ARCS Clarinet Academy 2013 review
Following on from 16 years of The Clarinet Summer School, the first ever ARCS Clarinet Academy took place at the end of July 2013. This year’s event, although smaller in numbers, proved to be highly successful, with the students benefitting from more one to one time and more performance opportunities.
My thanks go to all involved, especially Brad Behn for his relaxed approach to playing and his knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching, in addition to the rare opportunity that he offered for personalised advice and customisation of mouthpieces, including his outstanding models.
Peter Glenville has been involved with these courses from the very start. His infectious enthusiasm was a huge help with the ensembles he coached and I thank him for the advice he was on hand to offer on everything clarinet related! It is the support of friends like Peter that has allowed the course to develop. My heartfelt thanks go to him for all his efforts to support the course.
Over the last few years Caroline Smith has been the official accompanist for our course and has always been willing to sight read any music we care to put in front of her fantastically well. In addition she is able to contribute views on the students’ performances, which are helpful, considerate and tolerant! My thanks go to her again for her continuing role with the Academy.
My final thanks go to the students who attended this year. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with such keen and talented young people. I hope you will all keep in touch and we hope to see you in Liverpool again in the future and do check out the pictures from the course below.
Testing instruments on the Academy
Peter coaching a quartet
Brad in a one 2 one with Lauren
Academy meal out!
Past students have enjoyed past courses, here is what they have to say…
“There isn’t much Andrew Roberts doesn’t know about the mechanics of the clarinet and how to play it. At the annual Clarinet Summer School in Liverpool he shares this knowledge with enthusiasm and generosity. I have been to four Summer Schools and always come away energised and with lots of ideas about how to improve my playing. More recently his Clarinet Service provided an excellent service.”
Jenny Dale, New Mills
“Andrew, I have finally have a few minutes since returning home to send a short email to you regarding the Summer School. I can’t thank you enough for a wonderful week of meeting new people and focusing in on clarinet specific issues in a way that I have never experienced before.
I have taken away a great deal of knowledge and information which has increased my clarinet-playing skills incredibly. I can hear a substantial difference in my sound compared to how I played before attending the course.
Thanks again for a wonderful experience and I look forward to being able to attend another Summer School whenever you end up putting one on again.”
Brad Gresham, Campbellville, Ontario, Canada
“I attended The Clarinet Summer School in 2000. Then, I had some fundamental embouchure and technical problems. Now I am training with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The course speaks for itself- START SAVING.”
Ciaran O’Donnel , Belfast, Northern Ireland
“Many thanks to the organisers of the 2004 Clarinet Summer School, which once again provided us all with a wonderful week of clarinet-related activities and opportunities!
I can’t emphasise enough how much I have learnt from attending this course – the tutors do their utmost to enable everyone to achieve their full potential, and are unfailingly friendly and approachable.
The ‘masterclass’ format which was used in at least one session every day gave us all the chance to play to and listen to others, and to absorb a great deal of valuable information – even if we may not have realised it at the time!
The ‘one-to-one’ sessions, when we were given the opportunity to book some individual time with the tutors, were always extremely helpful, and I feel that in this respect the tutors actually go well above and beyond the call of duty – individual tuition at no extra cost does not generally feature on any other music courses I’ve been on!
One of the week’s highlights for me was our clarinet choir’s performance in the foyer of the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool on the final evening of the course, which gave a welcome focus to our ensemble efforts. It’s only now when I come to write about it that I realise how full our days actually were. Although nothing was compulsory, most people were keen to attend all the sessions available, including a film and talk about clarinet production (a real eye-opener!), a talk on clarinet-related health issues, a demonstration of the principles of the Alexander Technique, a CD listening session comparing different playing styles and an inspirational tutors’ concert.
I’d recommend this course highly to anyone who has an interest in the clarinet – I shall certainly be back next year for more!”
Joanna Brown, London