Does Harry really want to play the clarinet?

At the age of most students entering music school or colleges what really matters is knowing what you want.
If you have no real clue, not even about music, take a straight Liberal Arts
course of study. There are more than enough electives within the courses to satisfy dormant desires or whims. Usually after four years you will have a much stronger idea of what it is you may want, and even an idea of a way to pursue your desire.
If you are talking or thinking about playing the clarinet, the first thing you must do is to have assured yourself that you are deeply gifted, more than others around you. You must know where you stand among the others who play your instrument.
Then, you must and will know the route, whether it be the search for a mentor and/or teacher or a good institution with a strong curriculum and a strong record of outstanding ensembles within the University. A teacher or an institution who has to boast of placements are usually not worth your effort. They have egos (and quotas too), as you well know. There are many who force you through a process wherein you actually suffer until you are deemed worthy, a truly unfortunate circumstance occurring too frequently.
As a young person, I experienced much of the above to a an exhaustive degree, learning much, and suffering not a little.
So all in all, and I do not say this lightly or in any jest, the best route is to go to New York, or a similar city. There you will learn to hear, to choose , to learn and to compete.
Music is truly a wondrous art and life. Unfortunately the business of music has not much to do with the art.

Good luck,
Sherman

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