|Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr master class|
Afterwards, I took some time to visit the exhibit hall and purchase some sheet music. As usual, the hall was filled with clarinetists of all ages and nationalities trying out equipment, catching up with old friends, and making new ones. Next, it was time for the Rico tour. The Rico company offered several tours throughout the week, conveniently busing people to the nearby Rico factory and back. There were about fifteen people on the tour with me, and as we arrived we saw some very cool reed artwork decorating the walls at the entrance to the factory.
|Reed artwork at the Rico factory|
|Harvesting Arundo donax|
After the tour, we were treated to refreshments and handed a goody bag, which included a free box of reeds, swab, mouthpiece cap, and some samples of the reed cane at various stages in the manufacturing process. I don't mean to sound like a commercial for Rico as there are many other great reed companies out there, but in recent years I have been impressed with Rico's commitment to working with artists to continually improve their product, and this tour certainly reinforced that for me.
The buses for the Hollywood Bowl concert left at 5:30, which gave everyone plenty of time to eat once we got there. Many people were picnicking with bottles of wine, and the location is simply beautiful.