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Another Clarinet Donated to the Martinborough Music Festival 

March 15, 2019 March 2019 No Comments

Martinborough Music Festival 27 – 28 September 2019

Readers may remember the article (Star/December/18) about Martinborough School pupil Dion Luimaihetau being taught, by Euan Huggett, to play a clarinet donated by Mark Walton, a participant in last year’s Festival. Now Maree Roy whose daughter, Melyssa, learned to play the clarinet from the age of 7 is donating her clarinet to the Festival team.

Euan Huggett received the clarinet from Maree. Euan says “this clarinet is a good quality learner’s model”. It was made by the Beuscher Manufacturing Company whose owner, USA born Ferdinand August Beuscher, began manufacturing a variety of wind instruments in 1893.

The clarinet is at least 40 years old. It is a B flat clarinet which gives it a mellow tenor tone. An unusual feature is that it has an alternative crystal mouthpiece. Clarinets are generally sold with plastic mouthpieces. Made in Italy, the crystal mouthpiece was a very expensive addition to the clarinet. Maree says that “if my memory serves me correctly, the crystal mouthpiece cost more than the clarinet!”

A crystal mouthpiece has a reputation for superior tone and projection. Melyssa’s teacher felt that with the promise she was showing that the qualities of this mouthpiece would encourage her to put in the hard yards to become an accomplished clarinettist. Melyssa did become accomplished enough by age 11 to join the Wairarapa Community Orchestra playing works by composers including Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven. This milestone coincided with her teacher’s return to England. There was no other clarinet teacher in the Wairarapa, so it has not been played since. Now it needs a new student to learn to play it.

Regrettably, Euan Huggett is moving to Australia; Martinborough will no longer have a resident clarinet teacher. Ed Allen, Chair of the Festival team, says there are other possibilities being explored for a replacement teacher. If there are any enthusiastic would-be clarinet students, then there are two clarinets available. Adults who may have an interest in learning the clarinet are welcome to contact Ed Allen too- 021 687 420        


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