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I had never performed with strings. I learned a lot about bowing and the importance of the first chair violin player. I learned that as cool as real classical music is, it can be very boring for wind players. Many, many measures of rests and getting lost counting them almost always happens. I have made friends that I still talk to more than 10 years after I left. I am a music teacher and I learned a lot about music with the Youth Symphony.

Fond memories or people

Memories: The Cruise trip/competition where the other groups were show choirs and they couldn't stay standing due to the turbulent seas. Performing the national anthem at a heat game. Conducting the Dances With Wolves medley at the Youth Fair. Performing at Disney World right outside Space Mountain. The line for the ride was so long that we always had an audience. Performing at Vizcaya outside. Performing pieces that have now become some of my favorite pieces. Practicing Sleigh Ride and hearing the curse of our percussionist who got his finger caught in the slap stick. Interesting guest performers/composers: Glass harmonica, Tuba and Mandolin duet, and Dennis Kam.

People: Of course, Ms. Hann for introducing me to performing real classical music instead of band arrangements and getting me to understand that clarinets come in all shapes and sizes - I now own several Bb clarinets, an A clarinet, and an Eb clarinet.
Mr. Walters' guiding words. Senior year, it turned into Mr. Walters and me talking lessons with his students since I was doing a high school internship.
Clarinet player from my first year *can't remember her name* showed up to a concert with a different clarinet that she accidently switched at her regular school. She opened the case and it was a blue clarinet. It was impossible to tune and stood out among all our black clothes.
David Alfin jazzing up the Light Calvary clarinet solo. And going up to play the Mozart concerto at a concert with the wrong clarinet.
Rebecca Friedman coming to the Vizcaya performance right out of the pool from her synchronized swimming routine with some kind of jelly in her hair.
Stephanie *can't remember her last name* - Violin solo that her parents risked their life to get the music out of China and she performed it in traditional Chinese clothing.
My favorite brass section keeping rehearsals - and sometimes performances - interesting during those long rests.

Alina Matusow-Hirschkowitz, Clarinet 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999