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MARY MACK & Chicago Clarinet Ensemble: April 23, 2022

SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 2022 at 7:30PM

Northeastern Illinois University, RECITAL HALL

3701 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, IL 60646 (free parking in Lot F)

Join CCE and comedian Mary Mack as we explore Comedy in Music.  Concert highlights include Taylor the Latte Boy, The Girl in 14G, Immer Kleiner (always smaller), American in Paris, plus a world Premiere by Chicago composer Jeffrey Kowalkowski, and more.

TICKETS: $12.00 (at the door or by clicking below)

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Student Tickets are available for $10 at the door, with a Valid student ID

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EXPERT on EXCERPTS w JOHN BRUCE YEH: February 11-12, 2021


February 11:  7:00PM – 9:00PM CST

February 12: 7:00PM – 9:00PM CST

Contact: Rose Sperrazza at chicagoclarinetensemble@comcast.net


This virtual workshop will focus on the clarinet excerpts from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago 2021 audition list.

Participants will receive an individual critique based on their video submissions.  This will last approximately 30 minutes.   Additionally, participants will receive individual feedback based on their mock audition.  A detailed schedule will be sent prior to the start of the first session.  Participants’ critiques and mock auditions will be open to other participants as well as viewers.

Participants are limited to 12.  

 To participate, please:

  1. Register below and then
  2. Send a video performance of all, or some, of the excerpts.  The video needs to be submitted as a YouTube link. 
  3. Submit your videos to Rose Sperrazza at chicagoclarinetensemble@comcast.net
  4. Videos need to be submitted by Wednesday, February 10th, 2021.


Viewers may register for a day pass or for the entire 3-day workshop. Viewers will be allowed to observe all critiques as well as the mock auditions with John Yeh and participants.

To register as a viewer, click the appropriate link below:

  1. Viewer, unlimited pass ($20)

The ZOOM link will be emailed to viewers and participants prior to the start of the workshop.


FACE 2 FACE with LOWENSTERN and GOULD: July 21, 2019


667 South River Street
Plains, PA . 18705

Contact: rsperrazza@comcast.net


In-person registration:  9:00 AM  ($20 admission to all events/concert)
Menu of Activities: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM – Includes a lunch and dinner break (on your own)
plus a Social Media Break to take and post all the pictures you want!
Concert:  7:00 PM LOWENSTERN and GOULD with
the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble  ($5 concert only)


Performances by Michael Lowenstern and David Gould
The Three P’s: Practicing, Performing, and Paying the BIlls (panel discussion)
Tongue and Cheek: How to Articulate like a Boss
Ready, Set, Blow: Embouchure and Muscle Memory
Michael Lowenstern In Real Time:  Circular Breathing. Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Weird-Looking Embouchure Exercises.  How Not to Sound  Whimpy on bass clarinet
When to Phone it In: Best Practice Techniques and Favorite Apps
Gear up with Gould: Mouthpieces, Reeds, and Ligatures.  Demos by Lowenstern.
Flipped Masterclass: Participants identify common errors in Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Weber Concertino
Open Rehearsal for Evening Concert: Participate or Watch

John Bruce Yeh in Concert with Chicago Clarinet Ensemble: February 3, 2019


john bruce yeh



Contact: rsperrazza@comcast.net


Three Pieces by Igor Stravinsky

Concertino in Eb Major by Carl Maria  von Weber

Molly on the Shore by Percy Grainger

English Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Irish Tune from County Derry by Percy Grainger

Panis Angelicus by Caesar Franck (vocalist, Kathy Cowan)

Animal Antics 1 and 2 by Lori Ardivino


There is no admission price; however donations to Ascension Lutheran Church are very much appreciated












Ralph Wilder Benefit Concert



Northeastern Illinois University
Fine Arts Building, Auditorium
5500 North Saint Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL. 60625

Contact: rsperrazza@comcast.net


Verdi’s Romanza from La Forza del Destino:  Charlene Zimmerman, clarinet

Mendelssohn Concertpiece, op. 114:  Linda Baker and David Bell, clarinets

Saint Saen’s Tartantella, op. 6:  Gloria Orozco Dorado, clarinet and Antonia Makradakis, flute

Bernstein’s On the Town, conducted by Fred Hemke

Krommer, Concerto for Two Clarinets, op.35: Steve Cohen and Zachary Wilder, clarinets

Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore: Ralph Wilder, clarinet

Agnus Dei, a premiere by Leo Schwartz: Katherine Petersen, Soprano and Sylvia Myintoo, violin

Stephenson’s Liquid Melancholy: John Yeh, clarinet and Susan Tang, piano

Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing (clarinet solo): Jerry DiMuzio, clarinet

Vocalists: Wayne Mesmer, Laury Shelley, Debby Wilder


There is no admission price; instead, we ask that you donate to Ralph Wilder’s Go Fund Me.  The proceeds will be used to help Ralph and his family cover the medical costs associated with his tragic injury.


