For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Jenny Maclay, or Jenny Clarinet, as my friends call me. As you might have guessed, I’m a clarinetist. I’ve been playing clarinet for about sixteen years now, and it is the most all-consuming, incredible, stressful, exciting, daunting, frustrating, enjoyable element of my life. Ever since I began playing when I was ten, it’s hard to remember my life without music – friends I made in band, school band trips, All State auditions, late-night practice sessions, recitals/performances/competitions – it always seems like my memories are centered around clarinet. My clarinet and I have grown together in a symbiotic way, and I’ve learned much about life through music (and much about music through life). Strange how that works, right? I’ve been blessed with wonderfully supportive family, friends, and mentors along the way, and in such a competitive field as classical music, I would crumble without their encouragement.
Recently, I have been offered the chance of a lifetime (and my dreams!) to move to Paris and study clarinet at the Versailles Conservatory, courtesy of a generous fellowship. I am in the final stages of preparation to begin my chapter in France and continue my musical studies abroad. The last few months have been a whirlwind of visa applications, currency conversions, phone plans, and other mundane details before I depart in August. Several of my friends suggested I start a blog as a way to keep in touch and update them on my adventures in Paris (which will probably include too many coffee and cat pictures – I apologize in advance). So here you go – voila!
Until next time (or I guess I should start saying à bientôt)!