by Joseph Beverly
Maryland Clarinet Day 2015, presented by the University of Maryland Clarinet Studio and Buffet Crampon, took place on the beautiful campus of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, MD on March 29. Host Robert DiLutis, UMD Professor and Buffet Artist, planned an exciting day of classes, vendors and performances that more than 75 clarinetists of all ages could learn from and enjoy. The featured guest artist was Mark Nuccio, newly appointed principal clarinet of the Houston Symphony. Other guest artists included UMD faculty members David Jones (Kennedy Center Orchestra) and Paul Cigan (National Symphony Orchestra).
Classes occurred throughout the day and were tailored to specific topics. Jones taught an excellent class on high school All-State preparation, while Cigan presented a lecture on orchestral excerpts for college students and professionals. DiLutis held a master class with students of many different levels, introducing innovative teaching strategies that were beneficial to both teacher and student. Nuccio also facilitated an excellent master class full of insight that immediately helped many students improve.
Along with the master classes, there were many exciting performances throughout the day. The day began with an impressive performance by the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra Clarinet Choir, led by director Albert Hunt. This was followed by a short recital of solo clarinet works featuring performers from the UMD clarinet studio. After lunch, DiLutis conducted the clarinet choir reading session. This gave participants a chance to play several challenging and beautiful clarinet choir pieces alongside professionals and teachers. The closing recital of the day was Mark Nuccio’s performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet with a group of graduate string students from the University of Maryland. Nuccio exemplified an ideal tone and emotional connection in this masterfully artistic performance.
Many different vendors and sponsors were in attendance as well, including Buffet Crampon, Music & Arts, RJ Music, Lohff & Pfeiffer, Rovner, L & L Music – Wind Shop, Redwine Jazz and D’Addario. There were reeds, mouthpieces, ligatures, music, and many different Buffet clarinets on display for everyone to try and purchase. Wolfgang Lohff also gave a very insightful and practical class on clarinet repair and maintenance. Maryland Clarinet Day 2015 was a success and we hope that you will join us in 2016!