Program Notes for Upper Midwest Tour 2020: ClarinetMike to Give Two World Premieres!

Upper Midwest Tour 2020 poster for the recital and master class at the University of Michigan.

As previously posted, I’ll be giving clarinet recitals and master classes on a solo tour of Michigan and Ohio in a couple weeks. On the tour, I’ll be giving the World Premieres of two super cool new works! Below are the Tour Itinerary, Recital Program, and Program Notes plus other tour information. ClarinetMike says, “If you are in the area, come by and say, ‘Hey ClarinetMike!'”

Upper Midwest Tour 2020
Michael Dean, clarinet

Tour Itinerary
International Baptist Church of Arlington, Arlington, Texas
Tour Preview Concert 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 7

Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan
Recital and Master Class 4 p.m., Wednesday, February 19

University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
Recital and Master Class 1:30 p.m., Thursday, February 20

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Recital, Sunday, February 23, 7 p.m. Info
Master Class, Monday, February 24, 4:40 p.m

Recital Program
Summer Sunrise on the Mississippi (2009) by Robert Fruehwald (b. 1957)
(clarinet & media)

Distant Voices (2011) by Robert Fruehwald
(clarinet & media)

Burn: re-mixed (2020) by Peter Meechan (b. 1980)
(clarinet & media) (World Premiere)

Intermission

Transposing A Feeling: For Bailey Sikorski (2020) by Austin Ali (b. 1997)
(solo clarinet) (World Premiere)

Andy and Me (2006) by Robert Fruehwald
(clarinet & media)

Program Notes

Summer Sunrise on the Mississippi (2009) by Robert Fruehwald, b. 1957
(clarinet and media)

Composer and teacher, Robert Fruehwald, grew up in Louisville, Kentucky where he played flute in the Louisville Youth Orchestra. He attended the University of Louisville receiving a Bachelor of Music in Composition (with honors). While in Louisville, he studied composition with Nelson Keyes, Claude Baker, and Dan Welcher, and flute with Francis Fuge. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at the California Institute of the Arts studying with Mel Powell, Morton Subotnick, and Leonard Rosenman. He returned to the Midwest to work on a Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis. There, he studied under Robert Wykes and finished his doctorate in 1985. Before accepting a teaching position in the late 1980s, Dr. Fruehwald developed a series of programs to print musical examples for scholarly journals and books. In 1989 he took a teaching position at Southeast Missouri State University. Dr. Fruehwald has taught numerous subjects at Southeast Missouri including applied composition, music theory, applied flute, electronic-computer music, and the history of modernism. He served as chair of the department of music from 1995-2000.

There is an eloquence of silence…
There is a haunting sense of loneliness…
The tranquility is profound, infinitely satisfying.
That is all beautiful, soft and rich and beautiful,
A pink flush, a powder of gold, a purple haze.
from Life on the Mississippi (1883) by Mark Twain

Summer Sunrise on the Mississippi for clarinet and media was commissioned by Michael Dean. He premiered it at Florida State University and other venues on his 2009 tour of Florida. Summer Sunrise is on the CD, Woodwind Music of Robert Fruehwald, Vol. 1.

Robert Fruehwald said, “I teach music composition and theory at Southeast Missouri State University. Every day, when walking home, I would see a glint of blue through the trees on the horizon. For many months, I thought I was seeing the sky. Then, one day, I saw a stern-wheel steamboat squarely in the middle of that patch of blue – what I had been seeing was the Mississippi River. Every day after that, I would watch the river and observe its moods. It’s been my daily companion ever since. Recently, our music department at Southeast Missouri moved from the main university campus to a new one on the banks of the Mississippi. Now I observe the river up close. I see different things every day. I decided to write a piece about the river, a piece that expresses its mood on a warm day, early in the morning, just as my own day would begin. I looked to Mark Twain for some lyrics and found a suitable passage in his Life on the Mississippi (published the year before The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn).  I thought Twain’s words would make a great basis for a song, and I think that someday they will; however, instead of a vocal work they inspired me to write this instrumental solo. When I recorded the river sounds on the media accompaniment, I put the microphone right down on the Mississippi River (at Cape Girardeau, Missouri). I also recorded some other nearby sounds: birds, cicadas, a passing train, etc.”

