Q: How long have you played with the MSO?
A: I started in '92.
Q: Do you play with other musical ensembles?
A: I am principal clarinet in the Shippensburg (Pa.) Festival Chamber Orchestra - that's three weeks in the summer at the new Luhrs Center at Shippensburg University. I play in a woodwind trio, The Pandean Wind Trio. I played with Cumberland Valley Chamber Players, which disbanded a couple of years ago, and I was principal clarinet with Millbrook Orchestra in Shepherdstown (W.Va.) from 1987 until they disbanded in 2001.
Q: How do you prepare for a concert? How much time do you spend preparing for each performance?
A: It depends on the piece. When the schedule comes out for the next year, I eye over everything. I know pretty much what is going to need more time. Sometimes, I'll order parts from publishers ahead of time, so I'll have my part if it's something I've never played.
Q: Do you practice every day? How long?
A: I try to, but it varies, (based) on how much time I have available.
Preparing for a concert is not just playing the music; preparing the reeds, getting them conditioned and worked up so you have enough to get you through how many concerts you have to do.
Q: Do you have a day job?
A: I teach at Music & Arts Center in Hagerstown - since 1998, when it was Machen Music. I teach at Saint James School and also for Cumberland Valley School of Music. At last count I had 43 students - clarinet and sax, fourth-graders to senior citizens.
Q: Compare playing in the MSO and under Elizabeth Schulze's baton to playing with other orchestras and conductors.
A: I've played under a good many conductors, and she is my favorite. She has the right balance of technique and emotion, knowledge, personality.
Q: Who's your favorite composer? Do you have a favorite composition?
A: Or an era - I would say late 19th to 20th century. Favorites - the French school, maybe Debussy. I'm an opera fan - Wagner. I like Prokofiev, Ravel.
Q: What kinds of music do you listen to in your leisure time? What's the last CD you bought?
A: I listen to a lot of vintage jazz - Ellington, anything going from the '20s,'30s, '40s.
I was in Paris for several days and turned the television on and saw Brigitte Fontaine, an eclectic French pop singer, being interviewed. I ordered a CD and just got a call that it was in.
Q: What's your favorite nonclassical piece of music?
A: There's a song Billie Holiday recorded late in her years when her voice was very emotionally tattered and worn: "I Thought About You."