Boston in the 50s, and returning again this week

Dear Sherman

I also graduated from New England Conservatory, Class of 1956.I spent 5 years in Back Bay Living on Gainsborough , St. Stephens St or Hemmingway St Finally I got my Degree in Music Education, Studied String Bass with George Moleux of BSO fame. and took clarinet lessons from Robert Stuart also. I taught for 35 years in Trumbull, Ct at Trumbull High School.My wife also a NEC grad majored in voice. We moved to Florida about 4 years ago to enjoy the golden years and slow down. BUT events have become very busy musically. Now being 75 I no longer wish to carry the bass around. So I purchased a wooden Noblet Bb clarinet a set of Rubank Books and began to practice. Three years pass and now I have a Selmer Centered Tone made in the 1950’s with a Gennusa mouthpiece and use #3 Vandoren reeds. Next week I will be gettinhg a brand new Selmer Series 10 II S. Never owned a Brand new Wood Clarinet before. How is it broken in ? And where may I get good material and advice? I immediately thought of you. I have read many of your replies to the Clarinetist of the world on many topics Your works are read by the twelve clarinet player in my Clay County Community Band here in Florida.My concern with the new clarinet is not to allow it to crack . How do I break it in? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
I do so relate to some of your stories when you talk about running over to symphony Hall on Fri. afternoon to usher for Symphony. I’ve been there and done that. Also remembering my friends who studied with Gino Cioffi tell words of wisdom that came from him after their lesson. And I would never miss an NEC orchestra rehearsal with Dean Chester Williams conducting..Did you belong to Sinfonia or Kappa Fraternaty.? Well enough trivia. If you could point me in the right direction for information on breaking in a new clarinet It would be appreciated.

You know we knew the same people at different times, almost phenomenal coincidence. I played for Georges Moleux in the New England Conservatory Concert Band. There were 40 clariinets, 20 first and 20 seconds, it was like an orchestra but without strings.
Moleux,you might not have heard graduated from the Paris Conservatory with a First Prize in Clarinet as well as Bass.
(He used to solfege the Flight of ther Bumblebee all the time, or anything else) Of course, I studied with Gino Cioffi, but mostly with Rosario Mazzeo. I knew Bob Stuart well, having played with him in the Boston Arts Festival and other places.I play Gennusa Mouthpieces too, and played in the NEC Orchestra whenever we could fight our way in to get to the first chair first, which was how you got a seat back then. Once, Chester came and put me in first. He was a very nice fellow and I remember him well.

The Selmer 10S 2 is a great clarinet. I play the 10S, would you believe. I don’t know how the horn differs from the 10, but the deal with cracking is almostimpossible to predict.
Here are several things to think about.
1. Initially don’t play for more than 30′ at a time and swab out completely prior to putting it away.
2. Never take it from one temperature extreme to another without first opening the case and allowing it to get used to the different remperature.
3. Do not keep your clarinet in the car
4. Florida being humid and warm may be one of the best places for a new horn.
5. Still, it is usually literally impossible to predic ot forsee problems with cracking. Sometimes we think, they either will or won’t, and most actually don’t crack, unlike the much narrower bored oboe.

I really value hearing from an old colleague and wish you well with your new horn.
We are going to Boston tomorrow to play three new works written for me at the Berklee College of Music.

best of good cheer.

sincerely, sherman


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