Exciting musical things are happening in my life! For the first time in a long time, I feel totally motivated about music and performing…hope it lasts!
The first big thing is that I have the opportunity to play Mendelssohn’s Concertpiece No. 2 with the Fleet Forces Wind Ensemble this summer! I’m playing with another clarinetist in the band, I’m playing the first part, and she’s playing the basset horn part on bass clarinet. Its going to be so fun! We’ve already rehearsed (just the two of us) a few times and its going to sound great. If you don’t know the piece, its one of those super showy pieces with a lot of technical flair. I’m looking forward to the performance in June.
This summer is going to be filled with wind ensemble concerts at work. From what I can gather, we’ll be doing a concert at least once a week for a couple of months! Since we’ve had a couple clarinetists leave since the last wind ensemble concert, the parts got shuffled around and I got put on first part! I’m very excited for the challenge, and a little nervous because now I actually have to practice and I can’t hide back in the third section, LOL. We’re playing some great rep, too!
One of my coworkers whom I went to the Navy school with also asked if I would be interested in collaborating in a chamber music recital at the end of the summer. I was like, YES YES! He wants to do the Reinecke Trio for Clarinet, Horn and piano (he’s a horn player, obviously). I’ve heard of the piece, but I’ve never actually played or heard it. I’m listening to it for the first time as we speak! I am hoping that everything comes together and the recital actually happens. I was also thinking, it might be fun and challenging to start something like the group I played with in Rochester, Ad-Hoc. That group was started by people just like me!
Lastly, I’ve been really committed to getting better at flute! I’ve been practicing everyday for the past two months and I’m really seeing myself improve a lot. The first month or so it was hard because my sound was so awful at times, especially in the low and high registers. I tried to focus on long tones a lot, and playing large intervals (which is very tricky on flute!). I’ve never taken a lesson on flute, so I’m taking a lot of the long tone fundamentals that I practice on clarinet and applying them to flute. So far, its working fine! I also have been practicing harmonics, and playing out of my sister’s old method books. I feel like I have a controlled and solid sound, and now I can start focusing on finger technique. I still find myself “trying” to apply clarinet fingerings to the flute…its mostly just pressing down keys that aren’t there, and when I see first line G, I tend to let go of all the keys, LOL! The more I practice scales, the less I do it, which is good.
If I want to play flute in the band, I MUST learn piccolo. There is no flute in ceremonial bands! I think that I’ve gotten good enough at flute that it’s time for me to check out a picc from the band and start practicing. Gotta start learning Stars and Stripes!
I’ve also thought about trying to get back into the orchestra scene. As much as I love being in band, I do miss orchestra a bit. I would like to try to get on sub lists for orchestras in the area. I know, easier said than done, but doesn’t hurt to try to get my name out there! I’ve even dusted off my Hadcock excerpt book and started practicing excerpts again 🙂
So things are going pretty well for me this year so far. One thing that I can tell, my summer is going to be sooooo busy and full of music! I love it!