Oklahoma City area Clarinetist you should know

Oklahoma City clarinetist

There are so many great things about the Oklahoma City professional clarinet scene. The Musicians who are leading the charge are listed below with a short Bio. We are going alphabetical here, and being a Zumwalt, I understand how unfair it is. I am sure that I have missed some and would love to include them, so if you, or someone you know, should be here please send me a bio and a photo and maybe a link or two so we can connect!  email: john@clarinetfingeringchart.com

Bradford Behn

Brad studied clarinet performance under the late Robert Marcellus at Northwestern University, receiving both his Bachelors and Masters degrees. He is currently the Principal Clarinet in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Previously he also was the Principal Clarinet in the Tulsa Symphony and Fort Collins Symphony

Brad has been the Oklahoma City University Assistant Professor of Clarinet,  and a Clarinet Instructor at the Tulsa Community College. He has traveled the world teaching the clarinet.  

Brad has had an obsession with mouthpiece acoustics for almost 30 years. He went from refurbishing to now producing mouthpieces (Behn Mouthpieces & EPIC CNC) for clarinetists of all skill levels.

Bradford Behn

Dawn Lindblade-Evens

Dr. Dawn Marie Lindblade-Evans, is an Associate Professor with the University of Central Oklahoma. She is also an instructor for Clarinet Pro Workshops. She has held positions at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and Southeastern Louisiana University.

As a chamber musician, Dawn is a member with the Lupine Trio (Sallie Pollack, piano and Hong Zhu, violin), the Sugar Fish Reed Trio (Lori Wooden, bassoon and KaDee Bramlett, oboe), and the Otis Trio (Sallie Pollack, piano and Tess Remy-Schumacher, cello). She has toured China performing along with teaching classes in Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou. 

Dawn Lindblade Evens

Dr. Dawn Lindblade-Evans studied the Clarinet with distinguished musical masters Dr. Kimberly Cole-Luevano, Dr. James Gillespie, and Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr.

Dr. Lindblade-Evans is a Selmer Paris/Conn Selmer performing artist.

Brian Gorrell

Brian also serves as an Advisor for UCO’s Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance, Master of Music in Jazz Studies, and teaches Applied Saxophone. He directs the “UCO Jazz Ensemble I” which has won many awards. Under Gorrell’s direction, UCO’s top jazz group was honored in Downbeat Magazine‘s  39th Annual Awards in 2016 for outstanding large ensemble performances, a repeat of their 35th Annual Student Music Awards in 2012 success. In March of 2018 “UCO Jazz Ensemble 1” tied for first place in the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival in the collegiate jazz ensemble division and in September 2018 was featured on the center stage of the Monterey Jazz Festival

Though Brian confessed to me that his clarinet skills are not where he would like them to be, Brian Gorell’s name is at the top of many admirers list. Proficient on both the keyboards and saxophones, Brian has produced and directed a bunch of albums with UCO’s Jazz Ensemble I:

Gorrell, a passionate music educator,  has lectured on saxophone and jazz pedagogy at the Regional North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Conferences and the Oklahoma Music Educators Conferences. He is also the Music Director for the Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra. Professor Gorrell graduated from UCO with a degree in Music Education and at Oklahoma City University he earned a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance, studying with classical saxophonist Gail Hall.

Gorrell been aggressively creating new programs at the University of Central Oklahoma. These including  Oklahoma’s only Master of Music in Jazz Studies, a Minor in Jazz Studies and with majors in Performance and Music Production. He is the founder of the Oklahoma Youth Jazz Ensemble, offering advanced jazz education for Central Oklahoma’s  top high school students. Brian Gorrell has twice been awarded “Collegiate Jazz Educator of the Year” by the Oklahoma Jazz Educators Association

Tara Heitz

After attending the University of Central Oklahoma and receiving a Music Education degree,  in 2002, Tara began teaching in the Edmond Schools. In 2008, she was a finalist in the International Clarinet Association’s orchestral competition, and  in 2014 performed on the Distinguished Artist Series at Oklahoma City University. Tara also plays with the Norman Philharmonic and the Lyric Theater orchestra.

As a music instructor, Tara is an expert in woodwind instruction for beginners. Her teaching responsibilities range from marching bands to concert bands, even a master class at the University of Central Oklahoma for orchestral excerpts. 

