The 2016 Belgian Clarinet Academy was held in Ostend, Belgium July 5 to July 12. Students from the USA, South Africa, Belgium and Brazil attended. This was our first year without the leadership of Guido Six, who passed away last November in a car accident. Leadership was taken over by a non-profit group under the umbrella of the Claribel Clarinet choir.
Our week consisted of daily warm-up class, lessons for all each day, ensemble rehearsals, classes on reeds and auditions, and of course, clarinet choir rehearsals. These were all led by Robert Spring, Deborah Bish, and Eddy Vanoosthuyse. Our “director” for the week was Chantal Vandekerckove, Guido Six’s wife and a member of the Claribel Clarinet Choir.
Students stay with host families and are treated to the great Belgian foods, chocolates and of course beverages! A day off in the week allows the chance to visit Bruges, Ghent, Brussels or even Paris, and our students did all four! The week culminated with two fantastic recitals featuring unaccompanied music, music with piano, quartets and trios and clarinet choir. We ended with our traditional banquet featuring some of the best foods and drinks Belgium has to offer.
Dates for next year are July 4-11. Faculty to be announced soon, but will include Eddy Vanoosthuyse, Dr. Deborah Bish and Dr. Robert Spring.