The Band Program, and a new clarinet

Dear Professor Friedland:
I currently participate in my school’s band program. But I have to admit that I’ve lately become discontent with how the course progresses and I’m wondering if the band is benefiting myself as a musician. My discontent stems a lot from how our band doesn’t have tryouts. This leads to a larger community but also to freindly chatter and a substantial group of people who simply don’t care to play music. This also led to a weaker section in the thirds and thus our band director tried to remedy this by staggering the seating. I was assigned a third part and I feel it poses little technical difficulty after playing 1st for the previous year. We’re working on pieces such as Symphonic Dance No.3 and the Florintiner March. Do you think staying in band is helping me as a musician? Could 282 hours every year be used more constructively?

I also recently bought a Yamaha Custom (YCL-CSG I believe). A nice man named Emilio Lyons at Rayburn’s’s Music Store in Boston helped me pick it out. I like the instrument but I was wondering if you had any personal experience with the instrument?
———————————————————————-Not only do I know Emilio Lyons, bu have know him for years, You probably have a wonderful clarinet, as that Yamaha model is excellent and capable of all performance, really an excellent instrument.

Your frustration in the band is understandable, and I would suggest that you determine from the director himself if something can be done to make you happier.

I have no idea of how good a player you are but you will know how he feels about you in that capacity when you talk to him.

If he cannot help you, it is up to you to practice and ask to play for him again to prove how well you are doing and how much you care about the music and of course, his program.

His is a difficult job trying to keep everyone as members as well as attempting to help those players who want to do more difficult or challenging music.

Try to understand his problem, and hopefully he will attempt to understand yours.

best wishes,
Sherman Friedland


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