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Clarinet Studio

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Welcome!

I'm excited to get to know you and your goals! Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about auditions, the studio, or the university. We having a growing studio of many talented individuals, and we look forward to welcoming you to the group. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Natalie Groom

Adjunct Instructor of Clarinet

Faculty

Meet the Clarinet Studio

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Alice Davis

Alice Davis is an outstanding musician who has been playing clarinet for 10 years and Saxophones for 9. She has performed with the Kent Island High School Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Pit Orchestra. She has also performed with the OCI ensemble, various church ensembles, the Towson Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Opera Orchestra, and Marching Band. Within these ensembles, Alice balances her love for both of her primary instruments, whether it’s marching the Alto Saxophone, performing Clarinet, or performing Baritone Saxophone. In the Marching Band, Alice is a Student Leader for the Saxophones. She leads the saxophone choir, as well as guides the section in marching.  

 

In Pit Orchestras, Alice is constantly picking up new instruments to fill in the gaps. Her versatility in musical ability has allowed Alice to work with the Kent Island High School Marching Band and Pit Orchestra and worked at funerals and masses at churches. Her outstanding performances include at St. John University, Carnegie Hall, the NYC Veterans Parade and more. Alice’s clarinet lessons stem from Kimberly Scully, Dr. Lynda Dembowski, Dr. Christopher Cicconi, and Dr. Natalie Groom.

 

Her most impressive achievements are receiving the John Phillip Sousa award, earning Superior ratings at both district and state levels at least seven times in Solo and Ensemble, and being involved in the All-Shore Band. Alice finds herself now on the executive board for the Iota Delta chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, where she acts as both the Secretary as well as the Diversity and Risk Chair. She thoroughly enjoys playing and loves to spread her love of music wherever she goes. 

Megan Hansen

Music education.

Desiree Judge

Desirée Judge is a freshman at Towson University where she plays clarinet and performs with the world-famous Towson University Marching Band on mellophone. Desirée recognized the value of music and its ability to inspire and create at the young age of ten when she began to play clarinet in band at St. Ursula School in Parkville, Maryland. During her time in the Concert and Symphonic Bands she participated in seasonal concerts, a yearly competition at the Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, Maryland, and competed in the Music in the Parks festivals at Hershey Park, Pennsylvania. Both years the SUS Concert and Symphonic Bands won first place.

 

Desirée attended The Catholic High School of Baltimore where she played clarinet in the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. Her junior year, she participated in the Sound Design: Music and the Art of Foley Workshop at Universal Orlando Resort through the STARS Performance Program with her school’s orchestra where they had the opportunity to go backstage and learn about what takes place behind-the-scenes at Universal Studios. They recorded background music for Universal Studios’ movie “The Secret Life of Pets,” and they also recorded their own voice-overs. 

In 2018 and 2019, Desirée was selected to become one of a few representatives from her band to participate in the Archdiocese of Baltimore Representation Band through the Instrumental Music Program in Baltimore, an organization that strives to bring together talented youth from various counties to learn new skills and prepare a special performance in an accelerated learning and rehearsal She is a founding member of Catholic High’s up and coming Cub Marching Band, and she was inducted into the National Tri-M Music Honor Society after excelling in her guitar class in addition to her ensembles. Most recently she participated in a music festival arranged by the Festival of Arts in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nashville School of the Arts with the wind ensemble, where they proudly won first place at the award ceremony, which was held at the Musicians Hall of Fame Museum.    

Benjamin Novak

Music education.

Connor Peterson

Connor Peterson is an educator, clarinetist, and percussionist from Carroll County, Maryland. Connor is pursuing his B.S. in Music Education at Towson University, and is expected to graduate in May 2025.

 

As a clarinetist, Connor has performed with the Towson University Wind Ensemble (directed by Dr. Christopher Cicconi) and was the concertmaster for the Towson University Symphonic Band in Fall 2023 (directed by Dr. Joe Fischer). As a percussionist, Connor has marched snare drum in open-class finals at both WGI and DCA with Old Line Independent Percussion, and The New York Skyliners Drum and Bugle Corps. Connor also marches snare drum with the Towson University Marching Band.

As an educator, Connor has taught private lessons in clarinet and rudimental drumming. Currently, he is a drumline instructor at both Westminster High School and Century High School, where he teaches battery percussion, and writes music and drill. Connor's goal as a music educator is to foster the development of independent, critical thinkers by learning music through the lens of exploration, inquiry, and experimentation.

In clarinet pedagogy, Connor is a student of Dr. Lynda Dembowski, Dr. Natalie Groom, and Dr. Erik Franklin. In music education, Connor is a student of Dr. Christopher Cicconi.

Ryan Rankin

BS Music.

Nicholas Read

Nicholas Read is an African American educator, clarinet and bass clarinet enthusiast from Prince Georges County, MD. Nicholas is currently a student at Towson University expected to graduate in May 2024 with a B.S.  in Music Education with a focus in instrumental music.  

 

Nicholas has performed in multiple ensembles, recitals, and concerts around the Baltimore Area. In Fall 2021, Nicholas became the 1st African American Concertmaster of the Towson University Symphonic Band (directed by composer/arranger, Brian Balmages) In Fall 2023, Nicholas made history again as the 1st African American Concertmaster for the Towson University Wind Ensemble (directed by Dr. Christopher Cicconi)  

 

As a music advocate, Nicholas joined his collegiate NAfME (National Association for Music Education) chapter as a member and was an executive board member serving as Treasurer during his time. Additionally, Nicholas also became a brother of the Iota Delta chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity Inc. where he also served as Treasurer and President during his collegiate career.  

 

In education, Nicholas was mentored by Mr. Walter A. Harley and Dr. Christopher Cicconi in secondary and higher education; as well in clarinet pedagogy with Dr. Lynda Dembowski, Dr. Natalie Groom, and Dr. Erik Franklin.  

Mackenzie Vitolo

Clarinetist Mackenzie E. Vitolo is a native of Milton, Delaware. She attended Cape Henlopen High School and earned her diploma in 2022. She’s currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music education and hopes to later get a masters degree in wind conducting. Her principal teachers include Cody Leavel, Erik Franklin, Lynda Dembowski, and current teacher Natalie Groom. 

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