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Taylor Marino, Principal Clarinet

Are you a native Charlottean? 

I am! I grew up in Charlotte and was a member of the youth orchestras led by Dr. Ernest Pereria, so it is very special for me to be a member of the CSO. Charlotte is such a wonderful city and I could not be happier to be back in my hometown making music!

Do you teach?

I was very fortunate to have helped assist my teacher during my masters degree at the Colburn School in Los Angeles with his high school students. His name is Yehuda Gilad and he is a world renowned pedagogue and I was able to observe him teach extremely talented high schoolers and spend some time with them individually every week. This helped me learn so much about the art of teaching and I hope to start teaching soon in the Charlotte area!

How were you inspired to be a professional musician?

I started becoming really inspired and excited about music after I started taking lessons. I was improving much more quickly and ended up placing in a high chair in all district band at a young age which really excited me about clarinet. From then on, it seems like a I was infected with music bug. I would search the internet for recordings and read about players for many hours during my younger years and that fueled the excitement about a professional career in music.

Can you describe what you’re thinking and feeling right before a concert starts?

Before a concert starts, there is usually some combination of nerves plus excitement depending on what repertoire is being performed. I find it really helpful to take some deep, mindful breaths, give myself a clear intention of what I want to achieve and then use the energy I am feeling to focus and be present in the moment. I find it really helpful to smile and remember how lucky we all are to be sharing and making music with each other and focus on that before any performance begins.

What music do you enjoy listening to, classical and otherwise?

I love listening to classical music and really enjoy exploring different recordings and listening to different composers. I am also a big fan of Jazz music as well as pop music. I have been making it a point to take more of an interest in genres that I wouldn't normally listen to and to get to know the important artists in those genres. It is fun to see what you like and what you don't like and there is just so much music to listen to!

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