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Clarinet Students Participate in Cross Border Exchange

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Oct. 27, 2008) - The SUNY Plattsburgh music department will host 15 clarinet students from CeGEP de Sherbrooke, Quebec, on Nov. 7 and 8. The ensemble and their director, Nathalie De Grace, will participate in a concert and master class as part of an ongoing exchange with members of the SUNY Plattsburgh Clarinet Choir. Highlights include two clarinet concerts that are free and open to the public.

The first concert is a performance by the Sherbrooke students, featuring clarinet chamber and solo repertoire. It will take place on Friday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Myers Fine Arts Building on the Plattsburgh campus. The SUNY Plattsburgh Clarinet Choir will join the Sherbrooke Clarinet Ensemble for a last piece on the concert program - the combined performance of Gustav Holst's "Fantasia on the Dargason." It incorporates the familiar "Greensleeves" melody. This piece will be conducted by Janine Scherline, SUNY Plattsburgh clarinet instructor and co-organizer of the event.

The second concert will take place on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. in Krinovitz Recital Hall, Hawkins Hall, when there will be a performance by the United States Air Force Band of Liberty Clarinet Quartet, known as the Bay State Winds.

Students from both institutions will spend the two days working together in combined rehearsals, performing together and participating in a unique master class setting, lead by members of the Bay State Winds. They will combine into smaller chamber groups, perform and receive instruction from the quartet members.

The in-person exchange is a culmination of the semester-long "Clarinet and Technology Project" between the SUNY Plattsburgh and Cegep de Sherbrooke clarinet studios. The project combines traditional musical instruction with various distance learning technologies such as video conferences, shared web-based research and communication using Skype, a free software download that allows for real-time Web chats, and musical performances through computers.

The two day-long clarinet event is generously supported by the Department of Music and the Center for the Study of Canada at SUNY Plattsburgh. The SUNY Plattsburgh Clarinet Choir plans to visit the Cegep de Sherbrooke students in a reciprocal exchange in spring '09.

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