Saturday, July 17, 2010

Clarinet Camp at Midwest Young Artists

Last week, I attended a clarinet camp at Midwest Young Artists coached by Dileep Gangolli, my teacher. It was so much fun! Every day, we played our clarinets for five hours. Then, on Friday, we had a final concert.

On the first day, we started by introducing ourselves. There were seven other clarinetists at camp, and two of them were from other states. The oldest kid there was named Robert Orozco, and he came from California. He starts his senior year in high school next year. He was a great clarinetist and a very nice person. He always had something nice and encouraging to say about everyone. Scott Greene from MYA was also there. I think we get to be in the same orchestra next year. There was also another kid from Naperville, IL there. He was named Addison. He is going to be a sixth grader next year, and he was really good! There were other cool kids there too. We all got to know each other well by the end of the week.

On of the things that we talked about was reeds. I learned many things about breaking in reeds. You need to keep a cycle of 8 reeds going. the moment you take a reed out of the package, you want to dip it in water for a few seconds before using it. The first time you play a reed, you want to do it for a short time: like less than 5 minutes. If you feel it becoming soft and mushy, you should stop using it. Keep using it for longer periods in future days, and eventually it will get broken in.

The first actual playing we got to do was in an ensemble, in which all eight of us played together. We prepared three pieces: Joplin, Haydn, and Respighi. After that, we split off into groups of two to practice duets which Dileep had just assigned us. I got paired with a boy named Addison, who is ten years old. Addison was really fun to play with. He was really good, really nice, and he was really easy to work with. We also did master classes in which four of us got to play during the week. I did not get to play in any of the master classes. That didn't disappoint me, because playing in front of people makes me nervous, especially people who know me.

On Friday, we had a concert where we performed our duets, solos, and ensemble music. First, Dileep had a dres rehearsal with Scott (who as playing an Arabesque) with the pianist who was performing with us. Then a camera man came in and filmed our rehearsal. After that, Dileep got interviewed. I think it was for the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble. They were looking at his work as a teacher. Next, we had dress rehearsals with the pianist.

When the concert finally came, I was really nervous that I was going to mess up. We first did our duets. Addison and I did really well. Next were the solos. I did well mostly, except that I messed up in the technically difficult parts. The pianist was playing faster than I could play and I didn't know how to slow her down. Still, I feel like I played really expressively, and I finished with a feeling that I did really good.

It was a really fantastic week, and I hope I can come back next year.

Thanks, Dileep!

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