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Performing Arts - Music

Amicitia Duo and Mark Clinton Performance


7:30 pm
Kimball Recital Hall
1113 R St
Lincoln NE 68508
Additional Info: KRH
Brian Reetz, (402) 472-6865,
Formed out of friendship, the Amicitia Duo brings music for clarinet to a wide variety of audiences around the world. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music professor of clarinet, Diane Barger, and University of Alabama at Birmingham professor of clarinet, Denise Gainey, joined by UNL Hixson-Lied professor of piano, Mark Clinton, present a recital titled “Play Pretty” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, 2019 in Kimball Recital Hall. The recital’s theme is also the title of their upcoming CD published by Potenza Music (recorded in Kimball Recital Hall in May 2019) and the first movement of Scott McAllister’s Amicitia Suite, which closes the program. The recital features music written for the Amicitia Duo, including Alexis Ciesla’s Études Concertantes for E-flat and B-flat clarinets and the premiere performance of his Sonatina classica for E-flat and B-flat clarinets with piano. Gerald Cohen’s set of Hebrew songs, Sea of Reeds, rounds out the recital program.

Formed out of friendship, the Amicitia Duo brings music for clarinet to a wide variety of audiences. Amicitia is the Latin word for friendship and is pronounced “ah-mee-KEE-tee-ah”. With a friendship that spans over thirty years, Diane Barger and Denise Gainey combine their love of music and teaching to delight audiences around the world. The duo has toured throughout the United States, including Florida, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Iowa. They have also performed at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests® and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conferences. The duo plans to release their debut CD, Play Pretty, in the fall of 2019 showcasing music written specifically for the Amicitia Duo for E-flat and B-flat clarinet instrumentation (with or without piano).

Diane Barger is Professor of Clarinet and member of the Moran Woodwind Quintet at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she received the 2013 Annis Chaikin Sorensen Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities. She is principal clarinet of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, International Clarinet Association (ICA) Nebraska State Chair (2010-present), Past Pedagogy Chair (2016-2018), Past Artistic Director of ICA’s ClarinetFest® 2012, ICA Past Treasurer (2000-2010), NACWPI Nebraska State Chair, and is an Artist/Clinician for Buffet Crampon and D’Addario Woodwinds, and a Silverstein PRO-Team Artist for Silverstein Works. In addition to her work as a collegiate educator, Barger actively works with pre-college clarinetists and is involved in mentoring her cadre of clarinet instructors at Cornerstone Academy of Clarinet, LLC where she serves as Founder and Professor of Clarinet.

Barger remains an active soloist and chamber musician, master class clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States and abroad. She was a featured artist at the 2019 (Tennessee), 2017 (Florida), 2016 (Kansas), 2014 (Louisiana), 2013 (Assisi, Italy), 2012 (Nebraska), 2011 (California), 2010 (Texas), 2009 (Portugal), 2008 (Missouri), 2007 (Canada), 2006 (Georgia), 2005 (Tokyo), 2004 (Washington, D.C.), 2000 (Oklahoma), and 1997 (Texas) ICA ClarinetFests® and the 2014, 2009, 2002, and 1998 Oklahoma Clarinet Symposiums in Norman, Oklahoma. In June of 2015, Barger taught at the Lift Clarinet Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado. She was the guest artist for the 2013, 2007, and 2004 Alabama Clarinet Symposium in Birmingham, the 2001 Southern Appalachian Clarinet Retreat in North Carolina, and appeared as soloist with the Northern Arizona University in the spring of 2009 and with the Florida State University in the fall of 2002.

A specialist in the genre of operatic fantasies for clarinet based on Vincenzo Bellini operas, Barger can be heard as a featured soloist on the International Clarinet Association’s 1998 Recording Project compact disc in a performance of Domenico Mirco’s “La Sonnambula” Fantasia for clarinet and piano. In August 2012, Barger published a CD of works by Scott McAllister entitled BlingBling, as well as 13 editions of Bellini operatic fantasies by various 19th-Century composers, all of which are available through Potenza Music. The Trio 402 (UNL professors Barger, Dr. Mark Clinton, and Dr. Jeff McCray) released a CD titled Conversations Between Friends for clarinet, bassoon, and piano of music by William Hurlstone and Bill Douglas published by Potenza Music (2016).

