Clarinet majors prep for international tour
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 16:04
In the Department of Music at UTM, students not only perform music on campus and in the community, but throughout the world, going on tour with their music.
This summer, the Four Stikx Clarinet Quarteta (UTM music majors Cindy Morris, Jennifer Reeves, Lizzie Lee and Molly Waxman), under the direction of Dr. Amy Simmons, is taking their music to Thailand, playing for students and refugee/orphan children in places like Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Bangkok.
The quartet will be taking the pieces they’ve played this year, including pieces written by UTM music education major Josh Spaulding and UTM music professor Scott Roberts.
While this is the first international trip for the quartet, it is not a first for Simmons and her husband Dr. Mark Simmons, who try to organize international trips for their music students each year.
“This year, we decided to go somewhere where we haven’t personally travelled, and we have a friend who teaches at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Joe Bowman actually taught at UT Martin in the early 2000’s, and left Martin to move to Thailand. Joe made it possible for us to perform at the University, and has help up set up other concerts throughout the country,” Simmons said.
In order to make this trip happen, the quartet had to raise funds by playing several gigs and saving every penny. One way that Morris, Reeves, Lee and Waxman hope to finish raising money is by hosting a farewell concert and dinner for $5 per person on Friday Apr. 27. Here, the quartet will play for the last time before going on tour and will commemorate seniors Morris and Reeves.
By students coming out and supporting the quartet at this show, the students will be able to afford to be a part of an experience that, according to Simmons, is life-changing.
“Anytime young musicians are able to travel to a different part of the world and share their music, it is a life-altering experience. Rarely does the ‘life-changing’ happen during the performance. It almost always happens after the performance is over, when interacting with students and audience members. It happens in between the performances; it happens before the shows… it’s always when you least expect it that music humbles you and connects you with all types of people from all over the world,” Simmons said.
By being able to share their music with Thailand, not only will students and orphans in Thailand benefit, but also the members themselves will gain insight.
“Seeing cultures so different from our own, particularly for those students who have never left the United States, allows our students to understand that every person has a different story, and that we all have something to learn from each other as human beings. There is no stronger way to communicate with other human beings than through music. These students will forever be changed once they’ve experienced this sharing,” Simmons said.