By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau
It's that time of year again.
The countdown to Clarinet Fest 2022 has officially begun, which means Grand Canyon University clarinet instructor Tim Haas is preparing to perform for the third time at the annual International Clarinet Association Conference.
The conference, scheduled for June 29-July 3 in Reno, Nevada, is an opportunity for music lovers to gather, watch live performances and network.
It’s what Haas has lovingly dubbed “clarinet nerd heaven.”
The magic and excitement of being chosen for the conference never gets old for Haas, who previously performed in 2019 and 2021.
“Every year I do this, I still get so excited,” said he said. “It’s one of the pinnacles of what I get to do in our field, performing at one of these things. It’s a great experience.”
It's also an opportunity for Haas to showcase GCU's program on a national level.
“It’s awesome and it’s an incredible honor to represent GCU at this thing,” he said. “It’s always great to talk about what we’re doing here and to be there with other really great teachers and world-renowned professors from other universities and to be able to see them perform, talk to them and exchange ideas.”
Slotted to perform on July 1, Haas will introduce audiences to a piece that has yet to be played at the conference – Josh Oxford’s “The Blues Ranger.”
Described as jazzy and funky, the piece has a unique quality: It was inspired by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers kids show of the 1990s.
After discovering the piece while looking for work to perform in his 2018 faculty recital, Haas knew he had to reach out to the man behind the magic.
“Whenever I get the chance to play a piece, if I can reach out to the composer, I like doing that,” Haas said. “I think it’s really neat, and the composers are always really excited when they have someone who performs their piece, especially for something like this."
Conveniently for Haas, Oxford recently moved to Arizona from New York, his home state, to pursue his doctorate at Arizona State University.
Not only was Haas able to reach out to Josh virtually; he since has met him and formed a friendship marked by their mutual love for music.
“I told Josh that I was accepted (for the conference), and from the looks of it he was very excited because it’s a huge feather in his cap for him, too,” Haas said.
Said Oxford, “I’m very excited for the piece to be getting out there. It’s nice to see someone play it, and it’s nice having someone with more of a classical background.
“Tim is a great guy, too.”
Haas also plans to perform the piece at his faculty recital on Jan. 27 and considers it an incredibly valuable experience for his students.
“I think my students need to hear me play,” he said. “That’s why I make such an effort to do recitals at the University – so they can come and here me play.
“I want to expose them to new music out there.”
A livestream of the recital can be viewed here.
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected].
GCU Today: Haas selected to perform at 2021 Clarinet Fest