Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chamber Music in 2013

Happy New year! I am stunned to see that I did not blog once in 2012! The year just seemed to fly on by. It has been a truly wonderful year with the launch of my trio, Pulse Chamber Music. We are a clarinet/violin/piano trio, but change things up with some viola, baroque violin and recorders. It has been a great experience! We have had a very full first year, culminating with a very successful Call For Scores, and an awesome trip to Rome, Italy to perform the closing concert for the Nuovi Spazi Musicali Festival, at the American Academy. 2013 brings some exciting concerts as well, including venues in NYC, Washington DC, and Paris, France, among others. Things have moved along pretty quickly for us as we attempt to launch a chamber ensemble. It’s a pretty interesting venture to do this, totally self-managed. We live in an amazing time where it is possible to easily create an online presence, through self-made websites and social media. Identifying appropriate venues and finding contact information is possible with only an Internet connection and some time on your hands. The tough part, for most of us, I think, is the self-promotion necessary. It requires researching venues, sending countless emails, and making countless phone calls. It requires a continuous investment of time, but is absolutely possible! I think the idea of self-management, and creating a performance career for oneself, is incredibly exciting. The days of orchestra/soloist/string quartet being the only performance opportunities are gone. Create your own musical identity in this world – the possibilities are limitless!! I would be very interested to know if anyone is interested in this conversation. I would love to hear from others about how you are doing this very thing for yourselves. Please leave comments, or if you prefer you may email me at UM – mdonaghue@miami.edu Let’s share our ideas, the more the merrier! I am wishing you all a healthy, prosperous, and fulfilling New Year. Happy 2013!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pulse Chamber Music

Well, I have been away for a while…. it’s nice to be back! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!!

Along with preparing for the holidays, I have been preparing for the first concert of my new ensemble – Pulse Chamber Music. It has been so much fun and a HUGE learning experience to launch a new group. We have done everything from website, promotional CD, promotional video, press kit, bookings, publicity, etc. We started this past summer and are excited to be performing our first concert next week.

The members of Pulse, Marina Radiushina, piano, Scott Flavin, violin/viola, and I are all professional musicians and have performed around the world as soloists and with other ensembles. It has been a true joy to put this group together.

As we move further into the 21st century, it is increasingly important for musicians to take their performing lives into their own hands and create performance opportunities for themselves. There is still a love for classical music and I believe there is and will continue to be an audience for it. Its up to us to bring this music to the audience.

It’s an exciting time right now for entrepreneurial musicians. There is so much we can do on our own to further classical music in our society. And just to be clear, by classical I mean everything from chants to music written today. In our concert next week we will perform works by Bruch, Khachaturian and Telemann, as well as several new works – including the premieres of 2 pieces written especially for us.

If anyone has any thoughts/comments/ideas regarding the topic of launching a new group, please share!

If you are so inclined, please visit our website at www.pulsechambermusic.com
And if you are in South Florida, please join us next Thursday, December 29 at 7:30, at the All Saints Episcopal Church, just off Las Olas Blvd in Fort Lauderdale!!

Wishing each of you a truly spectacular 2012!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New School Year/New Inspiration


I have just returned from the ICA ClarinetFest in Los Angeles. It was five days packed with all things clarinet. It was fantastic. I am feeling so refreshed, inspired and energized – just in time for the new semester to begin.

What inspires you? We all need to periodically regroup and refresh, to keep the creativity flowing; to maintain the energy needed to practice, rehearse, and perform; to be a performer, teacher, composer. Its an exciting life but it does require an abundance of energy and inspiration. So I ask, what inspires you?

Last week was fantastic. There were spectacular performances of every kind – chamber, solo, orchestral, new music, old music, everything and anything you might want to hear. That inspires me. I saw many people from my past (and present) that I so admire, and to renew those bonds is inspirational. I met new people that are now a part of my musical life – both performers and composers – very inspirational.

I spent some time driving up the Pacific Coast Highway; driving through the canyons to emerge from beautiful mountains to be greeted with the beauty of the Pacific Ocean; swimming with my family in the waves of the ocean. All inspiring.

What inspires you?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Clarinet Chamber Music

A couple months ago I performed at the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI) National Conference at the University of Florida. It was two days full of wonderful performances and presentations, given by faculty members and graduate students from universities all over the country. It was exciting!

It was a great opportunity to hear a lot of clarinet chamber music, much of it new. In fact so much of it was new that I thought it would be interesting to list the works here so you can see what is out there and what is being performed around the country. I have included performers’ names and where possible, affiliated schools, certainly because they deserve the recognition but also so that you have a starting point if you wish to inquire about some of this repertoire.

