Historical Timeline

  • 1964 - National Clarinet Clinic Hosted at the University of Denver

    Ralph Strouf, professor of clarinet at the University of Denver, proposes a national clarinet conference to mark the university’s centennial year and hosts a five-day National Clarinet Clinic.

  • 1967 - Ramon Kireilis succeeds Ralph Strouf at the University of Denver

    In 1967, Ralph Strouf resigned from the University of Denver for a new position at the new Metropolitan State College in Denver. That summer, Ramon Kireilis, having just finished his doctorate at the University of Michigan, was invited to interview for the open position during the 1967 National Clarinet Clinic. The DU School of Music administration wanted their prospective clarinet professor to know about this successful national clinic so it could be continued in coming years.

  • 1972 - First annual National Clarinet Competition is held

    First annual National Clarinet Competition is held, open to high school students. This competition is eventually expanded to its current format, a separate high school and young artist competition, the latter including competitors up to age 27.

  • 1973 - The International Clarinet Society (ICS) is formed

    The International Clarinet Society (ICS) is formed at the 1973 National Clarinet Clinic. Ramon Kireilis serves as the first president and gathers members, officers, and committees under a unified mission statement. The official quarterly journal, The Clarinet, begins publication.

  • 1974 - ICS Articles of Incorporation are officially filed

    On August 15, 1974, the articles of incorporation were officially filed for the ICS by Harry “Bud” Rubin (1928-2018), an attorney and crucial early volunteer for the organization.

  • 1974 - First Official ICS annual meeting is held in Denver, Colorado

    The first official ICS annual meeting is held in Denver, Colorado, during the annual National Clarinet Clinic.

  • 1974 - The Burnett C. Tuthill Research Library forms the basis of what will become the ICA Research Library

    The Burnett C. Tuthill Research Library was the original basis of the I.C.S. Research Library, with Cecil Gold, Director.

  • 1976 - Lee Gibson volunteers to serve as editor of The Clarinet journal and becomes the second president of the ICS

    The late Lee Gibson (1915-2013), Ramon Kireilis’ mentor from North Texas State University, volunteered to be the editor of the Society’s publication, The Clarinet. Lee became President in 1978 when Kireilis wanted to devote his full energies as director of what had now become, the International Clarinet Clinic.

  • 1978 - First ICS conference held outside of the United States takes place in Toronto, Canada

    The first ICS conference held outside of the United States took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1978.

  • 1979 - The ICA Resource Library moves to the University of Maryland

    The ICA Resource Library moved to its current home at the University of Maryland Special Collections of Music, now known as the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, in 1979. 

  • Fall 1981 - First mid-year ICS Board meeting is held in Chicago

    In the fall of 1981, the first mid-year ICS Board meeting was held in Chicago.

  • 1981 - First ICS conference outside of North America is held in Paris, France

    In 1981, the first ICS conference held outside of North America was held in Paris, France.

  • 1981 - ClariNetwork International, Inc. is formed with a focus on professional performers

    In 1981-1982, a new clarinet organization called ClariNetwork International, Inc. was formed with a focus on professional performers.  

  • 1988 - ClariNetwork International and ICS vote to merge into one organization

    Prior to the Virginia Commonwealth University Clarinet Conference, the ClariNetwork and ICS boards met to discuss merging the ICS and ClariNetwork International. Gerry Errante, Daniel Levy, John Mohler, Ed Riley, Bud Rubin, and Chuck West facilitated the merger. The motion was unanimously approved by the 59 members present.

  • 1991 - The organization’s name is officially changed to International Clarinet Association (ICA)

    The merged ICS and ClariNetwork International members vote to change the organization’s name to International Clarinet Association (ICA).

  • 1994 - ClarinetFest®is held in Chicago

    Julie DeRoche, who later served as the ICA’s first female president from 2000-2002, hosts the 1994 ClarinetFest® in Chicago, one of the largest conferences to this point in the organization’s history.

  • 1994 - ICA purchases the extensive clarinet library of Jerry Pierce

    Jerry Pierce, one of the last of Daniel Bonade’s students, had a “deep interest in the repertoire of the clarinet.” His Pierce’s Potpourri in The Clarinet magazine detailed many obscure and hard-to-find clarinet compositions – real treasures for clarinetists everywhere. After his death in 1994, the Association purchased his extensive clarinet library for the ICA Research Center at the University of Maryland. Jerry’s wife, Linda, coordinated the Society’s Commissioning Project for several years.

  • 1995 - ICA website launched

    ICA website was launched in 1995 by Stan Geidel under the guidance of Alan Stanek.

  • 1997 - ICA Orchestral Audition Competition is founded

    The ICA Orchestral Audition Competition was founded by Raphael Sanders in 1997. Raphael coordinated this from 1997 to 2007. The first competition resulted in a tie, with Jun Qian and Guillermo Sanchez both placing first.

  • 1998 - The ICA celebrates its 25th Anniversary

    The ICA celebrated its 25th Anniversary at the 1998 ClarinetFest® at Ohio State University, a festival that was hosted by James Pyne. During this festival, the ICA set a new Guinness Record, with 280 clarinetists performing “When the Saints Go Marching In” on stage with the Columbus Symphony during the “Picnic with the Pops” concert. The association also reached the milestone of 4,000 members in 1998.

  • 2010 - Electronic voting for officer elections is introduced

    The ICA introduced electronic voting for officers in 2010. The ICA Board also reestablished the Composition Competition and entered a joint commissioning project with sister organizations (National Flute Association, International Double Reed Society, International Horn Society) to create a woodwind quintet. This quintet, Hardwood for Wind Quintet by Lansing McLoskey, was premiered at ClarinetFest® 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

  • 2018 - ClarinetFest® 2018 is held in Ostend, Belgium

    After the sudden passing of Guido Six and his son Jef, the ICA entrusted the planning of ClarinetFest® 2018 to Eddy Vanoosthuyse in his stead.  Guido served as the artistic director for two ClarinetFests®, 1993 in Ghent and 1999 in Ostend. The Annual Guido Six International Clarinet Choir Festival was founded during this ClarinetFest®.

  • 2019 - ClarinetFest® 2019 attendees set another Guinness World Record

    In 2019, ClarinetFest® 2019 was hosted by Victor Chavez at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. During the festival, attendees set the Guinness World Record for Largest Clarinet Choir ever assembled, conducted by ICA President Mitchell Estrin in Knoxville, Tennessee with 362 clarinetists performing an arrangement written by Matthew Johnston, conducted by the ICA President Mitchell Estrin.

  • 2020 - ICA Plays On! 2020 is held

    Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the ICA was forced for the first time in the organization’s history to cancel ClarinetFest®. The organization organized a free and completely virtual event June 26-28, 2020, to bring clarinetists together.  The event was attended by over 500 clarinetists all over the world.

  • 2020 - ICA adds Board of Directors position of International Vice President

    In 2020, the ICA added and elected it’s first International Vice President to the Board of Directors. Eddy Vanoosthuyse was elected to the position and began serving his term in September of 2020.