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Great Arts at Eastern this week talks with Pamela Schuler about the upcoming Clarinet Day at ENMU

GENTRY:  And now Great Arts at Eastern from the Portales campus of eastern New Mexico University I'm Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, your Public Radio Network. Today my guest is Pamela Schuler of Eastern's Department of Music. Thank you for joining me.

SCHULER:  Thank you for having me.

GENTRY:  I always love having Doctor Schuler on. Because if she hadn't been a virtuoso clarinetist, I'm convinced she would have a career in broadcasting. But Saturday is Clarinet Day here at ENMU.

SCHULER:  Yes, it is.

GENTRY:  Is it a virtual event this year?

SCHULER:  This year we are going virtual to make sure that everyone stays safe and healthy; we will be streaming online this year.

GENTRY:  Alright, and so tell me a little bit about the composer Mike Curtis of the Mike Curtis Klezmer quartet.

SCHULER:  Yes, Mike is kind of a leader in the clarinet world when it comes to compositions for our instrument. I always have a couple of standards that I look for when I invite someone in for Clarinet Day. The first is what they are really good at? What they do? And also, are they really good teacher that can work with our students in our audience here? And Mike kind of fits the docket for both of those. So, he's been composing for a number of years, and pretty much if you hear clarinet playing happening, chances are that you know you're going to hear some music by Mike Curtis.

GENTRY:  That is fantastic, and so how many participants can we expect for clarinet day.

SCHULER:  I think we're up to a total- just over 50 registrants at this point, and we will take anyone else that would like to join us.

GENTRY:  So, they're still registering.

SCHULER:  Absolutely,

GENTRY:  Even know and so can you tell me a little bit about the klezmer musical tradition.

SCHULER:  Right. So, it is a music that is based a lot on Jewish tradition and music that is used in celebrations. If you go to like a bar mitzvah, chances are you might hear a klezmer band playing; but it incorporates some of the sounds and the modalities and the styles of playing from that type of (Jewish traditional) music.

GENTRY:  Fantastic, and so you have several performers at your three o'clock concert on Saturday, not just Mike Curtis, but you will be performing too, right do you have a favorite present favorite selection.

SCHULER:  I don't know if I can name that 'cause they're all the thing I love about my Curtis is music. The students have kind of come up with this idea themselves as well. That I had a student tell me: "You know what, Doctor Schuler, not only is this music fun to listen to, but it's also really fun to play." So pretty much any piece you're going to pull out by Mike, there's something unique in something great about it.

GENTRY:  Yeah, so there's a really full concert on Saturday.

SCHULER:  Right.

GENTRY:  And So, what are some of the musical numbers that we might be able to hear?

SCHULER:  Right so kind of to meet the guidelines that we have right now to keep everyone safe, we've split down into two kinds of trios and duets. We have a couple pieces that are unaccompanied solo pieces. And then, the last piece on our program features six different students. And this was actually a Commission that Mike Curtis wrote for our clarinet studio here. So, if I had to pick one, that's probably the one I'm most excited about 'cause he wrote it with our students in mind.

GENTRY:  Oh wow. That's great. And so, will we hear some Schuler on Saturday.

SCHULER:  Yes, you will, so to accommodate the different schedules that students have had. There are a couple duets that'll I'll be a part of the quartet that airs, but you'll see me but hopefully- not too much, hopefully, more of the students.

GENTRY:  Right well, I notice I look at the program it's just chock full you know-.

SCHULER:  Right.

GENTRY:  We've got faculty and students all over the place. And Speaking of the students, I know you have a strong clarinet studio.


GENTRY:  So, who are some of your featured performers?

SCHULER:  You know what? I think everybody gets to toss their hat in the ring a little bit here. So, we have again some of our younger students that will be playing together duetting and trioing. Some of our upperclassmen were asked to do some solos on this. So pretty much of turn, the clarinet studio there going to be a part of the performance.

GENTRY:  And dozens of high school students from all over the place, right?

SCHULER:  Absolutely.

GENTRY:  I guess is that an advantage of a virtual clarinet day you can have folks and farther away.

SCHULER:  I definitely think so. So those that maybe travel was a restriction. To kind of get in town and get out of town. And be back at school or at home by Monday. We have people pretty much from across the nation that will be able to join us and have registered.

GENTRY:  Alright, so it's a broad clarinet day this year, and how can our listeners take in the live closing concert on Saturday at 3:00 o'clock.

SCHULER:  Right. This will be streamed on the ENMU Department of music YouTube channels, so if they would go to YouTube and search for ENMU Department of music, you will see the live stream available at 3:00 PM.

GENTRY:  Fantastic Pamela Schuler leads ENMU's clarinet day on Saturday, that's March 6th live show at 3:00 o'clock PM via streaming video, and you can go to it directly at enmu.edu/musicperformances. That's the YouTube page: enmu.edu/musicperformances. Pamela Schuler, thank you for being with us today.

SCHULER:  Thank you so much for having me.

GENTRY:  And our listeners can learn more about this program at KENW.ORG. I'm Jeff Gentry. Thanks, everyone, for listening on KENW, your Public Radio Network.

ENMU Clarinet Day

Featuring composer and performer Mike Curtis

Coordinated by Pamela Shuler

Saturday, March 6, 2021 | All Day Event

Free registration and open to all interested musicians

Registration deadline Friday, March 5 | 5 p.m.

Email pamela.shuler@enmu.edu to register