Featuring Minnesota Clarinetists! Artist: Karrin Meffert-Nelson

We are very excited to feature this months Minnesota Clarinetist Karrin Meffert-Nelson!

Karrin Meffert-Nelson, DMA, teaches clarinet, conducts the Gustavus Chamber Winds, and teaches courses in Music Education and Music History.

Dr. Meffert-Nelson maintains an active performing career as Principal Clarinetist with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and through freelance work with Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Northrop Ballet Orchestra, and with productions at the State and Orpheum Theaters.  She has also performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota.  As a clinician, Meffert-Nelson frequently appears as an adjudicator for area solo and ensemble contests and works with the woodwind sections of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies.

In addition to her DMA degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Meffert-Nelson holds the MM degree in Clarinet Performance from Northwestern University in Evantston, IL and the BM degree in Clarinet Performance and Music Education from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.  Prior to her appointment at Gustavus Adolphus College, Meffert-Nelson taught clarinet and chamber music at the University of Minnesota.

INTERVIEW WITH KARRIN MEFFERT-NELSON

Learn more about Karrin's clarinet beginnings along with his current approach to life during COVID-19 during an interview with clarinet specialists Tori Okwabi and Amelia Smith.

SOLO PERFORMANCE

Here Karrin play Béla Kovács: Hommage à Béla Bártok

Stay tuned for our next featured Minnesota Artist in December 2020!

Featuring Minnesota Clarinetists! Artist: Sang Yoon Kim

We are very excited to feature this months Minnesota Clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim!

 

South Korean clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim is the first prize winner of several international competitions, including the 67th Prague Spring International Music Competition in 2015, the UNISA International Flute and Clarinet Competition in 2014, and the Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition in 2012. He is also a past laureate of the International Clarinet Competition in Ghent.

Sang Yoon Kim is a sought-after chamber musician, working with leading international artists, among them Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst at the Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival, the celebrated French string quartet Quatuor Ebene, pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Robert Levin. Kim also made his debut at the Ravinia Festival with the Calidore String Quartet in 2013.

As a passionate orchestra player, he has played as the guest principal clarinet of The Cleveland Orchestra and the London Philharmonic, with Vladimir Jurowski, Christoph Eschenbach, Franz-Welser Most and Jaap Van Zweden. He made his debut at the Prague Spring International Festival in 2016 as a soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of their Music Director, Sakari Oramo.

A graduate of the Conservatoire de Paris, where he was accepted as the first Korean clarinetist in the school's history, he studied with distinguished professors Michel Arrignon and Pascal Moragues. After Paris he went on to study in Los Angeles at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, gaining an artist diploma under Yehuda Gilad in 2014. He served as Young Artist in Residence with Classical Minnesota Public Radio in 2013.

Sang Yoon Kim is a Buffet Crampon and Silverstein ligature artist.

INTERVIEW WITH SANG YOON KIM

Learn more about Sang Yoon's clarinet beginnings along with his current approach to life during COVID-19 during an interview with clarinet specialists Tori Okwabi and Amelia Smith.

SOLO PERFORMANCE

Here Sang Yoon play Béla Kovács: Hommage à Z. Kodály

CONTEST: Duet Play-Along

Want to challenge your playing and win gift certificates or prizes?

Download music here

Kegelduett No. 2 for 2 Bb Clarinets by Wolfgang Mozart

Play 2nd part and all repeats

Quarter note = 146

Contest Rules/Tips:

1. Contestants must post their video to the comment section of MMI's Facebook post for the featured artist or simply on MMI's Instagram page #midwestmusicalimports

2. Download the music, use headphones to listen to the 1st clarinet part as you record yours (and to help minimize background noise).

3. Record in good lighting  and with your device in vertical view. This allows us to easily put the duet together and repost for you.

4. If possible, stay at least a foot away from the recording device to prevent overpowering the audio input.

5. Deadline is October 31, 2020 - good luck and have fun!

Stay tuned for our next featured Minnesota Artist in November 2020!

Featuring Minnesota Clarinetists! Artist: Gabriel Campos-Zamora

We are very excited to feature this months Minnesota Clarinetist Gabriel Campos-Zamora!

Gabriel Campos Zamora, a native of San José, Costa Rica was appointed principal clarinet of the Minnesota Orchestra in June 2016. Campos was most recently the associate principal clarinet of the Kansas City Symphony and has appeared as guest principal clarinet with the Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle and Houston Symphonies in addition to serving as the Virginia Symphony's principal clarinet.

