Rice Clarinet Works Performing Artists

Professional artists who love working with us.
RCW Performing Artists play on our barrels, bells, mouthpieces, and clarinets, which help them to play with greater ease and sound their best.
Dr Christopher Bowmaster

Dr. Christopher Bowmaster was born in Youngstown, OH, and began his music studies on the piano at age five and followed with the clarinet at age eleven.

Dr. Bowmaster received his undergraduate degree from Youngstown State University, his graduate degree from Kent State University, and his doctorate from West Virginia University. His teachers were Sandy Stuart, Bob Fitzer, Dr. Alice Wang, Dr. Dennis Nygren, and Dr. John Weigand.

Dr. Bowmaster began his professional career at the age of 23, playing Second and E-flat clarinets with the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de las Artes (OSSLA) in Culiacan, Sinaloa Mexico. He returned to the United States in 2008. Since then, Dr. Bowmaster has played with the Warren Packard Band, recorded film music with the Scoring Stage, and performed musicals at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. He has also performed with the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, the Warren Western Reserve Opera Company, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to serving on the faculty at Marietta College, Dr. Bowmaster is a performing artist/mouthpiece design specialist for Rice Clarinet Works, owner of 329 Music Services, LLC, and continues to perform regularly.

Shawn Buck

Clarinetist Shawn Buck received his BM from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and his MM from the Manhattan School of Music. His teachers include some true legends of the clarinet world: Ignatius N. Gennusa—Principal Clarinet of the Chicago Symphony under Rafael Kubelik; Peter Simenauer—Associate Principal Clarinet/E-flat Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Metha, Kurt Mazur; and finally, Kalmen Opperman—renowned NYC based clarinet pedagogue.

Mr. Buck presently holds the position of Principal Clarinet in The Apollo Orchestra, based in Washington DC.

Before this he served as the Solo E-flat Clarinetist of the United States Air Force Concert Band, and also as a member of The United States Air Force Woodwind Quintet. Also an active freelance musician in the DC Metro area, Shawn performs with many of the area’s regional orchestras, including The Fairfax Symphony, The Maryland Symphony, The Manassas Ballet Theater Orchestra, Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, Fairfax Choral Society, Washington Choral Arts Society, Cathedral Choral Society, and the Maryland Lyric Opera.

Sheila Cullen

Clarinetist Sheila Cullen, a native of Marietta, GA, received a Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2002 and a Master of Music degree in Music Theory in 2004. Her mentors include James Campbell, Howard Klug, D. Ray McClellan, Kirsten Ahnell, and Robert DiLutis.

A clarinetist in the United States Naval Academy Band since 2006, she leads the Wind Trio and Clarinet Quartet, and has performed and recorded with the Chamber Winds, Concert Band, and various other ensembles. Ms. Cullen is also a founding member of the Chesapeake Reed Trio.

A strong advocate for music education in the community, she has coordinated clinics and masterclasses in wind band music, chamber music, and clarinet, as well as worked closely with the Maryland Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program. She has performed with the Londontowne Symphony, Owensboro Symphony, Gainesville Symphony, The United States Air Force Band, United States Fleet Forces Band, and is an active recording artist and adjudicator in the D.C. area. Her teaching experience includes: Adjunct Instructor, Clemson University, Faculty, Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, Instructor, Atlanta Music Academy, as well as private instruction at Lassiter High School, Kennesaw Mountain High School, and Pope High School.
Lynda Dembowski

Lynda Dembowski dedicates her music passion equally to performing and teaching. She is Adjunct Professor of clarinet at both Towson University and Anne Arundel Community College (AACC). She directs the AACC Clarinet Choir, a multi-generational ensemble that actively performs on campus and in the local community.

Dembowski has been a featured soloist with Londontowne Symphony Orchestra, Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, Longwood University Wind Symphony, as well as with the AACC Concert Band and Orchestra. Her most recent solo appearances include works by Mozart, Weber, and Scott McAllister.

She is Principal Clarinetist of the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra and Second Clarinetist and charter member of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra. She has performed with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and Annapolis Chamber Players. She is a member of the United States Naval Academy Band, serving as Principal Clarinet for the bulk of her career.

Dembowski recently formed the Milano Duo with Dr. Amanda Morrison, Clarinet Professor at Slippery Rock University. Their recent performances include the world premiere of newly commissioned works by Karen Amrhein and Tara Islas at the Music by Women Festival at Mississippi University for Women. Milano Duo also performed at the 2019 International Clarinet Association Clarinetfest at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. They have been chosen to perform at both festivals in 2020.