Distant Voices (clarinet & media) (2011) by Robert Fruehwald

Distant Voices was originally composed for flute, oboe, clarinet, and media. This version for clarinet and media was commissioned by Michael Dean. He premiered it at Arizona State University and other venues on his 2011 tour of Arizona, California and Nevada. He recorded it on the CD, Woodwind Music of Robert Fruehwald, Vol. 2.

Robert Fruehwald said, “Years ago I became fascinated by the idea that sounds from long ago could be preserved. I read an article about Richard Woodbridge III, who was supposed to have extracted sound from 6,500-year-old Mesopotamian pottery. The recording was supposed to be scratchy and indistinct, but it was supposed to contain the sound of a potter’s wheel in addition to vocal sounds. I have never been able to track the recording down, I’m not even sure whether the recording is real or a hoax.

“Still, the idea of the thing is evocative and it gave me the idea for a piece—Distant Voices. Most of the piece is based on recordings made more than a hundred years ago. These include the sound of a choir of thousands singing Handel in London’s Crystal Palace on June 29, 1888, a bit of Brahms, a concert band circa 1900, an advertisement for an Edison phonograph, and the voice of Edison himself. The end of Distant Voices was inspired by the Mesopotamian recording. It contains noise, with faint vocal sounds. The very end of the piece includes the most distant sound of all, the sound of the Huygens space probe flying through the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon, Titan.” [Check out this image from the surface of Titan!]

Burn: re-mixed (clarinet & media) (2020) by Peter Meechan, b. 1980
WORLD PREMIERE

The music of Canadian-based British composer Peter Meechan is performed throughout the world. His music has been commissioned, recorded, broadcast and performed by some of the world’s leading wind orchestras, brass bands, conductors and soloists, including: “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Winds, Bramwell Tovey, Black Dyke Brass Band, Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra, The Band of the Coldstream Guards, RNCM Wind Orchestra, UT Wind Ensemble, Jerry Junkin, Ryan Anthony, Jens Lindemann, Steven Mead, Les Neish, Linda Merrick, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Rex Richardson, Jacques Mauger, and many more.

Meechan’s music is featured on over 100 commercial recordings and has been featured at festivals and clinics globally, including the Midwest Clinic, the International Trumpet Guild, the International Tuba and Euphonium Association, BASBWE conferences, and in 2014 his work “The Legend of King Arthur” was used as the set test piece at the British National Brass Band Championships, held in the Royal Albert Hall, London. Peter was the first ever “Young Composer in Association” with the prestigious Black Dyke Brass band, where he went on to serve as their “Composer in Residence”, a position he also held between 2012 – 2015 with The Band of the Coldstream Guards. He holds an undergraduate degree from the Royal Northern College of Music, a Master of Arts degree and a PhD (composition), both from the University of Salford. Peter Meechan’s music is principally published by his own publishing house, Meechan Music.

Burn was originally composed for solo clarinet and wind orchestra/band in 2012 for British clarinetist Linda Merrick. Burn was premiered by her in March of 2012 accompanied by the Sheffield University Wind Orchestra (SUWO) conducted by Tony Houghton. This version, Burn: re-mixed, for clarinet and media was commissioned by Michael Dean. This tour features the World Premiere of the work.

Peter Meechan said, “The initial unaccompanied passage that opens the work was written during 2011’s “Arab Spring”, which dominated news reports of the time. The haunting soundtrack to these newscasts (which were a strange cocktail of devastating, uplifting, angry, mournful, rallying and peaceful) was the calls to prayer. There was no attempt whilst writing Burn (a title inspired by region’s climate) to directly imitate these calls to prayer, but certainly they had an impact on the opening passage of the work, and therefore the whole piece.”

Transposing A Feeling: For Bailey Sikorski  (2020) by Austin Ali, b. 1997
(solo clarinet) WORLD PREMIERE

Austin Ali is an international award-winning composer, trumpet player, and conductor based in Austin, Texas. Musicians from Dallas, Texas, to Washington, DC, to Valencia, Spain have performed Austin’s music, including the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Spanish Brass, and Christopher Bill. Austin currently studies Music Composition and Plan II Honors at the University of Texas at Austin. His composition mentors include Russell Podgorsek, Donald Grantham, Yevgeniy Sharlat, John Mills, and Christopher Trapani. In addition to composing, Austin loves to play the trumpet. Recently, he toured Guatemala and Costa Rica with the endlessly funky Big Wy’s Brass Band. The group performed as invited guests in an International Jazz Festival in Guatemala City and at a national parade in Limon, Costa Rica with an audience of 10,000 people. Austin served as the primary composer and arranger for the band’s two records Portal to Funkville and Lord Dope.

