(Web version of September 2016, Vol. 43/4 print column)
by Kellie Lignitz-Hahn and Bret Pimentel
Adam Ballif teaches clarinet at Brigham Young University–Idaho. His website, www.adamballif.com, is an excellent example of a professional website, with his biography, audio samples of performances, and materials for his BYU-I students. It also has high-quality general clarinet resources including an annotated repertoire list and information on clarinet conferences and festivals. Ballif’s site is the home of the “ClariNotes” newsletter, a one-page publication with clarinet tips and exercises, as well as a blog covering pedagogical topics. Another interesting and useful feature is “Ballif Beats,” custom-made click tracks for repertoire that is difficult to practice with an ordinary metronome. Several are available for download, including the second movement of the Bernstein Sonata and several works by Eric Mandat.
Anne Bell’s ABC
Anne Bell is a clarinetist and educator and the creator of ABC (Anne Bell’s Clarinet) at anne-bell.woodwind.org, which has been in operation since 1998. Bell’s site includes very comprehensive and carefully categorized link lists, pointing clarinetists toward resources related to all aspects of the clarinet and clarinet playing: repertoire, recordings, history, education, acoustics and more. If you are looking for clarinet-related information, try Bell’s site for a meticulously curated collection of high-quality links.
Sean Perrin’s website http://clarineat.com is the home of the Clarineat podcast, a fascinating interview show featuring clarinetist guests like Martin Fröst, Harry Sparnaay and Michael Norsworthy, plus inventors, composers, entrepreneurs and other people involved in the clarinet world. The website is the place to listen to the show or find subscription links. The site also includes web-only content like product reviews, discussion forums and an online store selling many of the products mentioned on the podcast. Be sure to sign up for the email newsletter to be eligible to win giveaways like products reviewed on the site and signed copies of guests’ CDs.
Orchestral auditions and vacancies are often announced through social media sites such as the Facebook page “Clarinet Jobs,” but another great resource for current listings of open auditions is at www.auditioncafe.org. Here postings from orchestras stretching across four continents are conveniently listed by instrument and easy to search. Each job opening contains links to separate webpages that give dates, deadlines, and other pertinent audition information. Don’t forget to check out the site’s audition tips section where you can read Richie Hawley’s article on “Your Next Audition,” which breaks down the audition preparation process into five stages, or listen to Ricardo Morales’s expert advice in his YouTube video on how to prepare for an audition. Even a short video by actor Bryan Cranston, who plays the lead character on the hit TV drama “Breaking Bad,” has good advice for musicians pursuing the orchestral audition circuit.
Clarinetist Sean Osborn has created an extensive personal website at www.osbornmusic.com that highlights not only his career as a soloist, teacher and composer, but also provides valuable resources to both educators and performers. His educational links are worth looking into as his lengthy articles on improving technique and legato fingers are very insightful. In the orchestral guide link, Osborn presents mini-master classes taken from a paper he wrote on teaching and performing commonly requested orchestral audition excerpts. Viewers can access the entire 60-page paper or go to individual entries listed alphabetically by composer and excerpt. He covers topics such as phrasing, fingerings, tips and general background information on each piece, lending his expertise as an orchestral player to the reader. All of the master class entries contain links to YouTube videos of Osborn playing snippets of the excerpts. For the entire gamut of Osborn’s videos, visit his YouTube channel at SeanOsborn.
Applicable to all types of musicians at all levels, Noa Kageyama’s website www.bulletproofmusician.com is a wonderful resource for interesting articles and research on performance methods. As a violinist and performance psychologist on the faculty at Juilliard, Kageyama frequently posts his own articles on topics pertaining to practice techniques and learning processes, including mental strategies musicians can use to overcome lulls or setbacks in their own practicing. Addressing and analyzing commonly shared issues and obstacles faced by all musicians, Kageyama’s writings are enjoyable to read and can help any clarinetist become a better and more confident player.
Stay tuned for more useful and interesting clarinet content on the web, as well as an upcoming series of columns on building your own online presence! Send your ideas for future columns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Writers
Kellie Lignitz-Hahn is assistant professor of clarinet at Texas A&M University–Kingsville where she teaches applied lessons and directs the TAMUK Clarinet Choir. She received both her DMA and MM degrees in clarinet performance from the University of North Texas and her BM from Washburn University. Her primary teachers include James Gillespie and Kirt Saville. She is an active clinician and chamber musician, and frequently plays in the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.
Bret Pimentel is an associate professor of music at Delta State University (Mississippi), where he teaches clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and saxophone and directs the Jazz Ensemble. He received DMA and MM degrees in multiple woodwinds performance from the University of Georgia and Indiana University respectively, and a BM in saxophone performance from Brigham Young University. His clarinet teachers have included D. Ray McClellan, Guy Yehuda, Daron Bradford and Heather Rodriguez. He is an active performer in a variety of musical settings. He blogs at https://bretpimentel.com.