• The Final Resting Places of Famous Composers

    Longtime readers should know me well enough by now to know that I have an interest in the macabre. When I’m not practicing my clarinet, I enjoy reading Stephen King, listening to scary stories on YouTube, and exploring cemeteries. Last year, I visited the graves of famous clarinetists around the world. In addition to clarinetists’ graves, I also had the opportunity to pay my respects to famous composers. Here are a few of the composers’ graves I have visited: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Wiener Zentralfriedhof – Vienna, Austria. Franz Schubert (1797-1828). Wiener Zentralfriedhof – Vienna, Austria. Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Wahnfried – Bayreuth, Germany. Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884). Vyšehrad Cemetery – Prague, Czech Republic. Johann Strauss…

  • Halloween Costume Ideas for Clarinetists

    Why not celebrate Halloween like the clari-nerd you are? Here are some delightfully dorky costume ideas for my fellow Halloween-loving clarinetists: A clarinet. Obvious, yet effective. Box of reeds. Grab some cardboard and recreate your favorite reed boxes! A reed. Bonus points for chipping/warping/mold/other personal touches. Edward Reedhands. Channel your inner Johnny Depp, but with reeds instead of knives. Jack the (Reed) Ripper. Serial killer + copiously placed reeds to confuse all your non-musician friends. Benny Goodman. Slicked back hair, glasses, suit and tie, and some swing solos are all you need. Mozart Concerto (or your other favorite piece of music). Feel free to use speakers to blast the music all…

  • Spooky Clarinet Solos to Get in the Halloween Spirit

    As clarinetists, we are lucky to have a veritable treasure trove of repertoire at our disposal. Throughout the years, I’ve curated quite the music library, including all the standard repertoire and some quirky gems I’ve found along the way. I’m sure I’m not the only clarinetist who has purchased incidental music by title alone, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to share some of my favorites with you. I love planning and performing themed recitals, and I’d like to share some Halloween repertoire inspiration with you. Even though I haven’t performed all of these pieces, I’ve read through them and chosen them based on their evocative titles or…

  • Clarinet Crafts: How to Make a Reed Graveyard

    As clarinetists, we spend a lot of our time with reeds. Buying reeds, testing reeds, adjusting reeds, rotating reeds, chipping reeds, warping reeds, crying over reeds…it only seems fitting that we give our reeds the proper burial that they so deserve. I got the inspiration for this idea from my student Julia, who created a reed graveyard for her dearly departed reeds several years ago. If you’re looking to honor the life and legacy of your favorite reeds, here’s how you can make your very own reed graveyard. What you’ll need: Shallow box, box lid, or other container (I used a baking tray) Styrofoam, sand, rocks or other surface to…

  • The Bizarre Deaths of Historical Clarinetists

    You probably know by now that October is my favourite month. I love feeling the brisk chill in the air, indulging in sugary seasonal coffee drinks, and enjoying the magnificent foliage around me. But what I love most about October is Halloween – the scary stories, horror movies, and everything macabre. I have quite the lineup of all things spooky and clarinet-related, so gather ’round the virtual campfire as we celebrate Halloween, Jenny Clarinet style! Prepare to be spooked by the peculiar demises of these historical clarinetists: Anton Stadler (1753-1812) – You would think the celebrity garnished as “Mozart’s Clarinetist” would secure a cushy lifestyle, but that wasn’t the case for…