Teaching again at the CMPR!

From front left: Elizabeth Cintrón, Leyshla Santiago, Andrea Cuevas, Ada Rodríguez, Yelitza Borges,
           From back left: Tanieliz Ureña, Victor Carrión, Yurina Berrios, Jubal Rosado, Kathleen Jones, Edward Nieves and 
           Anthony Ortiz. Well, here I am, teaching again!
My successor at the CMPR, Dr. Oskar Espina de Ruiz, accepted the clarinet position at North Carolina School for the Arts in late spring of 2011. The CMPR administration asked me to come back and teach this year (2011-12) to give them time to do a proper search for the next clarinet professor. So, my retirement from teaching has been interrupted by giving classes to two masters students, nine bachelors students in clarinet performance, and two clarinet students in music education. I must admit, I enjoy working with “the kids,” but for this year, my website will not get the attention that it has gotten for the past two years. I’ll try to post quarterly updates.

Katleen Jones with students Jesuet Gonzalez and Erika Silva,
             CMPR, 2008 I was the Professor of Clarinet at the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico from 1975 until September of 2009, when I chose to retire and concentrate on being "just" a principal clarinetist. I miss the students — they taught me so much (starting with the Spanish language!) I was fortunate to work with some very wonderful and talented kids, who are now playing in the Symphony, teaching in schools all over the island, playing in military bands, and earning advanced degrees, among other things. Many of my chamber music students are now my colleagues in the Puerto Rico Symphony.

Dr. Maurita Mead, Laiza Nazario, and Kathy Jones My recordings of the Voxman Selected Studies were made to help with the teaching of phrasing, and if the recordings are listened to, as with the Suzuki Method, they do work!

I am available to give general master classes on standard repertoire and/or orchestral excerpts, demonstrative presentations on the use of the Voxman recordings, and/or chamber music coachings, in English, Spanish, or limited French. Just contact me, and we’ll look for a time when I can visit your teaching space!

Clases por YouTube

Amigos todos,
Estoy por empezar a grabar unas clases cortas para compartir lo que hice en el salón de clarinete durante mis años de profesora en el CMPR.
¿¿¿Interesados??? Me dejen saber.

Classes via YouTube

Friends all,
I am about to begin to record some short classes to share what I did in the clarinet studio during my years as professor at the CMPR. Let me know if you’re interested.

Experiencia Sinfónica

Here I am with Pochi and this year’s three clarinet “interns”: 
           Juan Soto on the left,  Janice Rivera, and Victor Carrión Bravo (¡y felicitaciones!) to all the talented youth who joined with us in our final concert closing the 2010-11 Experiencia Sinfónica project. Here I am with Pochi (our fine second clarinetist, officially known as Emmanuel Díaz-Retamar) and this year’s three clarinet “interns”: Juan Soto on the left, Janice Rivera, and Victor Carrión, at the end of our challenging May 7th concert. Repertoire included Strauss’ Gypsy Baron Overture, Jack Delano’s La Reina Tembandumba, among other works, and two fine young soloists: Paola Vázquez Cartegena playing the first movement of Saint-Saens’ Third Violin Concerto, and Kristalis Sotomayor playing the first movement of Mozart’s D Major Flute Concerto. ¡Special thanks to Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, for its continued support of this inspirational program!

The Puerto Rico Symphony is now in its third season of a wonderful project sponsored by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (the island’s largest bank) called Experiencia Sinfónica, which gives hands-on experience to students 18 and younger of what playing in a symphony is like. Included are master classes given by the principals, a competition to choose two soloists to play in the final concert, and an audition, which gives those who pass the unequaled opportunity to sit in the orchestra and play a week alongside us, culminating in a public concert (this year to be given on May 7th.)
Here I am on February 12th at the Escuela Libre de Música in Caguas giving a master class to Victor E. Carrión, Catherine Castro, Juan L. Soto Rivera, and Jonathan Cosme Sánchez.

Master class in Escuela Libre de Música in Caguas Master class in Escuela Libre de Música in Caguas

Encuentro de Clarinete

The new clarinet professor at the Conservatory, Dr. Oskar Espina de Ruiz, organized an Encuentro de Clarinete (Clarinet Encounter) held at the CMPR January 29-31, 2011. Guest artists were clarinetists Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima (both teachers of his) and events included master classes, a talk with Latin Grammy nominee Professor Alfonso Fuentes about composing for the clarinet, and a concert on Sunday at 4:00 in the CMPR’s venerable Sala Sanroma.

From left to right, Charles Neidich, Kathleen Jones, Ayako
          Oshima, and Oskar Espina de Ruiz. The inspiring concert included Elegia by Jesús Guridi, played by Prof. Espina with Prof. Rafael Sueiras, piano; Aphorisms for clarinet duet by Ursula Mamlok, and the Poulenc Sonata for Two Clarinets, performed by guests Neidich and Oshima; the Saint-Saens Sonata and an incredible transcription of Saint-Saens’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, performed by guest Neidich and Prof. Sueiras, piano.

It was my great honor to have the Encuentro de Clarinete dedicated to me, with kind words spoken about my 31 years of service by both the Dean of Studies, Melanie Santana, and my successor, Prof. Espina de Ruiz. Here is a picture taken after the concert, Janury 30, 2011. From left to right, Charles Neidich, Kathleen Jones, Ayako Oshima, and Oskar Espina de Ruiz. (They all worked hard that day—I got an armload of beautiful flowers and a plaque—such a deal!)

