Another week, another fascinating faculty interview! In honor of Woodwind Day 2016 coming up in a couple of weeks, we interviewed Mason Gross School of the Arts faculty member, coordinator of Woodwind Day, and all-around awesome clarinetist Maureen Hurd!
Maureen Hurd has appeared in concerts and master classes throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. She has performed at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, at Merkin Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in Alice Tully Hall, and in South Korea, France, England and Mexico. She has been recognized for her study and performances of classical works connected to Benny Goodman, and she performed and lectured at the Yale School of Music and at Zankel Hall in 2009 as part of a Benny Goodman centenary.
A member of the faculty of the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University since 2002, Hurd frequently performs recitals, master classes, lectures and clinics at clarinet festivals, universities and conferences throughout the United States and abroad. She is a Conn-Selmer Artist, playing Selmer Paris Signature B-flat and A soprano clarinets and a Selmer Paris Recital E-flat clarinet.
TJ: What initially inspired you to go into the arts?
MH: I fell in love with music as a young person. I enjoyed studying almost every subject, but music stood out as Plan A. I had wonderful teachers and I wanted to learn everything there was to know about music. I had peak experiences with great literature, and I felt that music was my life.
TJ: Was there a teacher who made an impact upon your development as an artist? How did they impact your own work as a teacher?
MH: So many – I had inspiring piano teachers, school band directors, my private clarinet teacher with whom I also studied in college, and my graduate school clarinet teachers. Each one helped me with musical guidance and moral support and taught me so many things that I try to share with my students.
TJ: What is the most rewarding part of teaching for you?
MH: The most rewarding part of teaching is helping a student understand a concept and seeing their playing obviously improve. I must also say that it is rewarding to give students tools and information to solve their own problems, and/or to spur their own further curiosity/study/research.
TJ: Out of all the instruments, what makes the clarinet unique?
MH: The clarinet has a beautiful flexible sound – liquid, clear, singing – and is able to produce a variety of qualities from low, hollow notes to penetrating, trumpet-like middle notes to screaming high notes.
TJ: Are there any composers who write really well for clarinet? What pieces would you introduce to someone who is interested in clarinet repertoire?
MH: Many have written very well for clarinet. Some famous ones are Weber and Mozart, but also Crusell, Brahms, and many others. I would recommend the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Quintet, the Brahms Quintet Op. 115, Berg’s Four Pieces, works by Eric Mandat, Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, the Finzi Clarinet Concerto, and works by Evan Ziporyn. This is just a start.
TJ: What excites you most about Woodwind Day 2016? What should woodwind players look forward to most?
MH: I am so excited to showcase our outstanding mason gross faculty and students, to host fascinating guest artists who will appeal to woodwind players at all levels – from pros to beginners, and to welcome vendors with a wide array of instruments and accessories for sale and trial.
Thanks Maureen! For more information about Woodwind Day 2016, please visit the Woodwind Day page here!
Rutgers Woodwind Day 2016, an event for woodwind players and students of all ages and abilities, will be presented on Sunday, February 21, 2016, in the Marryott Music Building, Nicholas Music Center, and Mortensen Hall on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The event is open to professionals, amateurs, students, teachers, parents, and music directors from the greater New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York areas.
Meet and work with music faculty members of the Mason Gross School of the Arts, and attend performances by faculty, as well as Mason Gross undergraduate and graduate music students. There will be master classes, workshops, and performances throughout the day!
Participants will have the opportunity to try and purchase a vast assortment of woodwind instruments and accessories. A master repair person will be on site all day for minor repairs. Registration fee is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Parents/guardians attend free.