The Clarinet Department

Brandon helping a customer.

Why Buy a Clarinet from MMI?

Whether you’re a parent who has questions about reeds, mouthpieces or ligatures for a grade-school beginner or a seasoned professional looking for a new instrument, Midwest Musical Imports has what you need to make the most of your music making. We strive to deliver peace of mind whether you’re a just starting out, a seasoned professional or just playing for fun.  We know what instruments and accessories your teachers look for, and we pay close attention to what the pros are using, too. Our staff of conservatory trained instrument specialists and highly skilled repair technicians are here to provide you with the care and expertise that come from years of performing and teaching.

Beyond our expert sales staff, we provide a stress-free trial policy designed to make sure you can select the right instrument for you. Every clarinet is played by Brandon, our Saxophone & Clarinet Specialist, before being shipped, and adjusted in our repair shop if needed. You also get an automatic extra warranty and service on your new clarinet after purchase.

New Clarinets

We sell new clarinets from Buffet-Crampon and Selmer.  Our best seller is the Buffet Crampon R13 Bb clarinet, which we always have in stock in both nickel or silver keys. The Buffet R13 design was created in 1955 and remains the industry standard today, due in large part to it’s versatility.  Many of our R13s are hand selected by members of the Minnesota Orchestra to ensure our customers are trying consistent instruments.  We look for instruments with good intonation, evenness of sound throughout the range of the horn, resistance and overall sound color.  The most important things to consider when testing new clarinets are an even scale for good tuning and even sound from top to bottom and the level of resistance as you blow air through the instrument.  All of these things can feel different from person to person depending their mouthpiece setup so we try to make sure the player is starting out on a good foundation.

If you’re beginning your search for a professional model clarinet, the R13 is the clarinet you should start with but please remember that it’s not your only option.  Selmer clarinets tend to be a little more expensive, especially when compared to an R13, but they are very nice instruments and should be considered as well. In the end, you’ll need to decide what works best for you now and in the future, and we’re here to help with any questions you may have along the way.

Used Clarinets

We’re always looking for great used clarinets for our customers.  Our stock changes frequently, so be sure to check our used page often if you’re looking for a great used instrument.  We only accept used clarinets that we would be comfortable selling to a close colleague or one of our own students. You won’t find instruments of questionable make and history in our used clarinet department. Every used clarinet we bring in goes through our repair shop for necessary maintenance or repairs to make sure it will play at the highest possible level from the moment you open the box. No “as-is” sales here! Brandon will play test every instrument after it comes out of the repair shop, and before it goes out on any trial. If there is anything out of place, it’s not sealing, it’s binding, or it’s just not adjusted for good ergonomics, we’ll correct it before you get it in your hands. If you are interested in consigning your own instrument, call us to discuss our commission and repair rates for your instrument.

Rental Clarinets

Midwest Musical Imports is one of the few stores in the country that rents intermediate and professional instruments as well as beginner.  We rent Eb, Bb, A and Bass clarinets from Buffet, Selmer, Yamaha and Jupiter.

Our rental clarinets are made by reputable manufacturers, and we keep them properly maintained so the playing experience is the best it can be.  Whether you need a beginning clarinet or something more advanced, we have a full line of instruments in our program to suit your needs.  There is no minimum rental period! Depending on the time of year, selection can be limited.  Rates range from $40-$150 depending on the brand, level and type of clarinet.

Rental Instrument brands include: Buffet, LeBlanc, Selmer, Jupiter, and Yamaha.

Learn more about our general Rental Policy.

What Makes Us Different?

Brandon is here to help you. When you call, ask for him by name.  We practice and perform on the instruments we specialize in, and we’re respected teachers and performers that know our products as real players of the instrument.  Clarinet and saxophone is all Brandon does, so you can be sure that the advice he gives is well-informed and honest.

Get informed

We’re determined to be the best informational resource you can find about the instruments and accessories that you will find on the web.  We strive to give you practical information learned from years on the instrument and working with hundreds of customers.

Here are some of our most popular informational resources pages:

Choosing the Right Clarinet

Clarinet Reeds, Mouthpieces and Ligatures

Clarinet Reed Guide 

Concerned about returning a trial instrument?

Don’t worry, we’ve got resources for you to make sure you properly pack your instrument for return shipping.

Brandon Wozniak, saxophone and clarinet specialist

rsz_brandon_wozniak

One of Minnesota’s most exciting saxophonists, he returned to the Twin Cities in 2006 after six years in New York City and a six month stint in Shanghai, China. Wozniak studied music at Indiana University with David Baker and privately with Tom Walsh. Brandon performs regularly with Dave King’s (Bad Plus, Happy Apple drummer) Dave King Trucking Company with saxophonist Chris Speed, the Atlantis Quartet (City Pages Best Jazz Artist 2011, Star Tribune Best Jazz Artist 2012), the great drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt (Weather Report, McCoy Tyner), Bryan Nichols Quintet, Chris Bates Red 5 plus others. Brandon has also performed with singer Nellie McKay, toured with the Tommy Dorsey Jazz Orchestra and shared the stage with organ great Dr. Lonnie Smith and guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg.

Tori Okwabi, Clarinet Specialist

Tori Okwabi (2)

A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Tori joins MMI with more than 20 years of clarinet experience.  Tori is an active teacher, lecturer and performer.  She is currently the adjunct professor of clarinet at St. Cloud State University and she also teaches World Music and History of Contemporary Music at Minneapolis Media Institute.  Tori has been an invited guest artist and lecturer for national and international clarinet and music festivals.  She is currently the principal clarinetist of the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the Mendota Philharmonic Orchestra and the Edgewood Chamber Orchestra. She received a Doctor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Florida State University, a Master of Music from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin.  She has studied under the tutelage of Frank Kowalsky, Elsa-Ludwig-Verdehr, Deborah Bish, Nathan Williams and Linda Bartley.

I've only heard great reviews about this trial procedure with [Midwest Musical Imports, it was very convenient.