Noticias de los Clarineteros -- News from the "Clarineteros"

My Conservatory students gave themselves the name the "Clarineteros" at some point. So, here are some of the latest of their many accomplishments. (Por favor, Clarineteros, enviarme sus noticias!) As you can tell, I am proud of them and how hard they have worked! Emmanuel Diaz, Kathy, Stanley Drucker and his wife, Naomi

Pochi (Emmanuel Diaz,) is on the left in this picture from March 2, 2009, at the end of a wonderful master class given by Stanley Drucker for CMPR students. (Also shown are Stanley's accomplished clarinetist wife, Naomi, and me, in the Buffet t-shirt!) The New York Philharmonic played in San Juan during the Casals Festival, and Stanley gave a class that we shall never forget--a really great two hours of orchestral excerpts coaching! Pochi, who won the PRSO second clarinet seat in 1999, just a few weeks after graduation from the CMPR, has just been named substitute teacher at his alma mater, filling in for a couple weeks while Dr. Oskar Espina de Ruiz in on paternity leave. Congratulations to both Pochi and to the new father!!

Here we have Yu-Yu (Carmen) Collazo, Jeanny Lopez and Freddy Ramos in a photo from their CMPR days. Carmen Collazo, Jeanny Lopez and Freddy Ramos Yu-Yu earned her Masters in Music Education from Florida International University and has been hired as a clarinet teacher and supervisor in the CMPR’s "100x35" project, patterned after Venezuela’s famed "El Sistema." Jeanny earned a masters degree in clarinet with Keith Lemmons in New Mexico, and recently married one of my adopted students, the wonderful saxophonist Marcos Colon. Freddy has been accepted at L'Ecole Normal in Paris, and is studying with Guy Deplus.

Denise Cardona e-mailed that she is having some of the most wonderful experiences of her life. I await details! Denise is in San Antonio in the Air Force Band there, and was previously stationed in Germany.

Noel Marcano is in the Coast Guard Band in Groten Connecticut, and won second place in the Orchestral Excerpts competition at the ClarinetFest 08 in Kansas City.

Estoy orgullosa de ustedes!!!

Festivales de Clarinete

The ClarinetFest in Paris in 1996 was a tremendous inspiration for me. I will never forget performances by William O. Smith (playing duets with himself,) by Bela Kovacs and his outstanding clarinet ensemble, and by the Caracas Clarinet Quartet. This last group made such a great impression that I decided to start a small clarinet festival at the Puerto Rico Conservatory, to bring some of that inspiration in to the students who couldn’t afford to go out to the international festivals.

With help from the Corporación de las Artes Musicales (CAM,) in March of 1997 we presented the CMPR’s first Festival de Clarinete, with invited guests Fred Ormand, from the University of Michigan, and Tom Riddenour, then from the Leblanc Corporation. It was a great success.

The following year, we invited William McColl, from the University of Washington; Jerry Hall, a barrel maker from Alabama; and the Caracas Clarinet Quartet. The Quartet’s concert on March 22nd, standing room only in the Sala Sanromá, was received with tremendous enthusiasm.

Jorge Montilla, Maria del Carmen Gil, Kathy, Victor
           Salamanqués, Orlando Pimentel and Carlos Bello Here is a picture taken after their performance: from left, Jorge Montilla, leader and E-flat; Maria del Carmen Gil, CMPR chancellor; myself, behind; Victor Salamanqués, alto clarinet; Orlando Pimentel, B-flat; and Carlos Bello, bass clarinet. Luis Espinosa, Nelson Vega, Wilson Méndez,
            José (Furrito) Ríos, and, seated, Julio Loíz. [left]

Here are a couple photos, taken by Sandra Ortiz, of some of those attending that Festival de Clarinete II:

Standing, from left: Luis Espinosa, Nelson Vega, Wilson Méndez, José (Furrito) Ríos, and, seated, Julio Loíz. They are all fine teachers and/or players. Furrito is a co-González Reed Artist! (visit www.gonzalezreeds.com) [right]

Rafael Bracero with Ada Rodríguez Here is Rafael Bracero, the second clarinetist in the PRSO when I arrived in 1975, for many years after. He is a dedicated teacher at the Caguas “Free” School of Music, seated with Ada Rodríguez, another dedicated teacher, at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Ponce. Thanks for sending these photos, Bracero! [left]

There were seven subsequent Festivales de Clarinete at the CMPR—the students loved them! More photos and information will be coming month-by-month.

Kathy, Mitchell Lurie, Maria del Carmen Gil and Ricardo Morales. Our IV Festival de Clarinete at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, January 31—February 4, 2001 brought two legends to the island: Mitchell Lurie, and Ricardo Morales, pictured here with me, and our Chancellor, Maria del Carmen Gil. It was an inspiring five days!! Memorable quotes from Mr. Lurie included "Never loud, but always to be heard," and "Take the time to do it right." From Ricardo we remember "If you are scared, play louder!" and "Your mind is always remembering what you do." (If I find the recording of his recital, I'll put a sample up here of Ricardo and me playing the First Mendelssohn Concertpiece.) [right]