Tara is a member of the International Clarinet Association, the American Federation of Musicians Local 375-703, and the Central Oklahoma Directors’ Association


Dr. Lisa Kachouee is a Clarinet Instructor at Oklahoma City University.  As an orchestral, chamber, and solo clarinetist, Lisa has performed in Carnegie Hall and over thirty secondary schools and universities across the United States and in Mexico and Europe. 

She received her degrees from George Mason University, the University of Arizona, and Florida State University. Her Instructors include Frank Kowalsky, Deborah Bish, Brian Jones, Jerry Kirkbride, and Michael Rusinek

Lisa Kachouee

She is a gifted performer and was selected to perform at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2017 in Orlando, Florida and at the ClarinetFest 2018 in Ostend, Belgium. Lisa has performed with the Fort Smith Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra.

Dr. Lisa Kachouee hits the road on tour with Duo Rodinia, with composer and percussionist Jamie Wind Whitmarsh. Duo Rodinia just finished a recording project with PARMA Recordings and expect it will be released in 2021. 

As professional clarinetist and someone committed to education that goes beyond the classroom, Dr. Kachouee writes  articles for The Clarinet and has done in-depth research on the works and life of composer Daniel Nelson.

Vince Norman

When I ask around town about great jazz clarinetist, Vince is always on the list. He was exposed to music early in his life. He is the child of Ray Norman, a saxophonist, who played in big bands of the ‘40’s – the 50’s. His dad performed with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys and with Charlie Barnett and Claude Thornhill. But for Vince, his first real introduction to the magic of Jazz was with his 8th grade band leader, Paul Brewer.

Vince Norman

At age 16, still in high school, Vince was offered his first real gig playing with the Rick Swyden Big Band. Though Del City, Oklahoma, was home, most of his career was in the Washington DC area as both as part of The U.S. Army Field Band and as a freelance musician. It was here that Vince performed as a saxophonist with “The Jazz Ambassadors” and also as a member of the arranging staff. Vince Norman has played in 49 states, missing only Alaska. Beyond his extensive U.S. touring, he has played concert tours all over the world (including: Canada, Europe, India, Japan, and Mexico). 

Vince has performed with such notables as Clark Terry, Arturo Sandoval, Phil Woods, Paquito de Rivera, Dave Samuels, Marvin Hamlisch, Butch Miles, Toots Thielmans, Jamey Aebersold, Marvin Stamm, Bill Watrous, Hal Linden, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and even Joan Rivers. Vince Norman has played at Carnegie Hall and performed with the Baltimore Symphony, National Symphony, and with the Cincinnati Pops. As a composer, he has written various pieces of orchestral pops for the Capitol Quartet, a saxophone quartet, which performs concerts with major symphonies around the world and pieces for jazz ensemble as well.

Vince is a standard in the Oklahoma City. You will see him playing everything from woodwinds to drums to keyboard, Saturday night at the bar and Sunday morning at the church. Vince has two CDs,  “Bright Future” and “Words Cannot Express,” on OA2 Records. He is the co-leader of the Vince Norman/Joe McCarthy Big Band. Vince also has written for, performed and recorded with the DC based Latin jazz group “Afro Bop Alliance.” Vince played with Dave Samuels’ Caribbean Jazz Project on the 9th Latin Grammy Award winning and 51st Grammy Award Nominated collaboration entitled “Afro Bop Alliance.”  Vince Norman is a Cannonball Musical Instruments endorsing artist.

Jennifer Rucker

Since the Oklahoma Community Orchestra began in 1982, Jenny has been the principal clarinetist. Jennifer earned her Bachelors and Masters of Music Education degrees at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Jenny is part of the Lyric Theatre Orchestra, the Edmond Chamber Orchestra, the Pollard Theatre Orchestra, Cimarron Wind Quintet, and the American Federation of Musicians. Currently she is an adjunct clarinet instructor with Oklahoma Christian University and The University of Central Oklahoma.

Jennifer Rucker

With her wide ranging skills on several instruments (saxophone, clarinet, and bass clarinet), Jenny  is frequently called on as a substitute with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra. On top of all that, Jenny competed and was a semifinalist 4 times in the International Clarinet Association’s “Clarinetfest” Orchestral Excerpt Competitions. She won second place in 2007, Vancouver, B.C..

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