Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blog: The Buzzing Reed

David H. Thomas, principal clarinet of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, has a fantastic blog called The Buzzing Reed: Confessions of an Orchestral Clarinetist. Some posts focus on his approach to clarinet technique, including double-tonguing, right hand pain, and breathing. Thomas also addresses specific repertoire and has posted video of himself playing the Muczynski Time Pieces, and a Jeanjean etude. Other posts cover the difficulties of performing Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, and the difference between orchestral and solo playing.

One of the best things about The Buzzing Reed is that it gives an inside perspective on the life of a professional orchestral musician. Thomas shows us that even a professional clarinetist is still human, and even while he has been with the orchestra for twenty years, he can still have problems with reeds or become nervous for a concert.

Many of his posts deal with the problems of the Columbus Symphony as it (like many orchestras these days) has struggled to deal with financial problems, turnover of directors, and rocky relations between the board and the orchestra members. Thomas's posts are critical of the organization at times, but they also show his dedication to bringing a high-quality artistic product to his community. The Buzzing Reed gives real insight on what it means to be an orchestral musician in times when a community has to balance economics with art.

Any clarinetist would enjoy and learn from this blog, but for those aspiring to be professional orchestral clarinetists, it's a must-reed. Ahem. Must-read.

3 comments:

GarnetDavid said...

Wow. Thanks for the rave review. I was just thinking today that I want to write more regularly, and now I have the incentive!

Kind Regards,
David

Anonymous said...

Check out Thomas's performance of Emerson Meyers's clarinet sonata. It is included in a buzzing reed posting in early January.

Nhoel said...

yeah nice, congrats to you garnetdavid.