Dr. Natalie Groom is a clarinetist, educator, composer, and arts manager in Maryland. In 2021 she joined the faculty at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as Affiliate Artist of Clarinet; assumed a role as the newly appointed Music Director of the Davies Concert Series, ushering in their 50th anniversary season; and became a voting member of the GRAMMY Recording Academy. She recently finished her tenure as an Artist in Residence at Collington Retirement Community where she responded to the pandemic with a virtual concert series that brought essential programming to isolated seniors.
A few of Natalie’s performance career highlights include being a featured soloist with the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra and performing at The Kennedy Center, New World Center, The Anthem, Phillips Collection, Austrian and Spanish Embassies, and Goethe-Institut. She has toured China with the Fred Fox Quintet and performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, Baltimore Symphony Youth Ensemble, Annapolis Symphony, Annapolis Opera, Tucson Symphony, and Symphony of the Potomac.
As a committed educator and academic, she has conducted numerous clarinet choirs and taught Applied Clarinet, Chamber Music, Rock and American Popular Music, and Business Communications at the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Arizona. She regularly gives masterclasses and presentations around the country for organizations such as the Yale School of Music, American University, Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institutes, and Virginia, Maine, and New Hampshire All State Clinics. Her publications include three reports in the International Clarinet Association journal and five sheet music publications. She is the co-inventor of the new single reed micrometer, Reed Mapper®, on which she wrote her dissertation titled An Analysis of Commercial Single Reed Micrometers and the Invention of a New Manual Single Reed Micrometer.
While COVID-19 has put live performance on pause for many, Natalie remains musically engaged working as the Manager of Advancement Operations and Analytics at Washington Performing Arts, a leading arts presenting nonprofit in D.C. Prior to this role, she was an audio engineer, producer, and manager for virtual and live programs at Arts Laureate, a Baltimore-based classical music recording company, and worked on projects with LA Opera, “The President’s Own” Marine Band, LA Master Chorale, Yale School of Music, Manhattan Concert Productions, and many more outstanding groups.
In 2018, Natalie and soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick founded Whistling Hens, a chamber music ensemble that performs and commissions music by women composers. Their work invites listeners to reflect on the impact male privilege has had on traditional music programming and question the status quo of gender inequality in the classical music community. Whistling Hens has received numerous grants, including the esteemed Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Program grant, and presented at Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Music by Women at Mississippi University for Women, and Sam Houston State Art Song Conference. In 2021 they were the recipients of the Call for Scores and the Ensemble in Residence for the Darkwater Womxn in Music Festival. Since their founding, they have commissioned seven works for soprano and clarinet.
From 2017 to 2021, Natalie was clarinetist and composer of Classically Dope, a Wammie-nominated hip-hop/rap and classical music collaboration. Using music as an instrument of positive social influence, this ensemble tackles subjects such as the power of belief, racial inequality, stereotypes, police brutality, and being a change agent in the world. Two of her arrangements were premiered at The Anthem while opening for the National Symphony Orchestra in 2019, and in 2022, she will be premiering two works written for the Classically Dope and the University of Maryland, College Park Wind Orchestra.
As a composer/arranger, Natalie’s music has been performed at the Mississippi Music by Women Festival, University of Maryland, College Park, The Anthem, and the Smithsonian American History museum. In 2022, April 22nd for solo clarinet will be featured in the International Clarinet Association Journal. Judith Shatin, composer and Professor Emerita at the University of Virginia, said of Natalie’s solo clarinet works, “You create such an effective dialogue between registers, and flow between them, with such varied ways of handling them!”
Natalie Groom earned her D.M.A. at the University of Maryland, College Park, M.B.A. and M.M. at the University of Arizona, and B.M. at Kent State University where she studied with Robert DiLutis, Jerry Kirkbride, Dennis Nygren, Amitai Vardi, Jackie Glazier, and Joseph Minocchi.
Photography by Will Starks/Lyarks Films.