Renowned clarinetists mentor students at annual Clarinet Day

Clarinet Day is held annually in the spring and allows budding musicians to learn more about the instrument and TROY's programs

Clarinet Day is held annually in the spring and allows budding musicians to learn more about the instrument and TROY's programs

Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music gave students from across the southeast the opportunity to learn from world-renowned guest artists and clinicians during the 14th annual Clarinet Day held March 26.

The day-long event began with an opening recital led by Dr. Timothy Phillips, clarinet professor and event organizer, featuring clarinetists Kelsey Paquin, Marissa Stanfill and Katrina Phillips and pianist Eun-Hee Park. After the recital, student clarinetists attended clarinet choir rehearsals, additional recitals, a clinic on maintenance and repair taught by Jonathan Copeland of Clarinets by Copeland and two masterclasses where individual students performed and received feedback on their playing.

The first masterclass was taught by Vanderbilt University clarinet professor Mariam Adam and covered fundamental techniques, such as airflow and proper hand position, and an understanding of embouchure and oral cavity. Mingzhe Wang, clarinet professor at Michigan State University, spoke on period clarinets, their role in Mozart’s music and how these period clarinets influence the way Mozart is played today.

In addition to their classes, Adam and Wang also performed works by Schumann, Cahuzac, Kovács, Poulenc and Rossini.

“My favorite part of the event is watching the students learn from the guest artists,” Phillips said. “You can take away so much from hearing a great recital—ideas about tone, musicality, collaboration. I think it’s inspiring for everyone involved.”

A group photo of instructors and organizers for the 2022 Clarinet Day event
Clarinet Day participants have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned clarinetists and to attend multiple classes, recitals and workshops to better their skills.

The closing concert featured the Troy University Clarinet Choir, who performed works by Michael Olson and John Mackey, and the Clarinet Day Choir conducted by Phillips and Jordan Dean. Adam and Wang also each gave a special performance.

“The students performed beautifully in the clarinet choir, and I was thrilled to see their interaction with the guest artists,” Phillips said. “The students gained new ideas about clarinet playing and an idea of what it’s like to be a Troy University clarinet student. I hope this renewed their desire to practice thoughtfully and consistently, and to think about their future as clarinetists.”

Phillips founded Clarinet Day in 2008 and orchestrates the event so each participant, from current TROY students to prospective students to the University itself, receives the maximum benefit.

“Clarinet Day is a big project for me and my students each year; we put lots of work into the planning and execution of the event. This teamwork helps the students on multiple levels by preparing them for their futures as educators, musicians and more,” he said. “Clarinet Day also gives high school students an opportunity to see what is possible with the clarinet and that TROY is a great place to learn how to play better.

“On a larger scale, Troy University Clarinet Day is an event that is well-known to clarinetists around the world. For many years, articles about the event have been published in ‘The Clarinet,’ the journal of the International Clarinet Association. This will happen again this year and clarinetists from every country will be able to read about what occurred here Saturday. Events like this helps to put Troy University on the clarinet map for both students and professionals alike.”

The event was sponsored by Liam Burke Custom Woodwind Repair, Henri Selmer, BG France, Buffet Crampon, Schwenk and Seggelke, D’Addario, World Clarinet Alliance and Vadoren. Vendors Clarinets by Copeland and Ridenour Clarinet Products were also on site.

For more information on TROY’s clarinet program, email tphillips16791@troy.edu.

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