She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland. Her mentors include Loren Kitt, Mark Nuccio, Leslie Nicholas, Robert Dilutis, and Dr. S. James Kurtz. She resides with her husband, Paul, in Annapolis.

Daniel Frazelle
A native of Alexandria, VA, clarinetist Daniel Frazelle has performed in recent seasons with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Concert Opera, the Cathedral Choral Society, the New Orchestra of Washington, the Apollo Orchestra, the Manassas Ballet Theater Orchestra, and as principal clarinetist of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his return to the Greater Washington Area, he performed with the Naples Philharmonic and Evansville Philharmonic orchestras.

A member of the United States Navy Band since 2007, he serves in virtually every capacity in the Concert Band: on Bb, Eb, bass, alto and contra-alto clarinet.

He is an occasional soloist with the Concert Band and is the bass clarinetist of the Navy Band Clarinet Quartet.

Mr. Frazelle’s chamber music collaborations include performances with the Navy Band Chamber Players recital series, the Sage Chamber Players and a recital on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. He also serves as the director of the Navy Band Clarinet Day Military Chamber Recital, the premier annual collaborative recital featuring members of premier bands in Washington, DC.

As an educator, Mr. Frazelle’s masterclasses and clinics include appearances at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Towson University, James Madison University, and high schools throughout the U.S. He has been requested as an adjudicator for national high school competitions and for James Madison University’s annual concerto competition. He maintains a small private studio in Virginia where his students have successfully auditioned for some of the premier youth ensembles in the area.

Mr. Frazelle earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from James Madison University and a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His primary instructors include Richie Hawley, Steven Cohen, Janice L. Minor, Marguerite Levin, and D. Ray McClellan.

Mr. Frazelle performs on Rice Clarinet Works Barrels and clarinets serviced by RCW.

Laura D Grantier

Laura D. Grantier is from Denham Springs, La. and joined the Navy Band in 1995. She earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Alabama in 1993 and a DMA from the Catholic University of America in 2012. She was appointed assistant principal clarinet in 2001, clarinet section leader in 2014, and principal clarinet in 2015. Prior to her appointment with the Navy Band she was pursuing a Master of Music at the Eastman School of Music. She also holds a MBA (2003) from Averett University.

Grantier has traveled to Guatemala and Costa Rica to perform recitals and teach masterclasses.

She has performed at the Morges Music Festival in Morges, Switzerland, and with the NSO, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis, Arlington, McLean, New World, and Tuscaloosa Symphonies. She was principal clarinet of the American-Russian Youth Orchestra in 1995 and was a semi-finalist in the 1992 Ciudad de Dos Hermanas competition in Seville, Spain and the 1996 International Clarinet Association Young Artists Competition in Paris, France. She has appeared as a soloist with the Navy Band, Alabama Symphony, Susquehanna University Wind Ensemble, Alabama Wind Ensemble, CUA Orchestra and was also a featured soloist at the 2013 CMEA conference, the 2012, 2014, and 2016 International Clarinet Association Conference, the 2009 GMEA conference, the 23rd annual Alabama Honor Band Festival (2007), and Clarinettissimo at Seattle Pacific University in 2017.

Dedicated to education outreach, she founded Navy Band Clarinet Day, an annual clarinet symposium, in 2012. Grantier is also the Artistic Director of the Harborwinds Clarinet Quartet. Her teachers include Eugene Mondie, Kenneth Grant, and Scott Bridges.

Patrick Hanudel

Patrick Hanudel is an U.S. Army musician, having served with the Army Ground Forces Band (AGFB) under Forces Command (FORSCOM) headquarters at Fort Bragg, NC; the Eighth Army Band at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, South Korea; and the Third Infantry Division Band at Fort Stewart, GA. Currently he is a member of the 282nd Army Band at Fort Jackson, SC.

Before enlisting, Dr. Hanudel held the position of Principal Clarinet with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the Columbus (IN) Philharmonic. He also attended the Tanglewood Music Center and the Banff Arts Center on fellowship; earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Miami University (Ohio) under Michele Gingras; and obtained his Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) under Richie Hawley.

In April 2016, he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at CCM under the guidance of Ron Aufmann.