Campos has been a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and frequently performed in the Kansas City Symphony "Happy Hour" chamber music concerts. He was a fellow of Ensemble ACJW, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. A laureate of several competitions, he received first prize at the 2008 Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition, in addition to winning concerto competitions at the 2009 Aspen Music Festival, 2010 Music Academy of the West, and 2011 National Repertory Orchestra.

Campos began his musical training at the Instituto Nacional de Musica as a student of Jose Manuel "cheche" Ugalde. He then came to the United States to study at the Interlochen Arts Academy with Nathan Williams and later received his bachelor's degree in music from the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, where he studied with renowned professor Yehuda Gilad. He has been a participant of the Aspen, Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto and the Tanglewood Music Center festivals.

INTERVIEW WITH GABRIEL CAMPOS-ZAMORA

Learn more about Gabi's clarinet beginnings along with his current approach to life during COVID-19 during an interview with clarinet specialists Tori Okwabi and Amelia Smith.

SOLO PERFORMANCE

Here Gabi play Dos melodias para Clarinete Solo, No. 2 by Vinicio Meza.

CONTEST: Duet Play-Along

Want to challenge your playing and win gift certificates or prizes?

Download music here

Theme from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 2nd Movement - 8notes.com

Play 2nd part

Quarter note = 146

Contest Rules/Tips:

1. Contestants must post their video to the comment section of MMI's Facebook post for the featured artist or simply on MMI's Instagram page #midwestmusicalimports

2. Download the music, use headphones to listen to the 1st clarinet part as you record yours (and to help minimize background noise).

3. Record in good lighting  and with your device in vertical view. This allows us to easily put the duet together and repost for you.

4. If possible, stay at least a foot away from the recording device to prevent overpowering the audio input.

5. Deadline is September 30, 2020 - good luck and have fun!

Stay tuned for our next featured Minnesota Artist in October 2020!

Featuring Minnesota Clarinetists! Artist: Jennifer Gerth

We are very excited to feature this months Minnesota Clarinetist Jennifer Gerth!

Jennifer is in her 21st season as principal clarinet of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. A substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra since 1995, she has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, VocalEssence, and in orchestras for touring Broadway shows, and ballet companies. Jennifer has a BA degree from St. Olaf College in music and mathematics, an MM degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and was a DMA candidate at the University of Minnesota (1992-1995), studying with Burt Hara. During her DMA she was a Concerto Competition winner, performing the Debussy Rhapsody with the University of Minnesota Orchestra. In 1999 she was a founding member of the Prospect Park Players, a chamber music group that was active in the Twin Cities for seven years. Jennifer continues her love for chamber music playing at the Festival of the Lakes chamber music festival in Alexandria, MN. With 27 years of collegiate teaching experience, Jennifer has taught at St. Olaf College, St. Cloud State University and College of St. Benedict. She currently teaches at the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas and maintains a private studio.

INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER GERTH

Learn more about Jen and her approach to teaching and life during COVID-19 during an interview with clarinet specialists Tori Okwabi and Amelia Smith.

SOLO PERFORMANCE

Here Jen play Mvt. 1 of Miklós Rózsa's Sonatina for Solo Clarinet here. 

CONTEST: Duet Play-Along

Want to challenge your playing and win gift certificates or prizes?

Download music here

Selected Duets, Vol. 2 by Rubank/H. Voxman

Duet No. 3 - Ludwig Beethoven

Play 2nd part, starting on page 65, ms. 2 (a tempo)

Quarter note = 126

Contest Rules/Tips:

1. Contestants must post their video to MMI's Facebook or Instagram page #midwestmusicalimports

2. Download the music, use headphones to listen to Jen's part as you record yours (and to help minimize background noise)

3. Record in good lighting - not too dark!

4. If possible, stay at least a foot away from the recording device to prevent overpowering the audio input.

5. Deadline is August 9, 2020 - good luck and have fun!

 

Stay tuned for our next featured Minnesota Artist at the end of August 2020!

Buffet $250 Instant Rebate & MMI Discounts

Get up to $500 off your R13 Bb or A clarinet purchase now through December 15, 2020.  With Buffet's $250 discount and MMI's spectacular offers you can get up to $500 off! All clarinets are professionally setup at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to our clients. Learn more about our setup here.

Check out MMI's July newsletter to learn more about summer deals, upcoming virtual events and more!

Royal Global Clarinets

Midwest Musical Imports is very excited to introduce our new partnership with Royal Global Clarinets and Brian Corbin Clarinet Products Distribution!

We have a selection of Royal Global inventory in our shop and are offering trials of these fine instruments - call today for more information about our generous trial process!

American Royal Global Artists include: Jonathan Cohler (Longy School of Music, Bard College), Jorge Montilla (University of Iowa), Christopher Hill (Principal Clarinet,  South Dakota Symphony Orchestra) and Lilly Haley (U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Band).