Transposing A Feeling: For Bailey Sikorski for solo clarinet was commissioned by Michael Dean. This tour features the World Premiere of the work.

Austin Ali said, “Transposing A Feeling is dedicated in memory of Bailey Sikorski, who lost his life to a rare form of leukemia at age 21 in 2017. Bailey was one of the first friends I made during my freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin. As my resident assistant, he kept us freshmen out of trouble. Fresh out of high school band, I was delighted to meet Bailey, a junior at the time and a fellow band kid. I quickly learned Bailey was an exceptionally talented clarinetist. He was extremely passionate about band and music, leading his high school as drum major. I also discovered Bailey’s passion for science and aspirations within UT Aerospace Engineering. Eventually, Bailey went on to design hardware and software at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to be used in NASA’s Orion Crew Capsule to take humans to Mars. Bailey easily became a role model for me at UT. He showed me what a truly talented and motivated young person could accomplish.

“In a school interview, Bailey said, ‘…one dream I had for a really long time was to play in the New York Philharmonic or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I think music is really just another dimension of the human mind. It is truly a unique form of emotional self-expression, a way of transposing a feeling in a way that isn’t possible with words.’ Bailey’s words and memory still resonate with me today, inspiring me to compose Transposing A Feeling: For Bailey Sikorski. If you listen to the piece, you’ll hear sweeping upward gestures on the clarinet as if they were reaching toward the sky. Bailey never stopped reaching for the stars. I hope with the help of this piece, he will be one step closer to reaching them.”

Andy and Me (clarinet & media) (2006) by Robert Fruehwald 

Andy and Me was commissioned by Michael Dean. He premiered the work at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in December of 2006. Andy and Me is on Michael Dean’s CD, Desertscape: New Music for Clarinet.

Robert Fruehwald said, “Andy and Me is a whimsical look at the relationship between Mike and the newest addition to his family, Andy. The sounds on the media accompaniment represent (and feature) Andy in a kind of conversation with the clarinet music played by Mike.”

Michael Dean Bio
American Clarinetist Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” 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.” Dr. Dean’s career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Royal Northern College of Music, and Eastman School of Music, with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Canada, Spain, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas. He recently returned to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival. He is featured on 6 commercial CD’s including his soon-to-be-released new CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He is also prominent on New Media, such as YouTube. He was clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra for 11 years and he’s also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He has given more than 500 master classes, clinics and performances at universities, conservatories, conferences, festivals, high schools, junior high schools, and a diverse array of venues.

As “ClarinetMike,” he writes for his noted and widely-read ClarinetMike Blog – viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents, clarinetmike.wordpress.com. His blog is the #1 clarinet blog on the Internet according to Google Search and a recent ranking on Feedspot. His articles also appear in professional journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, The Bandmasters’ Review and NACWPI Journal. He is a past president and former officer on the National Board of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). After a successful 20 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas due to family concerns. He is currently an active clarinet and woodwind performer, teacher, clinician, blogger, and consultant based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Bob Ackerman, and Jess Youngblood. He is a BG France Performing Artist and his professional website is clarinetmike.com. Mike and his family live in Hurst, Texas. His family’s new Golden Retriever, Nimbus, is a relative of Andy.

Michael Dean’s CD’s, including the new Postcards from Silver Lake, are available
for online download and purchase at iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify,
Napster, CDBaby, vcisinc.com, and other vendors.

Special thanks to ISI, IBCA, John Sun, Charlie Kim, Clarity Thoreson,
Eric Wright, Lezlie Langford, George Stoffan, Lesli McCage, Chad Burrow,
Daniel Gilbert, Robert Fruehwald, Peter Meechan, Austin Ali,
Jeffrey Hoover, and Anne-Leslie Dean.

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 Canada, Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he will again return to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival 2019. 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. Dr. Dean has given more than 500 clinics, master classes and performances at high schools, universities, conferences and other venues. For 11 years he was a clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony and he's also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-viewed ClarinetMike Blog, the Internet’s #1 clarinet blog read in 150 countries on 6 continents: clarinetmike.wordpress.com. After a successful 25 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas 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, and Bob Ackerman. 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.
This entry was posted in All, Performance & Pedagogy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s