Dr. Hanudel has appeared twice as a featured artist at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest. In July 2010 at the University of Texas at Austin he performed the rarely heard Leo Sowerby Sonata with George Mason University piano professor Ina Mirtcheva, and in August 2012 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln he garnered acclaim in Ohio composer-pianist Stephen Estep’s Technical Difficulties with Mr. Estep at the keyboard.

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Dr Amy McCann

Lightbulb moments can strike at any time. Eclectic musician Kristen Mather de Andrade had reached a career milestone in being years into a prestigious position with the West Point Band when she had an epiphany. After a program of Brazilian music on a Facebook livestream, her performance was written up in the Brazilian Global News and she decided it was time to record her debut solo album, aptly-titled Clarão which translates from Portuguese to mean “flash of light.”

Kristen grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, a small rust-belt city with a wealth of culture to soak in. With music in her home, and a lot of cultural experiences for a motivated young musician in the area, it was almost inevitable Kristen would find her way into music. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in performance from Youngstown State University having studied with Robert Fitzer. She received a talent scholarship from DePaul University in Chicago, where, for a brief period of time, Kristen pursued a Master of Music in clarinet performance and studied with Larry Combs. Her time at DePaul was cut short by being offered her current position with the West Point Band.

Since 2007, Kristen has been with West Point’s Army special band and has been the principal clarinetist and soloist since 2012. Additionally, Kristen is the clarinetist, co-founder and artistic director of the mixed instrumentation group, Quintette 7 which recorded a full-length CD featuring music by the composer Raymond Scott.

Kristen made her vocal debut on the NPR game show Says You! during its 2006 tour. Since this transformative performance, Kristen has brought her voice to various projects along with her clarinet playing. Writer Joe Queenan describes the moments she puts down the clarinet to sing: “The room fell silent when she began singing. Time stopped. Everyone in the room knew that something extraordinary was happening.”

​​Along the way, Kristen started teaching music in college, and eventually earned a Master of Arts in education at Columbia University in 2016. To date, Kristen has an impressive teaching resume that includes a private studio of high-achieving high school students, master classes, and professional clinics

Her debut album is already receiving praise for its artistry. Jane Lambert of the Modern Mystery Blog writes: “…it is no wonder that Kristen Mather de Andrade is such an acclaimed clarinet player, with her solos adding a passionate flare to the instrumentation… (it) is just what people need to get excited about more of the music Kristen Mather de Andrade will be putting out in the near future.” Kristen has enjoyed a career of prime accolades and acclaim within her chosen musical paths, but these days music feels as vital as ever as she explores being a solo artist.

Dr Amy McCann

Dr. Amy McCann is a former military musician, active freelance performer, and teacher. She has played with the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band, La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, and the West Virginia Symphony. She also served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, Miami University in Oxford, OH, Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and Concord University in Athens, WV. Currently, Dr. McCann is Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Murray State University where she teaches clarinet, written theory, and aural skills.

Dr. McCann has also studied reed making techniques with both Dr. John Weigand at West Virginia University and Mr. Keith Hill, an instrument builder who has done extensive studies on the physical vibrating properties of wood and cane. Dr. McCann is a Sponsored Artist and Reed Making Specialist with Precision Reed Products, the maker of the Reedual single reed machine.

Dr. McCann regularly performs and presents clinics nationally and internationally. She has been an invited performer and presenter at the International Clarinet Association’s annual ClarinetFest, the Midwest ClarinetFest, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors conference, and more.

Dr. McCann holds degrees from West Virginia University and Indiana University. She has studied with Steve Barta, Eli Eban, Howard Klug, and John Weigand.

Michael McDonald

Critically acclaimed clarinetist Christopher Nichols enjoys a dynamic career with performances as a soloist and in ensembles across the United States and abroad. As a professional instrumental soloist, he received praise from the American Prize: “…lovely long line, evocative playing, flexible…tone is rich and round, welcoming, clean and elegant…fine performances from a skilled artist.”

Dr. Nichols regularly performs with orchestras such as the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Kennett Symphony and the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of Christiana Winds and has recently collaborated with the acclaimed Serafin String Quartet, the Taggart-Grycky Duo, and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He served for over a decade in the Army Music Career program with performances throughout the United States, Germany, France and Austria.

A dedicated pedagogue, Dr. Nichols joined the faculty of the University of Delaware as Assistant Professor of Clarinet in 2013. As an artist clinician, he regularly appears at universities throughout the United States. His students have found success in competitions, won positions in military bands, and serve as music educators.

