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Thomas J. West Music

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Thomas J. West Music Podcast

TJW Podcast, Episode 4 - David H. Thomas, Principal Clarinetist, Columbus Symphony
Posted by ★ Owner on February 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

David H. Thomas David Thomas, Principal Clarinetist of the Columbus Symphony since 1989, has had an outstanding career as a soloist as well as an orchestral player. During his previous position as Principal Clarinetist of the Kennedy Center Orchestra in Washington, DC, he was also well known in the Washington area for his numerous solo and chamber music recitals.  Beyond his many appearances as soloist with the Columbus Symphony, Mr. Thomas has performed concertos with the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony, and the National Chamber Orchestra. At age 18, he won First Prize in competitions sponsored by the International Clarinet Society and the Music Teacher National Association. Born into a Foreign Service family, David grew up as a world traveler, living in India and Iran as well as Washington D.C. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, collecting antique quilts, cooking, gardening, and writing for his blog, The Buzzing Reed.

In this episode, David and Tom discuss:

Twitter and networking; David's Flow Breathing techniques; his research on musical breathing using motion capture suits; a great trick for helping students raise the soft palate; the plight of classical music in today's society - how the high costs of maintaining a symphony has fallen to philanthropists for so long and how the internet has drawn benefactors elsewhere; how orchestra musicians must consider coming down to the audience's level and sharing their knowledge; the parallels between the current state of classical music and the current state of music education; how musicians unions and teachers unions need to adapt their practices; how David's blog site has become a interactive niche community for anyone interested in classical music (David uses Word Press and Buddy Press); using music technology to engage "the other 80%" of students in school districts who are not in a band, chorus, or orchestra; how symphonies and audiences in Mozart's time were a mixture of amateurs and professionals; blurring the lines between professional classical musicians and amateur classical enthusiasts; how online networking between music teachers, performers, and enthusiasts has only just begun, and how programs like El Sistema are the future of social reform through music; David's new upcoming website (see below).



Music used in this episode is David's performance of Mozart's Quintet K.581, Movement 2 - Adagio. You can download a free copy of this recording by right-clicking and selecting "Save Link As" HERE.


David mentioned his new website, which is due to be launched in March of 2011. Here is the mission statement from his new endeavor:

Radically delicious classical music and clarinet.

Classical music is and always has been radically delicious; cutting edge, relevant, even rebellious. But it has lost its relevance to the communities it seeks to serve.

The solution? Break down the barriers between performer and audience. Take music back to the people.

Why not? The experience of music is a lot more fun and engaging when it’s approached from a playful, creative attitude. That’s the whole point!

A balance of playfulness and depth informs my humble teaching, practice and performance of clarinet.

Why not dance and sing as you practice? Why not laugh and weep through your instrument?

Why not rock-classical-concerts with live orchestras surrounded by dancing audiences?

Why not?

Music. It's Radically Delicious.

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Tags: Clarinet classical music twitter unions niche communities flow breathing music technology education reform