July 18, 2013  |  Performances

It may surprise you to learn this, but on occasion, I do play music with other ensembles besides Third Wheel. Sometimes, even other chamber ensembles! It’s a little weird, I know.

But I am a member of the Orange County Clarinet Consort. It’s a clarinet choir made up of professional, regional orchestra players and music educators — and also some of my best friends.

Orange County Clarinet Consort, at our Italy preview concert

Two years ago, we performed at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest at Cal State Northridge, and it was a lot of fun. This summer, ClarinetFest is taking place in Assisi, Italy. Once again, the OCCC applied to perform, and we were accepted!

Next week, we are all traveling to Italy, and will be performing at the conference. Our concert features some fantastic new music. First up is a new transcription of an old(er) piece by Ernest Bloch. It was originally written as a concerto grosso for strings, but we think it sounds much better on clarinets! Next up is a wonderful piece, Jazz Moods, that was written specifically for us by Los Angeles composer Michael McCuisition. Now, you know how us Third Wheel-ers love local composers, so make sure to remember that name! I can guarantee that you will see a piece by Michael on a Third Wheel program sometime soon. Finally, we’re playing a world premiere piece by Italian composer Vincenzo Sorrentino. Now, he’s not a local composer to Orange County, but he is certainly local to Assisi! We have had some great email correspondence, and he wrote this piece, Fast and Funny, specifically for this occasion. It is sure to leave the audience smiling!

So, just because I’m not traveling with Third Wheel to perform at this conference, I wanted you to all know that I’m still carrying on the mission of living and local composers. It’s a really important part of being an engaged contemporary musician, and I am proud to be one!

Now — I have to get back to packing!