You know that dreaded feeling when you leave the Caribbean? You wake up in the morning and it’s 80 degrees, but by the evening, when you’re back in New York City, it’s a brisk 37… You feel a combination of denial, regret and nostalgia. You begin to question your judgement and lifestyle decisions up until that point. You ask yourself, ‘Why do I live here? Why don’t I live there?‘ Well, 7 days later, I am just now re-cooperating from such feelings after returning from my week-long residency in the Dominican Republic.
Besides enjoying the wonderful climate and island-life, I had the pleasure of serving as a guest artist for this year’s Clarinetísimo, a week-long festival celebrating the clarinet at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música.
My dear friend, Darleny González (clarinetist of Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, professor of clarinet at the conservatory), served as the coordinator and thought it would be exciting to have representation of another woodwind instrument, so she invited me!
The other guest artists were two stellar clarinetists from Spain, José Cerveró and Carlos Gustavo Duarte. In addition to performing a recital of solo works and pieces for flute and clarinet, I had the opportunity to talk with conservatory students about my experience as a professional musician and share insight on career development.
Students participated in masterclasses, ensembles, yoga, and lectures. Darleny and I demonstrated techniques on blending the timbres of flute and clarinet and introduced eclectic pieces in woodwind chamber music repertoire.
The conservatory community was extremely welcoming and warm to both myself and my family. I want to give a special thank you to my wonderful friend Darleny and Prof. Roberto Medina for having me. This trip was truly unforgettable and I look forward to making more music in the Dominican Republic for years to come!