Recital Talk with Jeremy Reynolds '15

Oberlin clarinetist recounts his performance experience.

March 20, 2015

Conservatory Communications Staff

student throwing pie at face of another student.

Senior recital is a crowning achievement in the career of any Oberlin student. We talked to clarinetist Jeremy Reynolds about his recital experience.

Could you describe your recital?

My recital was spunky! I performed an eclectic mix of new and old music in Warner; each piece was fairly short, so I kept the program moving along. It was probably the fastest hour of my life. I wanted to play well for colleagues and teachers who’ve helped me develop over the past four years, but especially for my visiting family members who don’t hear me play as much as they used to. Recitals are always an insane mash of anxiety and adrenaline, fear and fun. I’ll remember it fondly.

What’s the most challenging decision you had to make in planning your recital?

Picking out music that offers something for non-conservatory-trained family and friends and fellow students alike can be tricky—it took a while to hammer out the final program.

What or who inspires you?

My teacher, Richard Hawkins, of course!

What strategies do you use to prepare for a big performance?

1. Prepare early. I never cram practice, and if I start far enough in advance I don’t have to. I checked out some of the music for this program in the beginning of the fall semester and slowly worked it into my daily routines. I also started rehearsing as early as possible. A little bit of work at a time adds up quickly.

2. Exercise. No matter how well prepared I am, I still get nervous and jittery as much as a week or two before a big concert. I like racquetball or running or whatever really takes the edge off those nerves and gets rid of excess energy. Also, as a wind player, better cardio health equals better air support! Its a win-win.

3. Sleep. As much as possible. If the choice is between practicing, exercising, or sleeping, then choose sleep. Always.

What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

I’ve narrowed down my graduate school options to either USC or Syracuse’s arts journalism programs. I’d love to promote classical music through writing, whether for print or digital media after graduating. In 10 years, I’d like to think I’ll have an established career, hopefully in a major city (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago…) working to champion the arts.

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