Category: Musician’s Life

Playing What Is

A musician sits practicing alone in his room, as he has done most of his life. He is a beloved performer, respected and revered by many. He is concentrated and fearless in his focus. Time passes effortlessly here. Time stops.…

The Spirit of Performing

When performing music, I have to balance a “subjective” interpretation from an “objective” one. This means I need to pay attention to the notes on the page and composer’s markings as much as my own interpretation of them. But both…

Preparing for a Concerto

As an orchestral clarinetist, I don’t play concertos very often. I do it more often than others in my orchestra, but it’s by choice. There is no obligation to do so. My job is as a principal orchestral player, which…

Fiber and Play

As physical players of our instruments, we need a practice of cleansing the fibers of our muscles as we play. So play becomes the fiber to cleanse and relax the “fibers” of our muscles. Chamber music, read at relaxed parties,…

Imagine Playing

When I was learning the Mozart Clarinet Concerto for a performance years ago, I practiced as I jogged. I heard and felt the piece in my body phrase by phrase, back-wards from the end to the beginning. This practice also…

Dreaming Big

I’m still pinching myself. I’m sure I’ll wake up and find it was all a dream. In all my 17 years as principal clarinetist of the Columbus Symphony, I’ve never been this optimistic about my career. Four years ago I…

The Nutcracker

The now infamous score by Peter Tchaikovsky conjures many layers of memory and meaning for me. I’ve played it no less than 400 times. That’s not much compared to longer runs of Broadway shows, but it’s plenty for me. That’s…

Reeds

Reeds are our saviors. We can blame anything on them, thank goodness. “Oops, I squeaked! Oh well, that wasn’t a great reed after all.” Or, “Man, I can’t believe how much my reed’s changed since two hours ago. No wonder…

Short Bio of David Thomas

David H. Thomas has been an orchestral clarinetist for 23 years. He is also an experienced soloist, with numerous critically acclaimed performances. Starting his performing career directly after undergraduate studies, he won a position with the Greensboro Symphony in 1982.…