don't show up for a concert, we either have to make certain the =
parts
are all covered by redistributing and having people sightreading at the =
last
minute or the parts simply don't get covered and it doesn't sound good. =

For the first time, our Civic Band had far more clarinet players =
than we
needed last summer. It was awesome. Our band director actually told us =
to
"hold it down" a few times so as not to cover the brass. That's the =
first
time I've EVER heard a band director make a comment like that. It =
became
the running joke of the summer. =20

Christy

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