I am a Mazzeo player from the 1960s with several Bbs (Series 9 and Series 10) and an A. I have taught college level applied students as well as a private studio and still play professionally.
I’m always a bit leary of any technician tinkering with the mechanism. The technician I had used for the past 10 years has decided to give up the repair business. He has no recommendations. Do you have any contacts with good technicians in the Southeastern states – preferably between Florida and North Carolina who are familiar with the Mazzeo mechanism?
Mazzeo day was always a full and very exhausting day for all of us who studied with him in seminar fashion, taking all of Saturday morning for all of us to play for him. He is the best teacher of the clarinet and the music for it that I have ever known and he was the most intense with the most expressive use of the language. The special area of expertise was orchestral decorum and perfect rhythmic interpretation. An ignored dynamic was an incorrect note, a pianissimo that was mezzo piano was unacceptable. Always, and he never erred.
I am sure the Donald will do well for you and I know that he stands behind his work and will get you what you need. He did one Series 10 Mazzeo which I used to demonstrate to my students at The Crane School of Music, and they were quite impressed, with both the sound and the Bb. And so too, was I.
Regarding your own Mazzeo clarinet, the heavy a2 is part of the mechanism which I had fixed by a very special young repairperson at Twigg Musique in Montreal, who passed away at an early age. He installed for me a special clutch on that very note that when disengaged would play like a regular 17-6. Donald Hinson probably knows of it, and may have overhauled it. Mr Huba owns it.
He may have figured the mechanism out, very small as it was, it was a great relief to me after Daniel(of Montreal) made it. The upper joint rings can be fixed by Donald. I think that there may be a couple of screws into posts that are too tight. Of course, without playing them I can not tell, and believe me, repairs are not interesting to me, When I played Mazzeos I did my own mostly and they were remarkably stable clarinets.
I am sure that one or the other of these gentlemen will be able to help.
Sincerely, Sherman Friedland
I would love to play a concert for you down at Brevard.
I last performed in Florida 1986 or thereabouts, I toured with the MIT concert band playing a clarinet concerto by John Bavicchi. The first performance was at Astronaught High School in Titusville on the night that the shuttle blew up. There was debris all over out motel roof
I do not think I could ever go back to a “regular” clarinet. When I had the opportunity last year to purchase another Selmer 10 Mazzeo (c. 1968) I jumped on it. My original is a Series 9 (c. 1965). I had the great distinction to talk very briefly with Mr. Mazzeo at the National MENC convention in Chicago around 1970. What a delightful and engaging man and what a joy (with pain if unprepared) it must have been to have lessons with him. I also had a “master class” private lesson with Gino Cioffi when I was a student at the University of Florida. Through his very broken almost non-English communication, he spoke so much to me about expression and technique. I treasure the signed picture that was taken with us playing together.
I have been in contact with Donald Hinson only because I found his name on your former website. He is most willing to help me out. My husband and I may be spending more time in NC and was really hoping that he would pan out.
I also will be in touch with Mr. Heimann. Of course my main concern is sending “my babies” off and then not being there to see if the fix has been done correctly. Gee, I wish I could heal my own. Any suggestion? The biggest problem is with the a2 not feeling like it is sealing correctly and the upper joint rings always being a bit on the “heavy high” side facilitate. Hope I’m making sense.
Thank you for getting back in touch with me so quickly,
Glad to know you and that you are a serious Mazzeophone player, (scarcer than hens teeth these days).
I know of two fellows ,both within your prescribed area. One is Paul Heimann who is in Russelville Arkansas. He has done several Bbs for me with excellent and very economical prices.
The other is Donald Hinson, has done a lot of work for George Huba, an avid collector of Mazzeo Clarinetswho collects the Mazzeo instruments.
Their emails are below. I would get in touch with them and see what the lay of the land is.