I had a distinct pleasure of playing with the Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band last night. The ensemble consists of wind players from around the country who specialize in early music, particularly the music of the late 19th century America on instruments from the same period. In fact, I was told NVCB is the only professional ensemble who exclusively performs music from this period on such authentic setting. Although the majority of the band are brass instruments, there happened to be four clarinets and a flute/piccolo, too. I was asked to play with them on their concert at TTU earlier this semester, so that's how I ended up there. The period ensemble tunes to A=454, and the clarinet section plays on Albert's System clarinet. Fortunately, they obtained a nice Boehm System PH Buffet for me, so I had not much trouble playing my part with them!
I particularly enjoyed getting to know the clarinetists of the band. Larry Bocaner, a former bass clarinetist with the National Symphony Orchestra in D.C. actually studied with the legendary Daniel Bonade! I was so glad that he was able to give a master class for my studio, and we absorbed plenty of his many insights and wisdom. Thomas Carroll, an early clarinet specialist from Boston also gave a nice lecture on 5-key clarinet and demonstrated several passages from the classical and early Romantic eras.
This was a unique experience for me, and performing with them gave me a sense of traveling back in time of the Civil War America. I look forward to the next opportunity I get to see them and some wonderful new friends I made.