DONATE HERE or at the concert









GET EXTREME! with ERIC MANDAT: May 11, 2018


All-Day Workshop and Concert
featuring Eric Mandat


Northeastern Illinois University
Fine Arts Building
5500 North Saint Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL. 60625

Contact: rsperrazza@comcast.net


9:30-10:00 am:           Registration

10:15-12:15 am:         Multi-phonics

12:15-1:15 pm:           Lunch/Hang Out with Eric Mandat (brown bag)

1:30-2:30 pm:             Microtones and Pitch Flexibility

2:45-3:30 pm:             Circular Breathing

3:45-5:15 pm:             Mini-Sessions with Mandat and individual practice

5:30 – 6:30 pm:           Extreme Articulation: Double tonguing and Slap tonguing

7:30 pm:                      Eric Mandat and the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble


Full Participant: *       $115 (Includes individualized help from Eric Mandat)

Audit:                          $55 (may attend everything as an observer only)

*Due to the interactive nature of this workshop, full participant registration is limited to 20

Full Participant:
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May 12th, 2017: Tenth Anniversary Concert



John Bruce Yeh     Jorge Montilla     Chloe Feoranzo    Michael Lowenstern and Eric Mandat    

conducted by John Clemons 

Premieres by Leo Schwartz and Noah Potter                                      





Weber Concertino Competition


Rules & Important Information*

  1. Applicants must be in high school.
  2. Applicants must submit a video recording of Concertino in E-flat Major Op. 26, by Carl Maria von Weber on or before April 21, 2017, 11:59pm CST.
  3. Piano accompaniment is encouraged, but not required.
  4. Application fee is $25.00 USD. A payment invoice will be sent after all application materials have been received.
  5. Video submissions must be uploaded to YouTube. Please include a link to your video in the application form below.
  6. All applications and payment must be received by April 21, 2017, 11:59pm CST.
  7. In order to be eligible to receive the grand prize of $500 USD, the winner is required to perform at the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble Gala Concert on May 12th, 2017.

Video Requirements*

  1. Videos must be recorded in one continuous take.
  2. Videos may not be edited, enhanced, cut, or in any way altered.
  3. While professional recording equipment is not required, quality of recording and recording venue is important to consider. Choose a space and choose equipment which will most accurately represent how you sound. For tips on how to create an audition video, please view the video, “How to Create an Awesome Prescreen Recording,” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKjWN_J-ZWA&feature=youtu.be
  4. Please set video privacy settings to “unlisted” at the time of application. For instructions on how to post videos and edit privacy settings for YouTube videos, please visit https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/57407?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

*Failure to follow competition policies and procedures will result in disqualification.


Northeastern Illinois University.  5500 North St. Louis Avenue.  Chicago, IL.  60625


Artistic Director:  Dr. Rose Sperrazza          Assistant Director:  Cally Laughlin



  • Speak Your Mind: Artistic Expression and the Soloist with John Bruce Yeh
  • To “C” or not to “C”:  Operatic Clarinet Excerpts and Perspectives with Charlene Zimmerman
  • All Write Already: Compose Your Own Cadenza Workshop with Eric P. Mandat
  • BASS-ically Speaking: The Highs and Lows of the Bass Clarinet with Michael Lowenstern
  • Teaching with Toys:  Creativity in the Clarinet Studio with David Bell
  • E-flat-uation: Learning to Love the Eb Clarinet with Jorge Montilla
  • I’ve Got Your Bach…and Telemann: An Approach to Skill Building through Unaccompanied Works with Kathy Pirtle
  • Tell Your Story! Improv 101 and Jam Session with Chloe Feoranzo
  • Arranging for the Clarinet Quartet with Erin Miesner and  Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet
  • Sound Health: Somatics in the Clarinet Studio with Rosemary Engelstad

Shared Recitals

John Bruce Yeh and Jorge Montilla
Michael Lowenstern and Eric Mandat
David Bell, Kathy Pirtle, Andrea DiOrio

Gala Concert

Chicago Clarinet Ensemble, 10th Anniversary Concert with Michael Lowenstern, Jorge Montilla, Chloe Feoranzo, and John Bruce Yeh

General Rate: $115 for the Two-Day Symposium
Student Rate: $80 (must be enrolled full time)
Daily Rate: $65
Individual Master Class or Concert Rate: $15 (pay at the door)

Registration and Accommodations

(detailed schedule will be posted in February)

Chicago Woodwind Ensemble Competition: October 22th, 2016

CCE 2016 Woodwind


Eligibility:  Any combination of woodwind ensembles ranging from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 8 players. In lieu of screening recordings, each group must send a short referral/recommendation letter from a teacher or professional reference, or a link to a live performance.  Please send the letter, via email, to Dr. Rose Sperrazza, rsperrazza@comcast.net.  Applications may be filled out and submitted on line (see below).

Repertoire:  Original or transcriptions are acceptable.  Please choose repertoire that shows the group at its best within the 8-minute time limit.  Performances that exceed 8 minutes will be disqualified.

Date/Location:  The competition will be held at Northeastern Illinois University, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, IL  60659. on October 22, 2016 at 3:00PM.  The competition will be open to audience members and begins at 3:00PM.  Each group will be notified of acceptance within one week of application submission.

Requirements:  There are no age restrictions.  Groups of all experience levels are welcome but please be advised that letters of recommendation will be strongly considered.  There is a $15 fee per member of each ensemble.  Payment may be in the form of check (Chicago Clarinet Ensemble) or Pay Pal (you will be invoiced after acceptance).  Payment must be made in full within 5 business days of the ensemble’s official acceptance.

Prize:  $1,000.  Taxes are the sole responsibility of the winners.

Adjudicators:  To Be Announced

Deadline: October 17, 2016 (repertoire list can be sent after this date)

Transportation and Lodging:  Participants from outside the Chicago area must make their own hotel, transportation and meal arrangements.  Northeastern Illinois University does not have dormitories.  We recommend the Holiday Inn of Skokie, Illinois due to its proximity to the university.  We may be able to arrange a shuttle to and from the competition.  Holiday Inn