PROGRAM NOTES for Duo 35 Concert at IBCA! ClarinetMike and Saxophonist Todd Oxford Perform Friday, June 9 In Arlington, Texas

ClarinetMike says, “Hey! Come to our FREE concert! You’ll hear GREAT music and have fun!”

As previously posted (HERE) Saxophonist Todd Oxford and I will be playing a FREE concert on Friday, June 9, 2017 at the International Baptist Church of Arlington at 7:30 pm. Joining us on this recital will be pianist Michael Schneider and clarinetist Sean Reed.

Duo 35 IBCA Concert 2017 Program Notes

Postcards from Silver Lake (2010) Mark Carlson (b. 1952)

Mark_CarlsonComposer Mark Carlson‘s lyrical, emotionally powerful, and stylistically unique music has earned him the admiration of audiences and musicians throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. A versatile composer, his approximately 100 works include art songs, chamber music, choral music, concertos, other large ensemble works, and songs for musical theater.

The recipient of more than 50 commissions, he has been commissioned by the National Shrine in Washington, DC, and the New West Symphony, among other organizations, as well as by many individual musicians and private parties. One of his thirteen CDs, The Hall of Mirrors, was a winner of the Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Awards for 2001. His works Sueños y cancionesIntermezzoTwo BalladsSonata for Cello and PianoFor Those Silenced, On the Coming of War, and Night Music have all been released on CDs over the past few years.

A member of the music theory and composition faculty at UCLA for many years, he also taught for fifteen years at Santa Monica College and is active as a private teacher. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles chamber music ensemble Pacific Serenades. He recently retired as a flutist after a lifetime of performing primarily chamber music, much of which was written for him. His music is published by Yelton Rhodes Music, Pacific Serenades Music, C Swigart Music, Black Squirrel Music, and Thorpe Music.

Born in 1952 in Ft. Lewis, WA, Carlson grew up in California, attended the University of Redlands, graduated from CSU Fresno, and received MA and PhD degrees in composition from UCLA. His principal teachers were Alden Ashforth and Paul Reale (composition) and Roger Stevens (flute).

Postcards from Silver Lake was commissioned by clarinetist Gary Gray and premiered by him, along with saxophonist Douglas Masek and pianist Neal Stuhlberg.

“I have a long-standing friendship and composing relationship with Gary, having written my most-performed piece, The Hall of Mirrors, for him in 1990, as well as a half dozen others since.  All were written for performances by my chamber ensemble Pacific Serenades, so I was delighted that Gary asked me to write a piece all on his own, after he and Doug Masek had been discussing the need for music for this combination.

“Every time I write a new piece, I sketch a plethora of ideas, and some of those end up on the cutting room floor—not necessarily because I don’t like them, but because they just don’t fit in.  Those that I especially like I save for future use.  And so it was with the melodic material for this piece: each movement is based on material I had originally sketched for other pieces.  Since these ideas all came from different times, and because they are quite diverse stylistically, they felt to me like sketches of my life, and so I imagined them as musical postcards sent from my home in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.” – Mark Carlson

Celebratory (from Concerto) (2003) Charles Rochester Young (b. 1965 )                             
Charles Rochester Young has won high praises and honors for his work as a composer. His original compositions have been performed on 5 continents, in all 50 states, and in major halls of the US and Europe, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Thousands of known performances of his music have been heard around the globe. His works have been performed by members of most major orchestras in the US as well as some of the world’s foremost soloists and chamber ensembles. His works are widely published and recorded.

Dr. Young is a graduate of Baylor University and the University of Michigan. He held as his mentors Pulitzer-prize winner Leslie Bassett, Donald Sinta, Marianne Ploger, Bud Beyer and Keith Hill.  Dr. Young is the Coordinator of Musicianship and Director of the Computer Music Center at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Previously, Dr. Young served on the faculty at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Dr. Young is an active presenter, clinician and guest composer around the nation.

Young’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble was commissioned and premiered by saxophonist Donald Sinta and the University of Michigan Symphony Band in 2003. The piano reduction performed today was done by the composer.

