In our Faculty Friday blog series, instructors from Luzerne Music Center are featured in a unique light; answering questions not only about their professional music career, but questions that give students and readers a glimpse into their everyday lives!
This week our focus is on Senior Session clarinetist, Chris Bush. Chamber coach and teacher during the summer at LMC, Chris spends the rest of his time teaching and performing all around he world! Currently on faculty at New York University, he also teaches chamber music, directs the NYU Composers Ensemble, and is an Academic Adviser for Instrumental Music.
How did you first get connected with LMC? And how many summers have you been on faculty?
A colleague let me know that there was an opening for a clarinet faculty and I jumped at the chance. I've wanted to teach at a summer music camp since I was about 13 years old, when I first attended one. This will be my second year on the faculty.
As a resident of NYC, what's your favorite thing about living there? How do you manage the transition to rural upstate in the summer?!
NYC is a mecca for the arts. I can hear any kind of music at any time. Equally important, I can eat great food at any hour. Now, if I could eat great food and listen to great music simultaneously, it might be too much for me.
I've been visiting upstate NY for 15 years! That's how long I've been the Principal Clarinetist with the Glens Falls Symphony. For the past 9 years, I've been the Co-Director of Summerland Music Society, a summer chamber music concert series at Crandall Library in Glens Falls. I look forward to my time each month when I get to escape to the North Country. During the summer, I get to slow down, relax, and focus on great music and great students for a more extended period.
How did you initially become interested in clarinet?
I started playing in middle school band. At first, I wanted to play the saxophone, but we had too many kids playing that. My band director said to start on clarinet, as the fingering system is similar. Then I heard Benny Goodman play the clarinet. I had no more thoughts of saxophone and have never looked back.
What was one of the most meaningful music learning experiences you had as an adolescent or beginner musician?
I had the chance to study with Robert Listokin, a legend of clarinet teaching. He had a beautiful sound and was a kind human being. I often think about how he might handle situations, both musical and professional.
In your opinion, what is the best way to start ones day?
Scales....Slow scales....Slow scales with a metronome and a tuner. Then speed them up...with the metronome always on. Repeat.
Snack wise, do you like salty or sweet?
Sweet, usually, but I can appreciate the combination of salty and sweet. Not tart, though. Tart snacks are for maniacs.