Clarinetist from Scottville Clown Band speaks to students
BALDWIN — Bruce Miller wasn’t clowning around when he spoke to Julie Sherlock’s elementary music class on Friday. With his clarinet in hand, the clarinetist for the famous Scottville Clown Band talked about music and demonstrated several songs on the clarinet.
“The clarinet is a soft, melodic and gentle instrument,” he told students.
He played excerpts from Mozart, Sergei Prokefiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” the introduction to George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and a jazzy rendition of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”
“I will sometimes play ‘Happy Birthday’ at a restaurant if requested,” he said. “You can have a lot of fun playing the clarinet the way I do.”
He showed students the different parts of the clarinet and playing techniques.
“It is difficult to cover the key holes with your fingers. If they aren’t completely covered, the instrument will make a squeaking noise. I had to practice four hours a day when I was younger,” he said. “I hope you each find an instrument you enjoy. In high school, football heroes made fun of my clarinet playing, but they aren’t playing football anymore. I am still playing my clarinet decades later.”
Students requested him to play songs such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “The Wheels on the Bus” and “A Tisket A Tasket.” Students even requested Miller play his favorite song, which was “Tin Roof Blues.”
“When you get to be in sixth grade, you will have an opportunity to join band and play the clarinet,” Sherlock told her students.