In the early ‘70s, the Guthrie Theater staff held an annual talent show for which tickets to the public were sold. Next door, the WAC staff decided to follow suit and held its own Christmas-time talent show. Tickets were not sold. Among the acts was our clarinet quartet, composed of WAC staff who used to play the clarinet in their long-ago youths. I was assigned to pick the music. I went downtown to Schmitt’s music store, where I discovered one could find anything arranged for clarinet quartet. Who knew?
I picked the “1812 Overture,” which proved too difficult for us to play. Back to Schmitt’s to choose again; this time “La Donna e Mobile” by Verdi. Perfect for us. We rehearsed for hours–and brought the house down! WAC staff were an appreciative lot: they demanded an encore. Alas, this was the only piece we knew. So we sat down and played it again.
Pictured (L to R): Gwen Bitz, assistant registrar; Joan Benson, Martin Friedman’s administrative assistant; Mary Ann Nord, education coordinator; Wayne Henrickson, graphic designer.
Photo by Gerald Stableski, for Walker Art Center