NACWPI 2011 Clarinet chamber music

Tangent; Hugo Weisgall (1912-1997)
I. Starting Out
II. Scooting By
III. Moseying Along
IV. Taking Off

Sonatine for flute and clarinet (1931); Jean Cartan (1906-1932)
Pastorale
Berceuse
Rondeau

The Scott/Garrison Duo
Leonard Garrison, flute
Shannon Scott, clarinet

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Wings (1981); Joan Tower (b. 1938)
Rebecca Rischin, clarinet

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Eloquence II for solo clarinet (2010); Lori F. Ardovino (b. 1960)
Lori F. Ardovino, clarinet

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Trío de alientos (1965, rev. 1979);Joaquin Gutierrez Heras (b. 1927)
Allegro
Allegretto scherzando
Moderato espressivo e flessibile

The Sonora Reed Trio:
Christa Garvey, Oboe
Richard Fletcher, Clarinet
Kristine Fletcher, Bassoon

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Euphoric Dance for Clarinet Quartet; Richard Byrd (b. 1961)
Commissioned by the Commonwealth Clarinet Quartet

Weep No More for Clarinet Quartet (2009); Elizabeth R. Austin
Commissioned by the Commonwealth Clarinet Quartet

Four Impossible Objects; Brad Baumgardner (b. 1980)
I. Devil's Fork
II. Penrose Triangle
III. Mobius Strip
Commissioned by the Commonwealth Clarinet Quartet

The Commonwealth Clarinet Quartet
John Cipolla, Western Kentucky University
Dallas Tidwell, The University of Louisville
Connie Rhoades, Eastern Kentucky University
Scott Locke, Murray State University

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The Seasons;Valencio Jackson, Jr. (b. 1974)
Snow Falls
Spring Awakens
I Saw Two Clouds at Morning
October

Marguerite Levin, clarinet; Phillip Collister, baritone; R. Timothy McReynolds, piano

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Um a Zero; Alfredo da Rocha Pixinguinha and
Benedito Lacerda
(1889-1973) and (1903-1958)

Apanhei-te Cavaquinho; Ernesto Narareth (1863-1934)

Tico-Tico no Fubá; Zequinha de Abreu (1880-1935)

Sheri Falcone, clarinet
Denise Rowan, bassoon
Rosângela Sebba, piano

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Chants d’Auvergne; Joseph Canteloube
L’Antouèno
L’aio de rotso
La delaissádo
Obal din lou limouzi

Jana Young, Soprano
Margaret Donaghue Flavin, Clarinet
Russell Young, Piano

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Cinq Pieces en Trio; Jacques Ibert
1. Allegro Vivo
2. Andantino
3. Allegro Assai
4. Andante
5. Allegro Assai Marziale

The Sequoia Trio; Jenni Brandon
I. Sequoiadendron giganteum, The Big Tree
Tree Interlude One
II. "A crowd of hopeful young trees and saplings..."
III. The Three Graces
Tree Interlude Two
IV. The Noble Trees

Trio for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon; Heitor Villa Lobos
1. Anime
2. Languissammente
3. Vivo

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS REED TRIO
Rebecca Henderson, oboe
Nathan Williams, clarinet
Kristin Wolfe Jensen, bassoon

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Preludes, book 1 for solo clarinet; Eric P. Mandat (b 1957)
I. Illinois Central
II. the looking-glass
III. homage to P.J.
IV. spin moves
V. in Bill's back room
Amanda Morrison

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Eternal Garden—Four Songs for Clarinet and Piano (2009) David Maslanka (b. 1943)
IV. Eternal Garden
Steven Becraft, clarinet
May Tsao-Lim, piano

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Hommage à M. de Falla Béla Kovács (1936)

Moonflowers, Baby! A Jazz Essay for Solo Clarinet (1986); Meyer Kupferman (1926-2003)

Bruce Curlette, clarinet
Cedarville University

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Gathering Threads; Elizabeth Austin
Theme
Giacoso
Cantabile
Amanda McCandless, clarinet
University of Northern Iowa

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Elegie; Ferruccio Busoni

Duo Concertant; Darius Milhaud

Guy Yehuda, clarinet
University of North Florida

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Colors; Roger Jones
Green
Yellow
Purple
Orange
Blue
Red

Sandy Schwoebel, flute
Carol Christofferson, clarinet
Carol McNabb Goodwin, bassoon

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Demondance (2010); Carl Vollrath

The Troy University Chamber Trio
Dr. Timothy Phillips, clarinet
Dr. James Zingara, trumpet
Dr. Hui-Ting Yang, piano

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Etudes, from 32 Etudes for Clarinet and Piano; Cyrille Rose (1830-1903)
(arr. John Walker)
I. Andante cantabile
II. Allegro
IV. Allegro
VII. Allegretto
IX. Moderato assai
George Stoffan, clarinet
Kevin Orr, piano

