Hopefully everyone has made it home safe and is beginning to recover from ClarinetFest 2008 in Kansas City. Before we left yesterday, we were able to catch most of Guy Yehuda's concert of solo clarinet music (which was great), as well as the University of Florida Clarinet Ensemble. The clarinet choir premiered one original work as well as four arrangements. Matt Johnston's arrangement of Holst's Second Suite in F was a real standout - with percussion added, this piece is a fantastic approximation of the original that would be a real joy to play. Though the arrangements were technically demanding even for a college group (especially the Mendelssohn Scherzo), they were all very well done and collectively make a great addition to our clarinet choir repertoire.
We already knew that the 2009 festival would be in Porto, Portugal; in Kansas City we found out that the 2010 ClarinetFest will be held in Austin, Texas. So, as ClarinetFest 2008 came to an end, we decided to take a look to the future by talking with Richard MacDowell, professor of clarinet at the University of Texas at Austin.
Looking even farther to the future, we also learned in Kansas City that ClarinetFest 2011 will be hosted by Julia Heinen at California State University in Northridge, CA (in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley). Jane Carl set the bar high with her fantastic job of organizing the festival in Kansas City, and we look forward to the many ClarinetFests yet to come!