Clarinetist Alyssa Kenney joins the Team of Thriving Musicians

My Story

Up until the age of 10, I was fascinated by musical instruments. Influenced by my dad, a jazz trumpeter, I was very eager to begin music lessons. After attending the “meet the band night,” where I was able to learn about and try playing instruments, I ended up choosing the clarinet. Though my dad pushed me to try the trumpet, I liked the clarinet because it was easy to hold, it had many complicated parts, and I liked the smell of the cork grease! Two of my best friends at the time also decided to pick up the clarinet. In the school band, we were the only three clarinetists. While attending elementary school, we had the opportunity to play together, as well as have group lessons. Every year we performed a couple of Christmas trios at the holiday assembly, in front of the entire school!

The summer before seventh grade, my family took a day trip to Washington D.C. to see “The President’s Own” Marine Band. I was shocked after hearing how good these instruments could sound. After that concert, I knew that I wanted to grow up and play music for a living. After telling my private instructor all about my experience at the concert, he pushed me to audition for PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association). All summer I practiced more than I had ever before; I memorized all the major scales and worked on the selected solo piece. After all the hard work, I made the band! Attending the festival as the youngest player there was terrifying, but I was so happy to play next to some great players. It motivated me even more.

After years of PMEA festivals, high school band, and orchestra concerts, I was able to confirm I wanted to pursue music. Senior year I began applying to schools, sending in prescreening videos, and taking auditions. I was accepted into the schools I applied to and ended up at Temple University! Going into my last year at Temple, I am so grateful for the experiences and opportunities I’ve had. I’ve been lucky to play in some of the best performing groups including wind symphony and symphony orchestra. I’ve also had the opportunity to play in small chamber groups where I’ve made lifelong friends and made wonderful music. While I’m not performing I love teaching music to others and sharing my passions. I can’t wait to see where else music will lead me!

More About Me

What I Teach: Beginner to Advanced Clarinet

Locations: Philadelphia, PA and Virtually

Training Background: Studies clarinet performance with Paul Demers of the Philadelphia Orchestra at Temple University, Boyer College of Music and Dance. She has also worked under world-renowned Ricardo Morales.

Some Favorite Pieces I’ve Performed: Pines of Rome, Maslanka Symphony No. 4, and Michael Colgrass Winds of Nagual

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