Pride

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Karin Bliznik sent an email following the master class she gave with section mates Mike Walk and Carrie Schafer at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Columbus, Ohio. One word: “Success!”

Here she is with her undergrad teacher at Boston University, Professor Terry Everson, in his Facebook post.

karinThe St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra played a terrific concert Saturday evening, the finale to an extraordinary season. You can see the pride in St. Louis Symphony Principal Clarinet Scott Andrews’ face. He is YO Concerto Competition Winner Aleksis Martin’s coach, and they are backstage after Aleskis’ spellbinding performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Aleksis looks proud, exhausted and relieved.

Scott Andrews and  Aleksis Martin backstage at Powell Hall
Scott Andrews and Aleksis Martin backstage at Powell Hall

The Symphony’s Tina Ward went clarinet against light saber in the Powell foyer. With the orchestra performing the music of John Williams and Richard Strauss and other otherworldy pieces for the Lost in Space show, everybody won.

tina saber

Break Breath Decay Coffee

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Members of the St. Louis Symphony trumpet section, Karin Bliznik, Mike Walk and Carrie Schafer, are giving a master class at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Columbus, Ohio on Friday morning. That means they hit the road Thursday and get right back on it after the master class for Opera Theatre pit duties Friday night. All part of the glamorous life of the orchestral musician.

Left to right: Mike Walk, Carrie Schafer and Karin Bliznik
Left to right: Mike Walk, Carrie Schafer and Karin Bliznik

Karin invited me to sit with the trio on stage and take a few photos as they prepared. They told me that they are the only current orchestra section featured at the conference, “Which is a big deal for us,” Karin said. They are playing excerpts from music they’ve performed this season, as well as some pieces for next season. The Symphony trumpets received the invitation last summer, with the St. Louis Symphony, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the musicians themselves supporting the activity–they’re giving the master class for free. All three have attended a conference master class earlier in their careers. “It’s exciting,” Carrie said. “Lots of ideas fly around.”

Karin makes her point about the sound of a note.
Karin makes her point about the sound of a note.

On the Powell stage they played some John Williams, some Strauss. Karin emphasized the “slight decay” that needed to be heard in one note. They talked about the need to define the differences between “break” and “breath.” (A break is to allow for more sounds to come out; a breath is to allow for the body to make more sounds.) They talked about lots of coffee over the next couple days.

Playing in unison.
Playing in unison.