Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic

by Don ClossunDon Clossun

The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic is an awesome convention – a real highlight of the year. This large gathering is held every December in Chicago because it is warm there at that time (I’m Canadian eh! and everything is relative). It’s a special combination of people. In this case, publishers/suppliers in the music industry, composers, educators and performers. Like RPMDA, it is an assembly of people important to my business. Who is there? One will see many publisher displays in the trade fair and many composers in the booths of their respective publishers. Being able to meet and speak with the publishers and composers of the works we are selling is partly what distinguishes the conference, and is a real treat for me. It’s a popular conference for composers because many of the performances feature their works performed by school groups done to near perfection. Some composers will offer behind the scenes information on their compositions that you might only get in a one on one conversation. Those little tidbits of information and the time spent with people are real gems.

Certainly you will be rubbing shoulders with the “Who’s Who” of the band and orchestra world. There is the option of having your own booth in the trade fair and selling to the thousands of delegates. For various reasons, I don’t do that but instead take the time to network with publishers and composers. Also, the many clinics and concerts at the conference are world class.

After the conference, hitting the soothing Lake Michigan beach and soaking in the sun, sand, and surf and frolicking in the warm waters with the soft tropical breezes gently caressing sun starved skin is great for the soul. Actually, that last part is not true. I keep my parka on while on the beach as it avoids sunburn and frostbite. Snowshoes help with any deep and soft sand but can be cumbersome for surfing. Honestly, be hard (frozen) at that time but the people are warm!

No, I do not receive a deep dish pizza from Illinois Office of Tourism for this nor a DVD of The Blues Brothers movie. I just love great gatherings like the Midwest, RPMDA and my local conventions.