A Troy University associate professor recently celebrated a key radio milestone with the 400th episode of his weekly show “Clarinet Corner.”
Dr. Tim Phillips, Associate Professor of Clarinet at the John M. Long School of Music, has been interviewing clarinetists and playing a variety of clarinet-based tunes on TROY Public Radio for much of the last decade.
“About 10 years ago, [Dr.] Carl Vollrath came to me with the idea for me to approach TROY Public Radio about doing a clarinet show,” Phillips said. “There was a local show called ‘Band World’ that had recently ceased production, and since Carl knew I had a large collection of clarinet CDs, he thought it would be a good idea for a show. I contacted the radio station and they decided to let me give it a try.”
For Phillips, “Clarinet Corner” is a passion project.
“My favorite compliment about the show is when people tell me it puts them in a good mood,” he said. “I think great music can be healing in lots of ways. I’m also grateful when my students listen to the show and it motivates them. It’s just a pleasure to play this music on the radio. The clarinet is one of the most diverse instruments. It’s found in orchestras, jazz bands, on soundtracks and commercials, and in so many other places. I’m glad I get to promote the instrument and these great artists through my show.”
His first interview remains one of his favorites, as he talked with Anthony McGill, who was serving as the principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and had recently played for President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.
Others also stand out to Phillips.
“Since that time, I’ve interviewed principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic Wenzel Fuchs, assistant principal clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony John Yeh, bass clarinetist Michael Lowenstern, New Orleans clarinetists Evan Christopher, Gregory Agid and Doreen Ketchens, and James Kanter, who has played in over 1,500 film scores,” Phillips said. “I’ve also interviewed so many others. It has been incredible to meet all these people and to hear about their creative processes and their approaches to making music.”
His favorite part of the show, however, is finding new music.
“So many of my clarinet colleagues around the world have connected with the show, and they send their new CDs for me to play,” Phillips said. “I love highlighting new work. I also enjoy playing long-lost recordings, or even favorites from the past. I always end each show by saying, ‘There’s a lot more where that came from,’ and it’s the truth.”
The show airs on WTSU TROY Public Radio on Mondays at 2 p.m. It can be heard on the radio or through the TuneIn app.