Report by Jessica Harrie
The exhibition hall was buzzing Thursday, August 4 from the very moment that it opened. ClarinetFest® 2016 attendees clamored to try out new equipment and peruse the various wares that were being offered. Exhibitors, though spread throughout several floors and rooms in Murphy Hall, were convenient and easily accessed. I stopped in and spoke to several of the exhibitors about what they had to offer and tried to find out some of the special sales and giveaways that were being offered.
Clarinetists looking for a new instrument were not disappointed in the selection available. Buffet, Backun, Selmer, and Yamaha all had booths featuring their full lineup of instruments, not to mention countless other booths that specialize in hand-crafted and hand-selected instruments. H. Karlsson Woodwinds had a large selection of used instruments available to try as well. I made sure to drop off my entry to win the Buffet Tradition clarinet that will be given away on August 6th between 8-9pm.
Mouthpieces makers were also in attendance offering refacings and adjustments and selling their own models as well. I stopped in to visit with Ramón Wodkowski at the Ann Arbor Clarinet Connection booth to try some of his mouthpieces and have him make some adjustments on my own personal mouthpieces as well.
It’s hard not to stop by and pick up reeds when you’re here at ClarinetFest®, and I stopped by both Vandoren and D’Addario. D’addario is currently selling their reeds buy one get one free, so it was hard not to take advantage of that sale. I also picked up some of Vandoren’s new V21 reeds as well. Vandoren was also showing off their new Black Diamond Ebonite bass clarinet mouthpiece and newly available V21 bass clarinet reeds.
One thing I can’t leave ClarinetFest® without buying is sheet music, and this year, there were so many vendors selling music! I stopped by Alry Publications to see their new clarinet choir arrangements and signed up for their giveaway for a remuse sheet music pedal for iPad. I also loaded up at Groth Music with their 20% off All Print Music Sale.
The overall vibe in the exhibition hall was lighthearted and fun, and everyone was thrilled to have the chance to try all of the products in one convenient location. Lisa’s Clarinet Shop added to this atmosphere by allowing conference attendees to have a commemorative photo taken in a photo booth.
The exhibition hall was also open Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6 from 9 am to 5 pm.