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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

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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











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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









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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

April 16, 2016: A Variety show starring Patti Vasquez and Jorge Montilla

WGNlaughThe Chicago Clarinet Ensemble presents a variety show with Chicago comedian and WGN radio host PATTI VASQUEZ.  She kicks off the night with her hilarious stand up comedy and then interviews the musicians and performers.  Venezuelan super star clarinet virtuoso JORGE MONTILLA joins Chicago Clarinet Ensemble for a new arrangement of Piazzolla’s Muerte del Angel.  Enjoy performances by Chicago’s South Shore Color Guard (original choreography by Asher Waldron), soprano Kathy Cowan, and kid dance duo Katherine and Alexander Waterman.  Get some variety in your life on April 16th at 7:30PM!

Saturday, April 16th, 7:30PM. NEIU Auditorium, 3701 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, IL
General Admission:  $15; Students:  $10; NEIU
Purchase Tickets HERE.


Chicago Historical Clarinet Workshop – August 8-11, 2016

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!  CLick here to go to our registration link

Learn and Perform on Historical Clarinets this summer in Chicago!   UPDATE:  Chicago keyboardist David Schrader to join Marie Ross for featured concert during festival!


On the campus of Northeastern Illinois University and organized in
conjunction with Associate Professor of Clarinet, Dr. Rose Sperrazza

Classical-period historical clarinets made by a variety of modern-day makers will be provided at the workshop for participants to borrow and play in various chamber ensembles. Instruction will be given on how to play the instruments as well as in classical style performance practice.

Presentations on different aspects of historical performance practice will be given at the start of each day. Recitals featuring well-known specialists in historical performance practice will be held in the evenings. The four days will end with a group recital featuring all of the ensembles that were formed during the workshop.

The workshop is open to professionals and students.

Full workshop price for clarinetists including use of instrument and entrance to all events: $500
Reduced price for players bringing their own instrument: $250
Auditor price including entrance to all lectures and recitals: $100


Workshop Presenter:   Dr. Marie Ross performs regularly on historical clarinets from the Baroque period through the early 20th Century.  As Associate Principal Clarinetist of the French orchestra, Ensemble Matheus, she has performed with superstars like Cecilia Baroli and Lawrence Brownlee in the world’s most famous theaters like the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Berliner Philharmonie, and Theater an der Wien. She also performs and records regularly with orchestras like Concerto Köln, Musica Aeterna, and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
Dr. Ross studied as a modern clarinetist at the Eastman School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, and the University of North Texas before traveling to The Netherlands to study historical performance at The Royal Conservatory of The Hague.