Dr. Nichols has appeared as a featured soloist at conferences of the International Clarinet Association, European Clarinet Association, National Association of Collegiate Wind and Percussion Instructors and College Music Society. Live performances have been selected for inclusion in the Audio Performance Archive of College Music Symposium. Additionally, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and public radio in Kansas, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Michigan have broadcast both live performances and studio recordings. In 2015, the Delaware Division of the Arts awarded Dr. Nichols an Established Artist Fellowship in recognition for his work as a solo recitalist. The internationally distributed label Navona Records released his debut recital disc Elegia with pianist Julie Nishimura in September 2017.

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Kristen Spiridon

Clarinetist Kristen Spiridon is an active performer and teacher in the Southeast. Currently, she is the Principal Clarinet of the Savannah Philharmonic, Principal Clarinet of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia, and Second Clarinet of Symphony Orchestra Augusta. In the summer season, Kristen serves as the head of the clarinet faculty at the Judith Lapple Summer Woodwind Camp and Festival in Fairfax, Virginia, and is in her first year as clarinet instructor at the College of Coastal Georgia GIYO Summer Music Intensive. Prior to her present appointments, she held the position of Second Clarinet with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic.

Ms. Spiridon has performed with numerous orchestras, notably the Jacksonville Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony, the Lexington Philharmonic, and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Midwest Clinic, the WASBE clinic, and she has given recitals in New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, and California.

A respected teacher and lecturer, Ms. Spiridon has been invited to give masterclasses at Boston University, Georgia Southern University, Miami University of Ohio, and George Mason University.

Ms. Spiridon holds a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma in Woodwinds from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and a Bachelor of Music degree in both Performance and Education from the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Her primary teachers include Richie Hawley, Steven Barta, Carmine Campione, and Chris Pedersen.

Kristen is a Buffet Crampon Performing Artist and plays exclusively on Buffet Crampon clarinets. She is also a Rice Clarinet Works Performing Artist and plays on RCW barrels.

Catina Franklin Sweedy

In demand as an educator, lecturer, and performer in the Washington DC area, Catina Franklin Sweedy can frequently be found teaching private lessons, judging competitions, and coaching young clarinetists from elementary school through college. Ms. Sweedy is the founder and co-director of the Mason Summer Clarinet Academy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and runs The Clarinet Project on YouTube. As a lecturer, Ms. Sweedy has presented at George Mason University, the Virginia Homeschoolers Conference, Minefaire, and the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association on such diverse topics as the most effective way to run a studio class to how to harness the power of video games to help students learn more efficiently.

She is a former member of the Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet Orchestra, Florida Sunshine Pops, and the Prince William Symphony in Virginia. In addition, she has performed with the Florida Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the Key West Symphony, the American Festival Pops Orchestra (VA), and the Alexandria (VA) Symphony. Through her attendance at the Casals, Spoleto, Pacific, Bowdoin, and and other music festivals, Ms. Sweedy has performed throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Japan. She is a past winner of the YWCA Music Club in New York and Matinee Musical Club in Philadelphia solo competitions. Ms. Sweedy holds her M.M in Clarinet Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and her B.M. in Clarinet Performance from the Harid (now Lynn) Conservatory of Music, and is a D’Addario Performing Artist. Ms. Sweedy will always be grateful to her teachers Raoul Querze, Paul Green, Yehuda Gilad, and David Krakauer for their exemplary training and guidance.

Dr Ian Tyson

Dr. Ian Tyson is a New York City clarinetist. He is a founding member of Trio 212 (a reed trio based in New York City), was a clarinetist with the United States Air Force bands, and was most recently an Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Fellow. A champion of new music, Dr. Tyson commissioned Crystal Cathedral from composer Leanna Primiani, and performed it at the International Clarinet Association’s 2018 ClarinetFest in Ostend, Belgium. He has performed with orchestras, chamber groups, and given solo recitals in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center.

A dedicated pedagogue, Dr. Tyson teaches woodwinds and musicianship classes at Bard College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division, clarinet at Special Music School, clarinet and saxophone at New York Conservatory of Music and Arts, and also maintains a substantial private clarinet studio. He has performed and given master classes throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

As a teaching artist with Daraja Music Initiative, Dr. Tyson works in Tanzania teaching students to play the clarinet and help to conserve the African Blackwood tree.

Dr. Tyson received a DMA from Stony Brook University, MM from Michigan State University, and BM from Miami University (OH). His principal teachers include Alan Kay, Anthony McGill, Frank Ell, and Michele Gingras.

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