Local clarinettist’s career hits a high note

Clarinet player Ashley Smith, of Noranda, has recently become a Churchill Fellow.
Clarinet player Ashley Smith, of Noranda, has recently become a Churchill Fellow.

The 28-year-old started playing music at the age of eight and his passion to become a clarinettist ignited at 11 after watching a movie featuring ‘King of the Clarinet’ Artie Shaw.

Since then, Mr Smith has made a name for himself in the music industry by being awarded numerous titles, including the 2010 ABC Symphony Young Performer and 2012 Freedom Fellow.

The award-winning musician completed a Master of Music at Yale University where he graduated as the most outstanding performance graduate.

As part of his fellowship, Mr Smith will continue studying with intensive contemporary bass clarinet tuition from renowned and self-directed professional instructors in Spain, the USA and Canada next year.

‘I will meet with three of the great bass clarinet players and teachers of our time ” Harry Sparnaay , Michael Lowenstern and Anthony Burr ” highly specialised pedagogues and international renowned exponents in the fast growing field of contemporary bass clarinet performance,’ he said.

‘I have always been interested in the therapeutic value of music and try to make this an important part of what I do as a performer and teacher.

‘I honestly believe the playing and listening to music makes us more compassionate people.’