“We are very excited to perform at the Midwest Clinic, one of the premier music events in the world,” said Corey Mackey, assistant professor of clarinet.
“I remember when we recorded the music to apply and thinking, ‘I hope to see the TCU Clarinet Ensemble attend in the future,’” said junior Rylee Grimes. “However, I never imagined the future would be this year and that I would be a part of it!”
The ensemble spent the fall semester rehearsing for the concert, preparing to perform in front of an audience of peers, industry professionals and renowned artists.
The journey to the main stage required the ensemble to submit a collection of performance recordings and letters of recommendation from leading musicians and directors in the field. The coveted opportunity is based on musical excellence, with the collegiate ensemble category only offered to three groups each year.
“The TCU Clarinet Ensemble has provided me with amazing performance opportunities, including International Clarinet Association (ICA), Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and now the Midwest Clinic,” said senior Demitri Halasa. “This experience is unbelievable, and I’m beyond fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful program.”
As an invited ensemble, TCU students will perform a 75-minute concert featuring dynamic repertoire and newly-commissioned pieces written specifically for TCU, including:
- “Sugar Rush” by Martin Blessinger, professor of music theory and composition
- “Dusk” by Steven Bryant
- “Burlesque” by Adam Gorb
- “Compass” by Teresa Martin
- “On Being” by Brian Nabors
“Our main focus for this performance is promoting a diverse program and contributing to the repertoire through the commissioning of new works for the TCU Clarinet Ensemble,” said Mackey.
Mackey and each ensemble member donated to a commissioning consortium, where individuals chip in to receive first access to a piece and have their names included in the score.
“The piece is a snapshot of this year’s ensemble members,” said Mackey. “Each student will also gain a unique teaching asset to share in their future career.”
“Being accepted into Midwest after just two years of starting our clarinet ensemble made me realize how incredibly special this group is,” said student Alyssa Boortz. “I cannot wait to perform with my talented peers at Midwest and give others a glimpse into our shared passion for music.