Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Carolina Clarinet Quartet

Demonstrating how congenial and generous the clarinet community can be, the members of the Carolina Clarinet Quartet have posted an offer on their website inviting fellow musicians to share and trade original works and arrangements in exchange for access to the group's own arrangements of clarinet quartets.  On their site you will find an index of over 175 pieces containing information on the instrumentation of each piece, timings, brief comments, and audio samples of the group performing selected works. Although some of the linked content and biographies are outdated by a few years, an article covering an in-depth analysis of mouthpiece materials by quartet member Brent Smith is worth checking out.  For those who live in North Carolina, the site also lists over 60 links to musical ensembles across the state for playing opportunities.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hornsmasher: Clarinet

Ever wonder what would happen if you pumped peanut butter into a clarinet with a pressure hose?  The guys at Hornsmasher.com did, and here is the result:

Monday, December 12, 2011

International Clarinet Association (Dec. 2011 column)

You may have noticed that the International Clarinet Association has recently been working to expand the offerings of the Clarinet.org website and to connect with members via Facebook.  We thought we would dedicate this column to exploring the new features at Clarinet.org and the ICA Facebook page.

The website of the International Clarinet Association, Clarinet.org was created in 1996 by Alan Stanek and Stan Geidel with important contributions from F. Gerard Errante, Mark Charette (of Woodwind.org) and Kevin Jocius.  The site has evolved over the years to offer more content and functionality, and has become a rich resource for members and non-members of the I.C.A. 

Starting with the new additions located under the “Archives” menu, the site now contains a link to the “Clarinet Anthology” and past ClarinetFest®  presentations.  Initiated and developed by past president F. Gerard Errante, these new categories are a great resource for articles from older issues (including several by Daniel Bonade) as well as up-to-date research and presentations courtesy of ICA members who have presented at past ClarinetFests.  

Though it’s been available for years, some of our readers may be unaware that the entire Master Index of The Clarinet is available online.  With over 1,800 articles indexed by Volume, Author, Title, and Category, this is the place to start when doing any clarinet-related research!  Another feature that is perhaps underutilized is the incredible ICA Research Center Library.  Set in motion during Robert Spring’s presidency, the ICA placed a listing of its Research Library Score Collection online making it easier and more convenient for members to peruse and borrow materials.  (You don’t have to be a member to search the Catalog.)  Housed at the University of Maryland, droves of scores supplied by several donors over the past two decades are available and can be checked out for up to two months with minimal cost to cover shipping. Just one of many perks to being a member!

Several other “Members Only” features have been added to the Clarinet.org site in recent years.  Members of the ICA now have access to PDF files of The Clarinet going back to December 2008 and “teaser” preview articles from upcoming issues.  They can also search the ICA Member Directory by name or state/country, making it easier to get in contact with clarinetists from around the world.  And for those who aren’t yet members, it is now very easy for everyone to join the ICA by registering through the web site!

I.C.A. Facebook Page
The ICA Facebook Page was conceived and created several years ago by Diane Barger, who continues to serve as an administrator of the page.  We recently asked Diane to elaborate about this initiative and how it serves the ICA, and we’ve included her remarks below:

“I have found that Facebook serves as a terrific resource for students, professionals, enthusiasts, etc. I remember the days when Facebook was strictly for students, and now people from all walks of life and of all ages are on this popular social media resource. I believe it is one of the best ways in which we can communicate with each other in a creative way.

“The ICA Facebook Group (simply named "International Clarinet Association") is a place where members can post information about things going on in their city/state*, ask questions pertaining to the clarinet, upload video or links, etc. And, it is regularly monitored by myself and a few ICA Board members who administer the site and ensure that all postings are appropriate for the purposes of the group. It is also a popular place for ICA ClarinetFest® Artistic Directors to post information about that year's conference.” -- Diane Barger

Due to changes in the way Facebook formats groups and pages, the page recently migrated to a new address (available here if you are logged in to Facebook).  Be sure to join the new group -- you will also be joining a conversation with clarinetists from around the world!

*Note that many ICA State Chairs have created individual Facebook pages, so it might be more appropriate to list local events there rather than the general ICA Facebook Group.  

We’re excited to be working together with Marco Mazzini (of ClariPeru) and the ICA to create a list of helpful links at Clarinet.org.  This list will feature local, regional, and national clarinet organizations; clarinet equipment retailers; and more. 

Send your favorite clarinet sites to clarinetcache@gmail.com for possible inclusion on our blog or in future columns!