“Donald Sinta is a very special person in my life, who has profoundly influenced and shaped me as a person, artist and teacher. Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble was written as a “thank you” to him, and as a celebration of his distinguished performing and teaching career.” – Charles Rochester Young

Triple Mocha Indulgence (Chocolates) (2010) James Grant (b. 1954)

For over three decades, James Grant has been commissioned by individuals, choruses, chamber ensembles and orchestras who have performed his music throughout the world. He is a past first-prize winner of the Louisville Orchestra competition for new orchestral music and, in 2002, was one of five American composers to win the Aaron Copland Award.

Grant’s colorful musical language is known by musicians and audiences for its honed craft and immediacy, and his ability to compose music appropriate to specific levels of experience has found him working with groups ranging from professional orchestras, choruses, solo recitalists, new music ensembles and ballet companies to community choruses, university choral and instrumental ensembles, and youth orchestras. His music is regularly programmed at music festivals, symposia, and clinics; and his desire to compose new music for a given repertoire and specific instrumentation has led to many successful consortium commissions, a concept championed by the composer.

A dual-citizen of the United States and Canada, Grant and his wife, fine-art photographer Elizabeth Siegfried, live and work in Oxtongue Lake, Ontario, Canada and Sarasota, Florida, USA.

“Slow Jazz. Chocolates are jazzy torch songs in the tradition of the passionate, tuneful ballads of the American 1940s and 50s. Chocolates was commissioned by and is dedicated to violist Michelle La Course. The Chocolate served here, “Triple Mocha Indulgence,” is slightly less soul-searching than the other tasty treats in the work; it is more ebullient, and progressively becomes animated (a sugar high perhaps?) right up to its raucous close.”  – James Grant

Talking Pictures (1984) Amy Quate (b. 1953)

Amy_QuateComposer Amy Quate works in a wide variety of musical styles, forms, and media. Her career encompasses commissioned compositions, musical performing, computer music, computer graphics, audio and video technical work, and multi-media production. She has published both literary and musical compositions. For the Tenth World Saxophone Congress (September 1992, Pesaro, Italy), Professor Debra Richtmeyer, Vice President of the North American Saxophone Association, commissioned Ace of Swords, a work for alto saxophone, percussion and piano. Her instrumental compositions include an alto saxophone sonata commissioned for the Seventh World Saxophone Congress, Light of Sothis (1982, Leduc), Laguna Madre (1988, Leduc) for soprano saxophone, and several tuba solos published by CCP/Belwin.

In 1984, Amy Quate received the Grand Prize of the American Chamber Music Composition Competition for her soprano saxophone and clarinet suite, Talking Pictures, a piece commissioned for the grand opening of the Dallas Museum of Art. Quate’s university degrees are a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, New York), and a Master of Music in Composition from the University of North Texas.

Abyss of the Birds (Quartet) (1941) Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

French composer Olivier Messiaen wrote the Quartet for the End of Time while a prisoner in a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. The Quartet is inspired by an abridged passage from the book of Revelation in the Bible (Rev. 10:1-2; 5-7) On the 3rd movement, “Abyss of the Birds” for solo clarinet, Messiaen wrote:

“The abyss is Time with its sadness, its weariness. The birds are the opposite to Time; they are our desire for light, for stars, for rainbows, and for jubilant songs.”


The Easy Winners (1901) by Scott Joplin (1868-1917)

American composer and pianist Scott Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the “King of Ragtime Writers.” During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas.

The Easy Winners (subtitled A Ragtime Two Step) is one of Joplin’s most popular works. It was one of the four that had been recorded as of 1940. The copyright for the original piano version was registered October 10, 1901. The Shattinger Music Company of St. Louis, Missouri bought the piece and published a simplified version. Only later did John Stillwell Stark publish it as written. This 1993 arrangement by Terry Kenny is from the Barrelhouse Party duet  collection published by Edition Darok.

NOTE: The images of Messiaen and Joplin above are in public domain and can be found HERE and 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 2018. 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, 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,, 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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