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Three Scenes (aus Goethe, Wilhelm Meister); William P. Dougherty (b. 1956)
I. Dream
II. Hall of the Past
III. Egg Dance
Leslie Marrs, Flute
Clarence Padilla, Clarinet
Nicholas Roth, Piano

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Bi-Polarang; Eric Mandat (b. 1957)

Speak of the Devil Roshanne Etezady

Four Duets for Four Demi-Clarinets; William O. Smith (b. 1926)
Mysterious
Angry
Dramatic
Bold

Live Wire; Theresa Martin (b. 1979)

Robert Spring and Jana Starling, Arizona State University

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Pastoral, Op. 21; Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987)

Wind Quintet No. 1, Serenade for Five Wind Instruments; Gordon Jacob (1895-1984)
I. Overture
II. Air
III. Jig
IV. Interlude
V. Theme and Variations
VI. Rondino

Walking Tune, for wind quintet; Percy Grainger (1882-1961)

Quintet for Winds No. 3; David Maslanka (b. 1943)
II. Moderate
III. Very Fast


University of Georgia Wind Quintet
Angela Jones-Reus, flute
Reid Messich, oboe
D. Ray McClellan, clarinet
Amy Marinello, bassoon
Jean Martin-Williams, horn

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

A sampling of things I am thankful for:

My wonderful friends and family
My two amazing sons and awesome husband
Talented and inspiring students
The best colleagues
Frost School of Music, University of Miami
MiamiClarinet
Clarinet, Clarinetists, Clarinet rep....
Good Reeds!!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chamber Music

I am in the midst of some great chamber music making. It is truly one of my favorite things to do. I feel blessed to have the wonderful opportunities to perform amazing music with treasured friends and colleagues.

I think that what enamors me the most about chamber music is the ‘team spirit’ involved. Most musical decisions are made as a group; including larger issues such as tempo, structure, character...as well as finer details like articulation length and dynamic shadings. At the same time, thousands of decisions are made by the individual in any given rehearsal or performance. I love that you can hear every line at all times; the blending of phrase, intonation and color is so fantastic. These decisions, both group and individual, come together for the greater good, so to speak. It is truly a case of the final product being greater than the sum of its parts. Gestalt. Love it.

I would love to hear some of the chamber music you are all playing these days! For those interested, here are some of the pieces I am currently involved with:

Rage against the machine, Scott Stinson. An exciting, new quartet for two Bb’s and two Bass clarinets

Sextet for Strings, Clarinet, Horn and Piano, Dohnanyi

Two, Scott Flavin. A brand new, beautiful duo for Clarinet and Violin

Quintet for Winds and Piano, Mozart

Suite for Clarinet, Violin and Piano; Milhaud

Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, Khatchaturian

Trio for Clarinet, Horn and Piano; Gustav Jenner

Trio Pathetique, Glinka

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium

Last weekend I performed at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium. What a wonderful experience on so many levels! For those that may not know, it is a three day symposium filled with performances, clinics and exhibits. The evening concerts included, among others, Stanley Drucker, the Chicago Trio, Dmitri Ashkenazy and Alessandro Carbonare. As you would imagine, all were exciting and inspiring performances.

The exhibits were open all day - Backun, Luyben, Woodwindiana, Muncy, WoodwindBrasswind, Buffet, Yamaha, Selmer, Rico...the list goes on and on! It was such fun to look through all the music, try instruments, mouthpieces, bells, barrels...I am not one to experiment too much with setup. I play what I like and don't change very often. But---this was fun!!

I performed on the final day with the MiamiClarinet Quartet. This group is actually sort of an offshoot of this blog. The quartet included Danielle Woolery, Teaching Assistant and Mancini Fellow at the University of Miami, Dr. Dawn McConkie Courtney, Professor of Clarinet at Emporia State University, and Dr. Michael Walsh, Professor of Clarinet at South Dakota State University. Dr. Courtney and Dr. Walsh are both former students of mine and hold degrees from the University of Miami. They were once my students, they are now my colleagues and friends.

For anyone interested in clarinet quartet repertoire, we played some great new works. The first was Nebulous by Derek Sherron. He is also a former student of mine, and holds a degree from the University of Miami. He is currently pursuing the Master's Degree in Composition at New England Conservatory. It is a three movement work that is exciting, intense, beautiful...a great piece. We also played an amazing work by Scott Stinson, Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of Miami. It is entitled Rage against the machine, and is incredibly exciting. It is scored for two Bb's and two Bass Clarinets, giving it great depth of range and color. We thought we would end by bringing a little Miami to Oklahoma and played an arrangement of mine, Miami Beach Rhumba.

In short, we had a blast and look forward to the next time we can get together. The Symposium was terrific and I urge you to check it out for next year. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend ICA in Austin in a few weeks but I hope many of you will be going. If so, add a comment, I would love to hear about it!

Happy summer,
Dr D