Author Topic: Tell us your professional life as a clarinetist or otherwise  (Read 190 times)

Offline TMHeimer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 50
  • Newbie!
    • View Profile
Lots of stuff about clarinet models, mouthpieces, etc.  As professionals, we come to a point where we are pretty satisfied with our equipment. How did you get to where you are?  Is there further to go? Money?

My story is on LinkedIn and elsewhere, obviously. I have sat next to about 40 clarinetists professionally over 5-6 decades-- those that are in my wheelhouse-- that is-- really very good but not top professional. What is your story?-- Similar to mine?
The Most Advanced Clarinet Book
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom
(click on the book image then on PDF for samples)

Offline DaveLeBlanc

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3023
  • Clarinet-ing since 2012
    • View Profile
    • Watson Musical
Re: Tell us your professional life as a clarinetist or otherwise
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 10:39:23 PM »
I never went pro. I played clarinet at UCLA in a variety of groups

1. Symphonic Band. This is the standard band group for non-music majors (I got a BS in Meteorology, BA in Asian Studies and MA in Asian Studies)
2. VGOC (Video Game Orchestra and Choir) which became GME (Game Music Ensemble). I was one of the very first members of VGOC, when there were less than 20 members. When GME began, there were up to 200 players, so many that they had to audition for each individual peace. Each piece in a concert was played by only a fraction of the total membership.
3. On-call Contra Alto Clarinetist. As I appeared to be the only C-Alto Clarinetist in Great Los Angeles, I was the on-call guy whenever UCLA had any event that needed a Contra player. My favorite was probably the Doctoral Concert for a guy who was pursuing his Doctorate in Conducting. As I understood it, the concert was basically part of his PhD dissertation. It was nice to be invited to such a special occassion.

I haven't really played clarinet since college. I transitioned almost entirely to clarinet repair and restoration, with a bit of "Clarinet Historian" on the side. I also help with this forum and ClarinetPages.xyz (though I've been slacking on the .xyz site - I'm sorry, Phil)

Long story short, I was never "good" enough to make money playing. I always found it a fun hobby, and used my skill as a rare contra-alto player to get myself gigs where necessary.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline DaveLeBlanc

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3023
  • Clarinet-ing since 2012
    • View Profile
    • Watson Musical
Re: Tell us your professional life as a clarinetist or otherwise
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 10:41:07 PM »
in terms of a truly professional life, I am woefully unemployed due to the virus.

Ironically, I had three active job offers before the plague struck. I turned down Bank of America and AAA in favor of a management track at Geico. However, the Geico offer was entirely rescinded so I was left on unemployment for the past several months.

With unemployment around 13%, I don't have any real prospects for the future. At least the local Home Depot and Trader Joe's are hiring...
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline BLMonopole

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us your professional life as a clarinetist or otherwise
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2020, 03:26:50 AM »
Wow, Dave....really sorry that it has been a rough time for you.  Hang in there....things are getting better, the economy is opening back up, and I know that you'll be back in a good place with work soon. 


Offline BLMonopole

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us your professional life as a clarinetist or otherwise
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2020, 03:41:08 AM »
I played clarinet from 4th grade through the end of high school.  I was pretty good, but hadn't planned on playing in college.  Fate intervened when I found out that I basically needed a scholarship to even afford going to college, and I ended up getting some money at an out-of-state school as part of a music scholarship. My parents later moved to that state during my sophomore year, and therefore the scholarship was no longer needed.  I immediately changed majors, took on a huge course load to try and graduate on time with a more business-focused degree, and never looked back.  I literally didn't play for over 20 years. 

I have had careers in advertising, marketing, agriculture, and I have run a non-profit for the past 4 years.  I've been lucky to have enjoyed each step along the way, and to have made a nice living as I've gone along. 

Once my life, family, and career were in a good place, I started to miss music.  I started back playing with a community band almost 10 years ago now, and have loved it.  I now study with a teacher, play in chamber ensembles, and have built up a stable of great instruments that I enjoy playing.  Continuing to play these awesome vintage instruments is basically my "retirement plan," although retirement is still several years away. 

Offline Airflyte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
  • CONNoisseur of Vintage Ebonite
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us your professional life as a clarinetist or otherwise
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2020, 01:31:26 PM »
Pure hobbyist level for me. I purchased my first clarinet at a Goodwill store 20 years ago. It was a Pruefer Silver Throat and I still have it!

I like to discuss and collect clarinets. Mostly old ones but I do pay attention the latest offerings from Yamaha, Selmer, Buffet, etc.

 The Sir Nicholas Shackleton collection is pure excitement for me  :D I think he was considered an "amateur" clarinetist.

With that being "said", I enjoy discussing musical theory, interval training, composers, etc., but when the day is done, I just like to make music with the best woodwind known to humankind.

Lately, I have been musically stuck in the Baroque period. In fact, I often wonder if our resident clarinet maker (Jared) would be willing to 3d print me a nice copy of an instrument in the style of Johann Denner. Either in 415 or 430 (=A) Hz.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 03:28:02 PM by Airflyte »
"The Clarinet - in a class of its own"

Visit Phil Pedler's Clarinet Pages NEW website!
https://sites.google.com/clarinetpages.net/clarinetpages

Offline kewald

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Recently returned to playing clarinet.
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us your professional life as a clarinetist or otherwise
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 11:15:58 AM »
My story is complicated and could be book length.  Here's the short version.

Played clarinet from 4th grade through HS and never again until recently.

A few of my careers include: Electronics technician in the early 1960s.  Computer software developer (mainframe in the 1960's and more modern stuff in the 1990's.Small business owner: Home cleaning service, energy conservation products (sun control film, etc.), energy conservation engineering (I'm not an engineer but farmed out any work that needed to be done by one), SEC Registered Representative and financial analyst on a few small private stock offerings.  Then I decided to finish college.  Earned a BBA '91 and later an MBA '94 (age 54).  After completing my second stint in computer software in 2001, opened a custom picture framing store which went bust in 2008 (like many many others).  Semi retired since then, having worked a year at Home Depot, built custom furniture for about 5 years, flew drones doing roof inspections for 3 years, and now refurbishing clarinets for the fun of it.

Life happens while planning to do something else.

Can you tell that I get bored easily?  Never did want to get into a rut.

Ken
Retired
Rank beginner at Clarinet and Alto Sax