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Three newly commissioned works for bass clarinet: a recording and performance practice guide

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New works for the bass clarinet as a solo instrument are uncommon. In the interest of expanding the repertoire of the bass clarinet, three new works for bass clarinet were commissioned from three different composers, all with different instrumentations. The

New works for the bass clarinet as a solo instrument are uncommon. In the interest of expanding the repertoire of the bass clarinet, three new works for bass clarinet were commissioned from three different composers, all with different instrumentations. The resulting works are Industrial Strength for bass clarinet and piano by Kenji Bunch; Dark Embers for two bass clarinets by Theresa Martin; and Shovelhead for bass clarinet and interactive electronics by Steven Snowden. Although all three works feature the bass clarinet, they are all very different and pose unique challenges to the performer. To accompany these pieces, and as an aid to future performers, a performance practice guide has been included with recommendations for individuals who wish to perform these works. Included in the guide are recommended fingerings, practice techniques, and possible adjustments to the bass clarinet parts designed in collaboration with the composers that make the works more technically accessible. Accompanying this guide are full scores of all three works, a recording of them performed by the author, and a chart that contains recommended altissimo fingerings.

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Date Created
2012

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A history of the first fifty years of the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix

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ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC)

ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC) is the only performing arts organization in Phoenix that can claim eighty-one years of continuous performance. The chorus gained popularity locally, nationally, and internationally in its first five decades. The breadth of the chorus's recognition began to decline in the latter part of the 20th century, but the chorus still retains a loyal following of audience members. This study focuses on the first fifty years of the OMC, especially the period from 1946 to 1979, the years the chorus was under the direction of Ralph Hess. Through his leadership the group's popularity and recognition reached a peak, thanks largely to his emphasis on civic responsibility, ties to service organizations, and musical ability and showmanship. No scholarly publications exist regarding this organization. Several boxes of memorabilia housed in the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tempe, Arizona, serve as the primary source of material for this study. Concert programs supply information about concert repertoire, advertising, and chorus history. Newspaper articles from local and international press offer reviews, announcements, and media perceptions of the chorus. Information illustrating the abundant civic engagement of the OMC appears in proclamations and awards from local, state, national, and international personalities. This objective information helps propel the story forward, as do the personal letters and stories contained within the collection. Because many documents from the latter part of the 1970s are missing, the primary source information becomes more anecdotal and subjective. This study illustrates some of the ways in which the OMC went beyond mere survival to occupy a significant place in the musical life of Phoenix. Engagement in civic and social functions and support for non-profit organizations established the chorus as more than just a musical ensemble. Their pursuit under Hess of "Cultural Citizenship" earned them international recognition as civic leaders and ambassadors of goodwill.

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Date Created
2010

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A supplemental repertoire list for the development of fundamental skills in pre-collegiate clarinetists

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Pre-collegiate clarinet instructors are often challenged to teach students both fundamental skills and repertoire with limited instructional time. Insufficient time may cause fundamental skills to be addressed at the expense of repertoire or repertoire study may limit time spent on

Pre-collegiate clarinet instructors are often challenged to teach students both fundamental skills and repertoire with limited instructional time. Insufficient time may cause fundamental skills to be addressed at the expense of repertoire or repertoire study may limit time spent on fundamental development. This document provides a suggested repertoire list that categorizes pre-collegiate clarinet literature based on the fundamental skill addressed in each included piece. Teachers can select repertoire that allows students to concurrently refine a fundamental skill while preparing a piece for performance. Addressed fundamental topics include embouchure, expanding the range into the clarion and altissimo registers, articulation, breathing, intonation, finger technique, and musicality.

Clarinet method books and treatises were studied to determine which fundamental concepts to include and to find established teaching techniques recommended by pedagogues. Pre-collegiate clarinet instructors were surveyed to determine which pieces of clarinet repertoire were frequently studied in their private lesson curriculum and why, and if they used specific pieces in order to isolate a fundamental skill. Literature found in repertoire lists, repertoire books, on-line catalogs, and from the survey results was examined. Repertoire was selected for inclusion if it contained passages that were analogous to the established teaching strategies.

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2014

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Building bridges through music: a recording and performance collaboration with adult composers, young soloists, and collegiate band accompaniment

Description

Although music is regarded as a universal language, it is rare to find musicians of different ages, ability levels, and backgrounds interacting with each other in collaborative performances. There is a dearth of mixed-ability-level wind band and string orchestra repertoire,

Although music is regarded as a universal language, it is rare to find musicians of different ages, ability levels, and backgrounds interacting with each other in collaborative performances. There is a dearth of mixed-ability-level wind band and string orchestra repertoire, and the few pieces that exist fail to celebrate the talents of the youngest and least-experienced performers. Composers writing music for school-age ensembles have also been excluded from the collaborative process, rarely communicating with the young musicians for whom they are writing.

This project introduced twenty-nine compositions into the wind band and string orchestra repertoire via a collaboration that engaged multiple constituencies. Students of wind and string instruments from Phoenix’s El Sistema-inspired Harmony Project and the Tijuana-based Niños de La Guadalupana Villa Del Campo worked together with students at Arizona State University and composers from Canada, Finland, and across the United States to learn and record concertos for novice-level soloists with intermediate-level accompaniment ensembles.

This project was influenced by the intergenerational ensembles common in Finnish music institutes. The author provides a document which includes a survey of the existing concerto repertoire for wind bands and previous intergenerational and multicultural studies in the field of music. The author then presents each of the mixed-ability concertos created and recorded in this project and offers biographical information on the composers. Finally, the author reflects upon qualitative surveys completed by the project’s participants.

Most the new concertos are available to the public. This music can be useful in the development and implementation of similar collaborations of musicians of all ages and abilities.

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Date Created
2018

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So, You Want to Do a Piece with Electronics? A Layperson’s Guide to Works for Wind Band and Electronics

Description

The number of compositions that use electronics alongside the wind ensemble has gradually increased in the 21st century, yet these compositions are infrequently programmed past their premieres. Explanations include lack of access to necessary resources, unfamiliarity with the repertoire, and

The number of compositions that use electronics alongside the wind ensemble has gradually increased in the 21st century, yet these compositions are infrequently programmed past their premieres. Explanations include lack of access to necessary resources, unfamiliarity with the repertoire, and inexperience with the technology they require. While there are other barriers to performance, this document focuses on familiarizing the repertoire and providing foundational knowledge necessary to overcome inexperience.

As the number of technology-native composers, audience members, and performers continues to increase, electronics in the ensemble are likely to become more standard. Without knowledge of the technology electronics require, these works will remain inaccessible. Composers attempt to bridge the technological knowledge gap by providing technical instructions for individual pieces, but this does not help people recognize the broader concepts that make all of these works more accessible. This document guides ensemble directors and performers to an understanding of these base concepts by developing a grading system for technology difficulty, assessing pedagogical and performance issues, and providing an annotated list of works currently available for electronics and winds.

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Date Created
2020