With the Moran Woodwind Quintet, one of the most active and visible quintets in the Midwest, Barger performed for the Omaha Chamber Music Society, the Minden (NE) Opera House, the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra (hosted by Dordt College), and the North Platte (NE) Concert Association in the 2015-16 academic year. The quintet looks forward to performing in Vancouver, Canada this October 2018 as participants in the College Music Society National Conference (CMS) and have given lecture/performances at the 2013 College Music Society (CMS) National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, the 2011 CMS National Conference in Richmond, Virginia, the 2010 CMS National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the 2008 CMS National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2005 CMS International Conference in Alcala de Henaras, Spain, and the 2005 CMS National Conference in Quebec City, Canada. The quintet has also performed at the Grand Valley Music Festival, the North Central Music Educator’s National Convention, and at various colleges and universities around the United States. Their 1998 compact disc recording by Crystal Records, “Postcards from the Center,” features works by American composers Lieuwen, Murdock, Higdon, and Heiden. Their 2007 and 2004 CD projects features the music of Theodore Blumer and is also available through Crystal Records. With the oboist and bassoonist of the quintet, Barger was a featured guest artist in a recital at the 2004 IDRS convention in Melbourne, Australia. In the most recent years, music by Scott McAllister (OK Quintet) and John Steinmetz (All the Difference) have been commissioned for the Moran Quintet.
Barger received the Doctor of Music (1999) and Bachelor of Music (1988) degrees from the Florida State University where she was a student of Frank Kowalsky. While completing the Graduate Certificate in Performance (1990) and Master of Music (1989) degrees from Northwestern University she was a student of Robert Marcellus. For her doctoral research she was the recipient of the 1996 Faculty Summer Research Fellowship and Grant-in-Aid awarded by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Research Council. She also received the 2001 Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Distinguished College Teaching Award and numerous teaching awards by the UNL Parents Association and Teaching Council. Barger is Chair of the Woodwind Area at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Denise A. Gainey is Professor of Clarinet and Instrumental Music Education and Associate Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is President-Elect of the International Clarinet Association after serving two terms as Secretary of the Board, a Backun Artist/ Clinician, a D’Addario Artist/ Clinician and Educational Blogger, a Silverstein PRO Team Artist, and has been an Educational Recording Artist for Carl Fischer Music. Gainey is also the State Representative of Alabama for the International Clarinet Association and served as the State Chair Coordinator for the ICA. She comes to UAB from a nine-year tenure as Assistant Professor of Clarinet and Coordinator of Music Education at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, North Carolina, where she was a member of the Asheville, Kingsport, and Hendersonville Symphonies. She was a member of the Missouri Chamber Orchestra in Columbia, Missouri, from 1993-1997. Gainey is an active clinician and recitalist throughout the United States and has presented and performed at several ClarinetFests® in the US and abroad, the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposiums, and as a soloist with several orchestras and wind ensembles throughout the United States, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Denmark, also performing as a member of the McCracken Woodwind Quintet from 1998-2001. She served as clarinet specialist for the Denton Independent School District in Denton, Texas, from 1991-1993, and was a middle school band director in Pasco County, Florida, for five years. Gainey has written a book on the life and work of Kalmen Opperman, Kalmen Opperman: A Legacy of Excellence (Passing on the Flame), published by Carl Fischer Music in early January 2018, and has compiled and edited a collection of clarinet solos, Solos for Clarinet, published by Carl Fischer in 2001 (as Denise Schmidt). She received the Bachelor of Music Education from Florida State University, the Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from The University of North Texas, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Clarinet from The University of Kentucky. Gainey’s major teachers include Kalmen Opperman, James Gillespie, Frank Kowalsky, and Fred Ormand.

Mark Clinton has worked extensively with some of the world’s foremost pianists. He is a critically acclaimed pianist who has garnered prizes at many prestigious international competitions and has been featured frequently on national radio and television broadcasts. He has appeared throughout the United States as a soloist with numerous orchestras. Clinton has shared his musical insights with gifted students from around the world and frequently serves as an adjudicator for important national and international competitions. He is currently a Hixson-Lied Professor of Piano and head of the keyboard area at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Mark Clinton is a Steinway artist.

Free and open to the public.


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