NSU Clarinet Studio to feature under-represented composers in April 19 recital

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Members of the NSU Clarinet Studio

The NSU Clarinet Studio will perform a recital on Monday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall.  Attendance is limited to NSU students, faculty and staff.  Social distancing and masks are required.  The recital will also be livestreamed at capa.nsula.edu/livestream.

Northwestern State Professor of Clarinet Dr. Malena McLaren and David Steele, an adjunct instructor who teaches clarinet, music theory, woodwind methods, chamber music and fine arts, lead the studio. Steele will join the clarinet quartet as a guest performer for this recital.

According to McLaren, in planning for this semester’s recital, the Clarinet Studio decided to take on a project to find works by under-represented composers from under-represented countries/cultures for unaccompanied clarinet (solo and chamber works).

“It was a rewarding project in that the studio discovered many works (and composers) that were previously unknown to them, but these works will now become part of their repertoire,” said McLaren.  “In doing this project, the students found databases of which they were unaware before and more pieces than they knew existed by under-represented composers.  They have each given a short presentation in studio class on the composer of the piece they will be performing, and they have prepared program notes for the recital.”

Members of the Clarinet Studio who are performing are: Alexis Taylor of New Orleans, Eric Renova of Mesquite, Texas Rikki Landry of Lafayette, Jonathan Friis of Winnfield, Daniel Scott of Benton,  Leah Morace of Pineville, Michaela Kleyle of Covington, Laura Cabarcas Vargas of Cartegena, Colombia, and graduate students Rebekah Clark of Wills Point, Texas, and Jorge Ojeda Muñoz (graduate student) of Cartegena, Colombia.

“I know many other studios and departments have taken on similar projects this year, which is wonderful to see,” said McLaren. “I have really enjoyed guiding the students’ research and watching them react to their discoveries.  We’ve had a lot of fun, and the students have expressed a wish to continue this sort of research in future semesters which makes my teacher-heart very happy and proud.  We are excited to present this program of solo and chamber music featuring their discoveries.”

In addition to solo performances, the Clarinet Quartet will be performing two works, one of which will feature graduate student, Muñoz.  The Northwestern State University Clarinet Quartet is made up of graduate students and upperclassmen from the NSU Clarinet Studio and is directed by Steele. Performers are Munoz, Clark, Friis and Leah Morace. The group frequently performs at recitals, concerts and masterclasses in the Natchitoches and central Louisiana area.