Friday, December 18, 2009

Clarinetists on Twitter (Dec. 2009 column)

Have you "tweeted" lately? For those of you who haven't yet heard of Twitter, it's time to become familiar with the latest social networking craze. Users at post "tweets," short messages of 140 characters or less, that range from personal thoughts to links, news, and self-promotion (similar to Facebook status updates). Once you have a Twitter username, you can choose whose tweets to follow, and read all of their updates in a feed on your homepage. Beginning in 2006 as an obscure phenomenon embraced by technology geeks, Twitter has steadily gained momentum; now it seems everyone has a Twitter account, from the local weatherman to your favorite celebrity.

Some symphony orchestras are using Twitter as a new way to connect with audiences by tweeting about upcoming concerts, or using Twitter to create live program notes during concerts. Even clarinetists have found their niche on Twitter. Some choose to post about musical events and personal projects, others have a mix of personal and professional commentary, and companies use Twitter to promote new products.

We at Clarinet Cache have created an account (@ClarinetCache) and begun to follow the feeds of several clarinetists and companies that serve the clarinet community. In past blog posts we have mentioned David H. Thomas (author of The Buzzing Reed blog) and Kyle Coughlin (creator of the website Clarinet Space), who both tweet regularly about their musical endeavors. Anthony McGill writes about his profession as a chamber and orchestral musician, and Jonathan Cohler has tweeted about the ClarinetFest in Porto and other international festivals. Commercial companies such as Vandoren, Rico, and Légère post about new products, exhibiting at conferences, and even special discount offers for their Twitter followers.

We invite readers to visit to see who we're following, and give recommendations to help us expand our list. Here is who we've found on Twitter so far:

David H. Thomas (@DTclarinet)
Kyle Coughlin (@KyleCoughlin)
Anthony McGill (@mcgillab)
Jonathan Cohler (@cohler)
Rico (@RicoReeds)
Vandoren (@VandorenUSA)
Legere (@LegereReeds)
Clarinet Jobs (@ClarinetJobs)