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 About Laurel

My earliest musical memory is from age seven.  I am standing on top of a dining chair intently waving a baton at the television set.  I am imitating Leonard Bernstein as he conducts a televised Young People's Concert and my parents are my appreciative audience. 

As tempting as the role of conductor was, when I turned ten,  I quite happily traded in my baton for the clarinet.

I grew up in Muskegon, Michigan where I enjoyed  top notch public school music programs.   By the time I reached high school, music had become my all consuming passion.   I began winning scholarships, concerto competitions, played principal clarinet with my local youth symphony, high school band and orchestra, and most importantly, began studying with the wonderful Keith Stein.  Under his guidance I finished my senior year with winning a spot as a finalist for the National Clarinet Competition in Denver. 

Mr. Stein was the first in a long line of really excellent teachers I studied under.   Here is a list of other teachers I enjoyed working with:

Mitchell Lurie - University of Southern California
Stanley Hasty - Eastman School of Music
Harold Wright - Boston Symphony
John McCaw -  New Philharmonia London
Michelle Zukovsky - Los Angeles Philharmonic
Frank Cohen - Cleveland Orchestra
Luis Baez - San Francisco Symphony
Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr - Michigan State University
Keith Wilson - Yale Graduate School of Music

I have also benefitted from teachers outside of the clarinet realm including:

John Mack  - Oboist Cleveland Orchestra
Arthur Weisberg - Bassoon Professor Yale School of Music
Thomas Nyfenger - Flute Professor Yale School of Music
Allan Vogel - Oboe Professor California Institute of the Arts
Martial Singher -  Baritone Vocal Masterclasses
Phyllis Curtin - Soprano Vocal Masterclasses
Burton Kaplan - How to Practice Guru
Keith Underwood - Breathing and Body Mechanics Mastery
Don Greene - Olympic Diving Coach - Peak Performance
Many Excellent Alexander Technique Teachers - Natural Use of the Body

I received my higher education at:

Michigan State University
California Institute of the Arts (BFA)
Yale Graduate School of Music

My summers have been spent performing at music festivals and these include:

 Tanglewood Music Festival
 Aspen Music Festival
 Blossom Music Festival
 Evian Music Festival
 Peter Britt Music Festival
 Cabrillo Music Festival
 Music Academy of the West
 Carmel Bach Music Festival
 Lake Tahoe Music Festival
 Midsummer Mozart  Festival
 Telluride Music Festival

As a professional clarinetist I have been lucky enough to perform with and be inspired by some truly incredible musicians.  Making music with them was a wonderful learning experience.  This list includes:

Opera singers Renee Fleming, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Montserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras, Ruth Ann Swenson

Conductors Leonard Bernstein, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Seiji Ozawa, Claudio Abbado, Sir Charles Mackerras, Dennis Russell Davies, Gunther Schuller, Zubin Mehta

Composers Aaron Copland, Joan Tower, Arvo Part, Libby Larsen, Lou Harrison, Chen Yi, Shulamit Ran

Pop and Jazz Artists Joni Mitchell, Keith Jarrett, Diana Krall, Jake Shimabukuro, Keali i Reichel, Wynton Marsalis, Edgar Myer, Eddie Daniels

I have performed with a lot of symphonies, opera companies and ballet companies.  Some of the better known ones include:

Opera - San Francisco Opera, Western Opera Theater, Hawaii Opera Theatre

Ballet - San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet

Symphonies - San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony, New Haven Symphony, San Jose Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Oakland Symphony

I have maintained a private teaching studio for 35 years.  I have served on a lot of faculties as well including:

San Francisco Conservatory of Music
University of California Berkeley
Music and Arts Institute San Francisco
Branson High School - Marin California
Hamlin School for Girls - San Francisco
Waldorf School - Marin California
New Town High School - Connecticut
Los Angeles Public Schools
Iolani High School - Honolulu Hawaii
Los Lomas High School - Walnut Creek California
M. H. Stanley Middle School - Lafayette California

I have recorded for movies, commercials and several recording labels including:

Deutsche Grammophon - San Francisco Opera - Streetcar Named Desire
Varese Sarabande - San Francisco Ballet - Othello
Koch Classics - The Women's Philharmonic
New Albion - Myths and Poems of China
Koch Classis - Uses of Music in Uttermost Parts
PBA Music - Pilgrim on Earth
Lancaster Productions - Nursery Songs and Lullabies, Favorite Animal Songs, Mother Goose and Other Songs

I have a lot of experience and I think it all helps me be a better teacher.  The more I have to draw on, the more I have to offer my students. 

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Laurel Hall - Clarinetist
Musical Instruction
Skype Name: Laurel.Hall1
Walnut Creek, California