History:

Yuan Gao is the owner and clarinet designer of Royal Global. He is a decorated clarinetist who studied performance in Asia, Europe and the U.S. As a student, Yuan developed his instrument and accessory making skills, learning skills from instrument makers such as Luis Rossi. In 2010, after years of building instruments by hand in Boston, Yuan began sourcing parts and developing prototypes with some of China's top instrument manufacturers. Ultimately Yuan built his own facility near Beijing, China giving him 100% control over every part of the manufacturing process. This control helped achieve high standards in quality control, from natural aging of the wood to making all of the keywork and accessories in the same facility. Still to this day, clarinets are hand-finished near Boston. After 5 short years, Royal clarinets began selling and gaining recognition in over 25 countries such as Brazil, Italy, China, and Russia. Now, Royal Global is making more advances on their instruments and gaining traction in the U.S. clarinet market, garnering a reputation for high quality craftsmanship at a great value.

Wood selection:
The grenadilla (African blackwood) wood is aged anywhere from 5-10 years providing consistency in sound and minimizing the possibilities of cracking. Naturally dried and aged, all clarinets are unstained and display the natural beauty of the wood. The most dense and acoustically resonant pieces of wood are reserved for the high end professional models.

Key work:

A unique Royal Global feature, the silver and gold plating is applied using a process that leaves a heavier, thicker layer to protect against plating wear and enhance the feel in the hands. Uniquely the keys are double plated with silver or gold and are made from one solid piece. Yuan makes all his own keys in the same factory as the clarinets. Royal Global is also the maker of keys and parts for many major instrument makers across the globe.

*Learn how Royal clarinets are made here.

Features:

Features:
• Royal Global clarinets feature poly-cylindrical bores that are uniquely "stepped." Manipulating the bore shape and taper gives life to each model, unique in its response, flexibility, and tonal palette.
• Silent Mechanism, using synthetic body bumpers instead of old-school key corks that fall off and deteriorate
• Adjustable clarinet barrels (professional models)
• G/D lower joint vent and double-register Bb vent (Firebird only)
• 3 year manufacturer Warranty, including instrument replacement for cracks within the first year and joint replacement thereafter

Listen to Lily Haley play the Firebird model  - Here

F. Arthur Uebel Clarinets

Midwest Musical Imports is very excited to introduce our new partnership with F. Arthur Uebel Clarinets and Moe-Bleichner Distribution!

Ricardo Morales - Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra is now an Uebel artist. Come learn and try for yourself why Morales made the switch to these amazing clarinets!

Event details:

Saturday, October 5, 2019 1:30pm-4:00pm at Midwest Musical Imports

The event will start at 1:30pm with an introduction of the clarinets by an Uebel representative.

The remainder of the event will be an open house with the chance to:

  • Meet and greet with Uebel representatives
  • Learn more about the history and unique details of their production process
  • Trial several Uebel clarinet models

To learn more exclusive details about the clarinets, listen to the Clarineat Podcast with Sean Perrin and CEO Victoria Moe and instrument maker Andreas Moe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TME-bifXgDg

History of Uebel Clarinets: The company was founded in 1936, but within the past 10-15 yrs the clarinets have been reinvented with modern improvements.

Wood Selection: Wood is hand-selected, aged for 5-7 years and another 2+ years after the bore is drilled. Other manufactures now kiln dry their wood, taking it only 5 weeks from tree to completed clarinet. The Uebel clarinets have lesser chance of cracking due to their selection and aging process.

Selection process includes looking for wood density, where the wood comes from and if the drying process is slow enough. Each joint of the clarinet is matched in wood density, weight and grain direction. These factors contribute to an even tone throughout each register.

Durability: The wood of every Uebel clarinet is hand-selected and includes multiple layers of silver plating on the keys which results in a very durable clarinet inside and out.

Clarinet bore: As with most German clarinets the bore is larger than French clarinets. This provides a thicker wall and in turn has a larger, darker sound. The modern Uebel clarinets have a hybrid bore that is smaller than a traditional German bore, but appeals to those most familiar with a French bore system.

Ergonomics: Due to the larger bore, the tone hole placements are also different from French clarinets. The feedback has been that the reach, particularly in the pinky keys, is easier. Those with smaller hands or younger students have an easier time getting around the clarinet; especially on their very popular bass clarinet!

 

 

 

Custom Clarinet Set-up

Did you know that we put extra time and care into each instrument we sell?

