Jason Thorne and Andy Hudson met in a clarinet class at Columbus State University. Each liked the way the other played, so they decided to form a clarinet ensemble.
Now in its third incarnation, 10th and Broadway (where the Schwob School of Music in the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts is located), is set to present its first public performance tonight. The free concert will be in Legacy Hall at 7:30 p.m.
This past summer, they were joined by 19-year-old sophomore Mike Waller of Peachtree City and Brady Richards, 19, a sophomore from Columbia, Tenn. Hudson is a 19-year-old junior from Alpharetta, and Thorne, at 24, is the “old man” of the group and is currently the first-year band director at Midland Middle School. Thorne’s also the local guy, having grown up in Columbus.
Since the group began 2
“I didn’t want to be in charge,” Thorne said.
Besides, he’s busy teaching now.
All four young men started playing clarinet in elementary school, playing in the school band. Though for Richards, it wasn’t his first choice. He wanted to play the flute, but everyone around him convinced him that the flute was a “girl’s instrument.”
With a college ensemble, members graduate and move away, which necessitates the personnel changes.
“Mike didn’t know what he was getting into,” Hudson said.
Like three weeknight and all-day Saturday rehearsals. And playing Hudson’s impromptu version of the “Titanic” theme, “My Heart Will Go On.”
Tonight’s concert features a Satie-inspired piece for four bass clarinets as well as new compositions and some clarinet repertoire.
When they told their faculty adviser, Lisa Oberlander, their plans, she thought they were crazy.
“She said, ‘You really want to do that?’” Thorne said.
But after listening to a rehearsal, she thought it was a good idea.
Rely on friends
Because repertoire is very limited for a clarinet quartet, 10th and Broadway commissions a lot of new work. And they rely on friends to do that. So far, they’ve been able to get free compositions.
And they have enough new material that they plan to record a CD.
Besides going to school and studying (teaching for Thorne), they do some master classes for area schools.
Thorne’s students are excited about coming to tonight’s concert to see him perform.
“I’m having so much fun,” Thorne said. “It’s a new day every day. I get to teach and I get to come and play. I really enjoy it.”
Before each piece is played tonight, they’ll talk about it, explaining who wrote it and what the audience will hear.
When Hudson graduates, he’s planning on going to graduate school. Both he and Richards plan on careers performing. Waller wants to get into recording and engineering