Kentucky Woods

Suite for Solo Clarinet – Commission Consortium

This work, which will be geared toward advanced student performers, will focus on three trees that tell the story of Kentucky: the mighty Oak, the threatened White Ash, and the fruit-filled American Paw-paw.

The piece will open with Oak. Without oak, Kentucky could not be called Bourbon Country. Bourbon requires fresh cut oak, which has been bent and formed into barrels, charred on the inside and allowed to be filled with Kentucky’s signature alcohol. The spirit will be aged at least two years in this wooden enclosure, allowing its tannins and vanillans to seep into the bourbon, enhancing its flavor.

White Ash is the primary source of material for one of Kentucky’s other industries: the baseball bat. For more than a century, the Louisville Slugger factory has churned out many of the baseball bats that America has watched people like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Albert Pujols swing. The White Ash, however, is threatened though by the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect from Asia, which prefers this tree for its home. In urban environments, White Ash has been replaced by oak trees, and in rural areas, low growing fruit trees are coming to the rescue.

The Paw-paw is one of these trees. These low growing trees fill forest undergrowth and help provide for the soil of the area. They also grow the Papaw, the largest indigenous fruit found in North America. Despite their home in the temperature regions of Kentucky, they grow similar to the fruit trees found in tropical rainforests.

Each of these three movements will be roughly 3 minutes in length and will be able to stand alone as an individual solo work on their own right, but when combined, will create the story of Kentucky Woods.

Membership in the consortium is divided into three tiers: Professional, Individual Student, and Studio.

Professional tier members will get a digital copy of the score provided December 1, 2023, and autographed physical copy of the score by February 1, 2023, and have exclusive performing rights until January 1, 2025.

The Individual Student tier is designed for currently enrolled students at any level. Participation in this tier will be given a digital copy of the score by December 1, 2023.

The Studio tier is designed for maximum student participation. This tier will provide each member with a digital copy of the score by December 1, 2023. There must be a minimum of four named members to join this tier.