Friday, March 17, 2017

I'm off to Monroe with my husband to play our next pops concert!  If you're in the area, check out our Frank Sinatra concert on Saturday night. There will be tables set up to bring your own delicious food and it will be a fun time.

Last weekend, I performed in a chamber music concert with the Camerata Winds. The concert was called "Colors of the Winds" and featured recent woodwind quintet arrangements with different colors in the titles such as Dreams of the White Tiger, Blues for Woodwind Quintet, Red Lights!, Pink Panther, March from The Love of Three Oranges, Pink Panther, and The Frog and the Golden Ball. We each dressed in a different color to match the theme.

I also was able to participate in a few races! I ran the Paris, Texas half marathon which was delightful! The course went through picturesque trails, over bridges, and passed by the Eiffel Tower which was complete with a red cowboy hat on top. I also volunteered as a St. Patrick's Day 5k and got to help run some of the timing and finish line activities.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Our last Monroe Symphony concert was a lot of fun and since it was right before Mardi Gras, I was able to enjoy some king cake and crawfish etouffee. Delicious! It was also nice to have a little downtime to enjoy a walk through the beautiful Black Bayou Wildlife refuge and catch up on some reading. I'll be back in a few weeks for our Simply Sinatra pops concert.

This week and next week I'm in the Dallas area performing with Camerata Winds and will make a quick trip up to Paris, Texas to run the half marathon there. Paris has its own Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat on top of it so what's not to love about that?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Eight Quick Tips for a Successful Solo Competition

Each spring, I help approximately 60 students prepare for their solo competitions. For many of those students, this is their first time performing a solo with accompaniment. It's exciting and fun but can be daunting at first glance. To help with this, I've put together a list of eight quick tips to have a successful solo competition!

1. First, always pick a solo that challenges and stretches your abilities without overwhelming you. This is especially true if this is your first time working with an accompanist. Ask your private lesson instructor or band director for feedback or assistance when choosing a new piece.

2. Once you've selected your solo, check and make sure that it meets all of the requirements for your competition. For example, our high school students here in Texas are required to pick from our Prescribed Music List while most middle students have free reign. You'll want to purchase your solo music with accompaniment early so that you don't get surprised with backordered or out of print music!

3. Listen to as many professional recordings as you can and follow along with the score in front of you. That way, you'll know how your part and the piano part fit together and your rehearsals will go smoothly. Use the tap function on your metronome to get an idea of how fast you'll want to perform the work and begin working up to this.

4. Book your accompanist long in advance and make you get the music to them in plenty of time to learn it before the first rehearsal. This is a great time to communicate what tempos you are planning on working at. Always ask about fees up front so that you can pay them on time.

5. When first rehearsing with your accompanist, it's a great idea to record your run through. You can review this later and see if there's anything that you may have missed in rehearsal. The Tonal Energy app is a nice recorder/metronome/tuner/and tone generator and is affordable for students.

6. Practice performing often for friends and family, especially if competitions or performances make you a little nervous! A run through will also make sure that you are in good performance shape.

7. Make sure that you break in plenty of reeds in advance and that your instrument is in good
working order.

8. Finally, enjoy your performance! You've put a lot of work into this and it is your time to shine and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

2016 was an amazing year for me! I performed with the Monroe Symphony, Longview Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Midland-Odessa Symphony, Irving Symphony, and Las Colinas Symphony.  Doing what I love and working with such amazing colleagues is a wonderful gift.  I'm looking forward to the new year I have lots of performances lined up and I'm also excited to announce that I'll be an artist with Clearly Clarinet Camp this summer.  Check out the poster: 

Monday, September 12, 2016

I'm thrilled to announce that I won the Longview Symphony Orchestra audition this weekend and will be joining them as Second Clarinetist!  My first concert with them will be on October the 8th and will include Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 (always a clarinetist's favorite), Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major performed by ChloĆ© Trevor, and Beethoven's Egmont Overture.  Join us if you're in the area. 

I've also been busy with lots of gigs and teaching now that the season and school year are back in full swing! 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

ClarinetFest Day 2

One of the many exhibit hall rooms.
The exhibits at ClarinetFest are open which means that it's time to try out all of the latest and greatest clarinet equipment that can be found!  We finished setting up our booth first thing this morning and of course I went around and visited other booths as time allowed.  I have more ground to cover over the next few days and lots of things to try since there are tons of vendors here.  
Trying out a basset clarinet.
A clarinet made of boxwood

Lisa's Clarinet Shop even has a photo booth! 

I also had the chance to attend Michele Zukovsky's presentation about her father's experience studying with Simeon Bellison. She shared stories, photos, recordings and included her own musical demonstrations. I was also able to attend the Backun artist recital this afternoon and you can check out that concert report on the ClarinetFest blog where I'll be doing some guest blogging.

Michele Zukovsky accompanied by Steven Harlos.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ClarinetFest Day 1

I'm in Lawrence, Kansas this week at the International Clarinet Association's annual conference, ClarinetFest!  It's one of my favorite events of the year, a great chance to try out new equipment at the exhibits, watch presentations, and listen to great concerts and master classes.  After a run and a delicious big breakfast at Ladybird Diner, we drove to campus to pick up our swag bags and registration packets before watching the first recital of the day.

The swag bag that contained our program and other goodies.
Welcome to ClarinetFest!

This year I'm helping out at the H. Karlsson Woodwinds and I hope that you'll stop by and say hello!  She has a great selection of new and used Buffet clarinets, Gao clarinets, reeds, and music jewelry.

The initial set up, merchandise will be set up in the morning.

After set up I attended the host recital featuring Stephanie Zelnick and Robert Walzel.  You can read more about that recital on the website where I'll be guest blogging this week as one of the conference reporters! I also had a chance to attend Pierre Genisson's clarinet recital before grabbing a tasty dinner at Baan Thai Restaurant. The evening concert was unique in its presentation, it was entitled An Unlikely Muse and featured David Shifrin on clarinet and actor Jack Gilpin playing Richard Muhlfeld.  Together they told the story of Brahm's later years after he had announced that he had retired from composing.  After meeting Richard Muhlfeld, Brahms comes back out of retirement to compose the two clarinet sonatas, trio, and quintet.  The listener is treated to excerpts of these compositions as the story is told.

One of the recital halls.

Onward to the next day!