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Monday, May 03, 2010It’s 1999. David Wolfe is 9 years old.
He is set to select his first musical instrument. One-by-one everyone in the band gets their pick. But what happens when his hands are too small for the saxophone, the instrument he is dying to play? Well, play the clarinet, of course.
Now, David Wolfe, a senior at Lipscomb University, is considered one of the most talented young clarinetists in Nashville.
Wolfe, a graduate of Nashville's Martin Luther King High School, has been juggling two very different talents throughout his life. He has played the clarinet for eleven years and ran track and cross country for seven, including three seasons for the Lipscomb Bisons. He was on both rosters for the Bisons this year, but chose to concentrate on his musical obligations.
This year he decided to give up running for his ambitions in music, but he still runs on his own time.
He spends most of his time practicing the clarinet- six hours of individual practice every day, plus group practice for an average of about four hours. Obviously this was not easy to juggle with school and track.
“I have good time management I guess,” Wolfe said. “We had a lot of early morning practices for track which helped.”
Wolfe is double-majoring in Clarinet Performance and Music Theory and Composition. He has been busy auditioning for graduate schools around the country, including the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ohio State, and USC. He will be attending Ohio State next fall, which has one of the best music programs in the country.
On Wolfe’s visit to Ohio State, he fell in love with the atmosphere even though the huge campus was a bit overwhelming.
“Columbus is a lot like Nashville,” he said. “When I visited I felt at home.”
Wolfe has had a passion for music since a very young age.
“I grew up in a music family," he said. "Me, my brother, and my sister have all been involved in music our whole lives. I’m the only one taking it to a professional level though.
“My Dad has inspired me the most. He has always been supportive of me making music a career because he is a musician himself.”
Wolfe’s professor, Dan Lochrie, is also a great inspiration to him. He plays bass clarinet in the Nashville Symphony and received his doctorate from Ohio State.
“He’s always had a good balance for pushing me, but being relaxed at the same time” Wolfe said.
Both clarinet and cross country came easy for Wolfe. He chose the clarinet and he was immediately good at it.
“Well I chose it because my hands were too small to play the saxophone,” Wolfe said. “That’s what I really wanted to play.” Wolfe also happened upon his other talent by pure coincidence.
“My older brother and all his friends ran.” Wolfe said. “He was my ride home from school, so I was forced into it. The first day I was already better than everyone else.”
While cross country may seem a boring sport to some, Wolfe kept himself entertained by talking to himself “not in a creepy way” he said laughing.
“I’m an introvert so I don’t mind running on my own or playing clarinet in the practice room for six hours,” Wolfe said.
Though it was hard to balance both talents, Wolfe said it was a good escape to go from one to the other.
Wolfe, said, “If I had a bad race in cross country, I knew I could go play a good performance on the clarinet or vice-versa.”
Written by Kelsey Neumann for her News Reporting and Writing class.