MMI specializes in working with world renowned clarinetists to hand-select our professional line of clarinets. 100s of clarinets are played and we look for the following qualities in selecting the best:

•         Tonal center with a consistent tone throughout a wide dynamic range

•         Evenness in response and resistance in all ranges of the scale

•         Exceptional tuning throughout the instrument

Once selected the clarinets are setup by our repair technicians that have over 30 years of combined experience working on woodwinds.

The customized MMI setup includes:

•         Resurfacing tone holes as needed to eliminate unnecessary friction/fuzzy notes

•         Upgrading pads to Valentino Masters, cork and/or leather and replacing select key silencers

•         Reseating and leveling pads to create a proper seal

•         Key fitting, balancing spring tension, adjusting key venting and tenon fitting

•         Cleaning and play-testing

 

Other companies charge extra for the setup of a new instrument. We are offering the setup at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. Our setup includes 3-4 hours worth of work valued at $450 and to you it is FREE!

3rd Annual Clarinet Day

We are excited to announce our 3rd Annual Clarinet Day at MMI!  April 13, 2019 from 10am-5pm.

Jonathan Gunn -clarinet professor from University of Texas - Austin, will be our featured guest artist. Jonathan will performing a small recital and giving a master class event.

Masterclass Participant Request:
- Participants will be selected based on repertoire and age. 4 performers will be selected by the artist; all decisions are final.
- Submissions can be made through the link below or by emailing your name, age, contract information and selected repertoire to tori@mmimports.com by EXTENDED DATE April 1, 2019 5:00pm.

Masterclass registration link

New! Solo Competitions
Performances open to the public

Junior division - ages 14-17:
§ 1st place = $200 cash price

§ 2nd place = $100 cash prize

§ 3rd place - $50 in-store credit

Senior division - ages 18- 26:
§ 1st place = $500 cash prize and invitation to attend Buffet's Clarinet Academy in July!

§ 2nd place = $200 cash prize

§ 3rd place = $100 cash prize

Submission deadline for solo competition is EXTENDED DATE April 7, 2019 at 5:00pm

Submissions can be made through the link below or by emailing tori@mmimports.com with your name, contact information and repertoire.

Solo Competition link

No accompanist required.

Schedule of Events

10-10:30am: Jonathan Gunn Performance

10:35-11:05am: Relaxation and Performance Techniques: Jennifer Gerth and Karrin Meffert-Nelson

11:10-11:40am: Clarinet Maintenance and Crack Prevention: Tori Okwabi and Caleb Rasmussen

11:45-12:30: Audition and Performance Preparation: Scott Anderson

12:30-1:00: Lunch break

12:45-1:45: Junior and Senior Solo Competitions (Open to the Public)

1:55-2:35: How to play in tune: Intonation and Voicing: Sang Yoon Kim and Gabriel Campos Zamora

2:40-4:20: Jonathan Gunn Masterclass

4:30-5:00: Clarinet Choir directed by Rena Kraut

Free small repairs throughout the day and a small lunch will be provided.

Competition Rules and Regulations:
1. Prepare 5 minutes max. of music from the standard solo clarinet repertoire. If you have questions about repertoire please
email Tori@mmimports.com.
2. Accompaniment and memorization is NOT needed. (Piano optional)
3. Entrants must supply 1 copy of their music for the judges.
4. Proper performance attire is expected.
5. Limit of 20 entrants per division allowed. Therefore performers are selected on a first come, first served basis. A wait list will be created in the event of cancellations.

Tips from our Techs--Humidity Issues

 

Tip from head repair technician, Eric Anderson

Summer is that time of year when humidity increases and the wood body of instruments begins to expand.  This happens along the width and length of the wood grain affecting both the fit of keys, levers, and tenons.   When the wood expands in the summer months, woodwind instruments often don't fit together without a struggle, if they even fit together at all! We find that this issue is most prevalent during the first year of a new instrument's life, and especially prevalent in newer clarinets.

If this happens with your instrument to the point where abnormal force is required to take it apart, it's best to have an experienced repair technician take care of it.  A technician will be able to adjust the fit of the tenon cork, the exposed wood on the tenon, or sometimes both.  Ignoring the problem and blowing warm, humid air down your instrument will only make it worse!

The humidity will also make keys fit looser, but don't worry!  We never fit keys too tightly in the summertime because they will most likely expand in the fall/winter and potentially bind once the humidity drops.  Loose key fittings won't harm your instrument, they only cause them to be slightly noisier.  If you can live with the loose key fitting in the summer, great!  It should return to normal in the fall/winter.  If it is an issue for you, we can certainly fix it, and if we do, don't forget to come back to get the fit readjusted after the humidity changes.

If you ever experience issues with your instrument and don't know what to do, remember we are only a phone call away and are happy to help!!