Set of 12 etudes for solo clarinet

James M. Stephenson

YEHTUDES – the story:

In the summer of 2018, I approached John Yeh, the assistant principal and solo E-flat clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony, about collaborating on a clarinet etude book.
John and I had just finished a CD project with Cedille Records (“Liquid Melancholy”), which contained a lot of my solo and chamber clarinet music, yet I still felt inspired to create more music for clarinet.
Furthermore, John’s daughter, Molly, had recently been making big headlines as a food-blogger (resulting in a subsequent TV show), and upon a visit to her blog (“My Name is Yeh”), I discovered a list of cake recipes that I found to be musically inspiring.
And with that, the idea for “Yehtudes” was born.

Following the example of a previous project I had done with trumpet players, John and I together sent out a notice to any interested clarinetists to see if they might like to “subscribe” to the project.
To the right is a list of all of the brave clarinetists who signed on, and who agreed to receive “world premiere Yehtudes” in their email inboxes, for their own firsthand look at each one, just created that day.
I attempted to address (with John’s help) 12 different points of study for the clarinet, but to do so in a way that would simultaneously be musically rewarding.
I also cycled through all of the keys, alternating between major and minor, to try to capture as many musical possibilities as I could, within the brief 12-etude process.
All of this took place during the month of July, 2018, and the result is the set of etudes contained in the subsequent pages.
Of note – as of this date – Yehtudes #5 (“Strawberry Hi-Hat Cupcakes”) and #8 (“Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake”) come with accompaniment. The former uses hi-hat (due to the title), while the latter uses piano. The hi-hat is included herein, while the piano accompaniment for #8 is sold separately at

The list of those who contributed:

Brendan Agnew
Scott Anderson
Deborah Andrus
Brenden Louis Ayestaran
Marcy Bacon
Allie Brandt
Nicholas Brown
Kim Carr
Joseph Chen
Joe Clark
Carl Collins
David Cook
Vanessa Davis
Kristen Denny-Chambers
Zachary Dierickx
George Dragoo
Bobby Dunning
Luke Folse
Roger Garrett
Suzanne Gekker
Lucas Gianini
Tammy Avery-Gibson
Salva Contreras Gila
Eric Ginsberg
David Gould
Tad Gray
Jane Grigsby
Kalyn Hamm
Cameron Harper
Judi Hartman
Christopher Hills
Scot Humes
Marty Johnson
Shannon Kiewitt
Candice Kiser
Jerry Kracht
Melissa Johnson Lander
Robert Larm
Scott MacDonald
Eileen Mack
Shelagh MacLeod
Liz Gish Matera
Austin McFarland
Mike Medley
Scott Moore
Stephen Moore
Christopher Nichols
Philip O’Connor
Lilia Olsen
Tracey Paddock
Timothy Phillips
Patrick Refsnider
Jeanmarie Riccobono
Barbara Santoro
Brian Schaefer
Eden Schultz
Emilia Segura
Nora Shaffer
David Sherr
Catina Franklin Sweedy
Ibrook Tower
Leigh Wakefield
Gene Wie
Lisa Wissenberg
Scott Wright
Tim Zavadil

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