I'm a semi-professional clarinet player. (which
means I play if they pay me, or if I'm having fun, and I don't have to worry about my livelihood depending on it!
It's really the best of all possible worlds. If you're a musician, you KNOW what I mean!)
Actually, I play with two main groups: The Kokomo Park Band (from Kokomo, IN) in the summer, and year-round with a woodwind quintet called The Slaughterhouse Five.
The Kokomo Park Band is actually one of the most amazingly good musical organizations around. I would put them up against any concert band in the country. Any. We are professionals who routinely sight-read music at our concerts, and pull off wonderful performances of some pretty tough stuff. We are also blessed with some pretty darned good arrangers, who routinely crank out piece after piece for us to play, sometimes on what seems like absolutely no notice at all. And the soloists and guest conductors they bring in are wonderful. The concerts are free to the public, and it's always a wonderful experience.
And the quintet? Well, we've been together for quite a
few years now, and I think we do quite well. After getting the Nielsen Quintet under our belts, and pulling it and the Poulenc Sextet (with piano) off in public, I think we're about there. You can go here to hear some audio clips of us.
Update October 2005: I've had one of my arrangements published! Inspired by the wonderful playing of Bass Clarinetist Michael Davenport, I finally followed through on finishing something I told myself I'd always wanted to do, and arranged Chopin's Etude Op.25 No.7 for Bass Clarinet and piano. Mr. Davenport's publishing company, Alea Publishing and Recording, has agreed to publish it, and it's now listed as an offering in their online catalog. Go here to see it, along with the other fine selections they offer for the Bass Clarinet (a truly under-recognized instrument).
Go here to see a few MIDI files I've done.
Most of my arranging is for woodwind quintet, but I do have one more. It's a MIDI file I did for my wife as kind of a wedding present. My wife is a Disney freak, and I know we've spent enough at the Disney Store to offset the award Disney will get from suing me for even doing this, but I couldn't resist. This is a very nice song, that's very underrated, and it kind of became our song. I played it for her at my wedding on the clarinet, with harp accompaniment. It came off well, but not so well, I think, as it does here. It was done on a Sound Blaster AWE32, and it definitely sounds better on that card than on my current, modern configuration! Of course, it's copyrighted and everything by Walt Disney, and all that legal stuff, but up it goes, till they tell me to take it off!
I've also written a little bit of music, which I'm going to get up here as soon as I can. I've done three big pieces so far:
1) A free arrangement of the unofficial Australian National Anthem, "Waltzing
Matilda", for Woodwind Quintet with Narrator, and
2) A sextet for woodwind quintet and harp
3) A set of variations on Mary Had a Little Lamb (for my daughter, who, before we gave a master class for her school's music program, taunted me with "I bet your group can't even play Mary Had a Little Lamb!" Surely, we could, I retorted....)
(Please note that this MIDI is VERY rough, with no expression, dynamic, or rubato tempo adjustments having been made to it. Please judge it with that caveat if you would!)
And here's a MIDI of an arrangement of the Overture to the Magic Flute for Woodwind Quintet. It takes quite a bit of working to get all the effects and harmonies squeezed into five voices, but if you like it, feel free to take the MIDI and extract the parts out for performance. Please give credit, though, and let me know about your use of it!
Other MIDI files I've just put up (2/6/02):
1) An Elizabethan English madrigal entitled "Come Again", which is very nice, arranged for Woodwind Quartet.
2) Another English Madrigal, "O Wretched Man", which is for six woodwinds. I couldn't find this anywhere on the Internet, so I may be the only one who's done a MIDI of it. I did it completely from dictation, listening to the King's Singers' performance. So, if the notes aren't exactly perfect, let me know without skewering me, please!
© 2001-2007 Dan McGlaun