ClarinetMike’s Performing Checklist

Performing with my Duo 35 buddy, Todd Oxford in Austin, Texas

Performing  in Austin, Texas with my Duo 35 buddy, Todd Oxford.

ClarinetMike’s Performing Checklist

Below is a checklist based on many years of giving performances and presentations and teaching students to do the same. Every audition, jury, performance, clinic, etc. is different, so focus on the ones below that apply to your situation.

  • Be Organized and Confident: organized in preparation and confident in performance.
  • Morning Performances = Get up extra early. (Go to bed early the night before.)
  • Mentally walk through performing day and concert (or audition, etc.) the night before.
  • Check weather and dress appropriately. Take trench coat, umbrella, etc.
  • Wear layers of comfortable clothing for audition, especially in a long audition.
  • Dress up and have good grooming. This will help even in a blind audition!
  • Eat good food – especially protein.
  • Take extra set of music.
  • Have a short bio ready for introductions.
  • Carefully plan all speaking during concert. Fit comments to audience. Keep it simple.
  • Leave and arrive early. Check traffic on Google Maps.
  • Have good directions to venue (GPS or map). Know precisely where the building is.
  • Plan for parking at venue. Budget extra time.
  • Know where you can warm up at venue – on stage is best.
  • Have concert recorded if possible: video is best! Check weeks before and upon arrival.
  • 2 water bottles & 2 clarinet pegs. One on stage and one for off stage/green room.
  • Get on stage or in room for sound check before concert  – a day+ early would be best.
  • At sound check, carefully check balance between piano or CD, etc. Recruit a helper.
  • Make sure tech person is at sound check.
  • Be very clear with stage crew/usher on stage set up, hall opening time, etc.
  • Make sure there is no profanity or embarrassing writing on back of music stand!
  • Don’t let an audition monitor rush you. Respectfully insist on what’s right.
  • Make sure page turner is set!! Have a backup plan.
  • Make sure programs/handouts are put out. Take extra ones in case someone forgets.
  • MAKE MUSIC! Always “Go For It!” when performing – just unload what you’ve loaded.
  • No negative comments or looks – stay upbeat, even if feeling sick or upset.
  • Take extra business cards for meet and greet after recital.
  • Don’t forget to pick up music after concert, especially CD’s and pianist’s music.
  • Follow up soon after concert with emails or texts to hosts and other VIP’s you meet.
  • Reflection. What did I learn today? Write yourself a little note on Evernote, etc.

[NOTE: This is a slightly modified version of a previously published blog post, see HERE.]

About ClarinetMike

American clarinetist MICHAEL DEAN performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as "world-class clarinetist and pedagogue," "consummate performer," "inspirational," "outstanding teacher," "super," "brilliant performer," and "one of the best clinicians I have ever seen." His career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Eastman School of Music, and Royal Northern College of Music with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he will return to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at Orfeo Music Festival 2017. He is featured on 5 commercial CD's and on New Media, such as YouTube. He is currently preparing another new clarinet CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He's performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He performed for 11 years with the Paducah Symphony. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-read ClarinetMike Blog, clarinetmike.wordpress.com-viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents. He was recently a tenured Associate Professor of Clarinet for 11 years at Southeast Missouri State University. He returned to his native Texas in 2012 due to family concerns. He is a past president and former National Board officer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Jess Youngblood, Bob Ackerman, and Pam Youngblood. His web page, clarinetmike.com, features video of his teaching and performing as well as information on his CD's and other publications. He is a BG France Performing Artist.
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