Our next installment features WSS Bass Clarinetist, Eileen Young. Eileen has been our bass clarinetist since 1991, and held the bass clarinet chair with the North Carolina Symphony from 1996-2000. You’ll be able to hear her featured at least twice this coming season: there are famous bass clarinet solos in Strauss’ Don Quixote and in Gershwin’s An American in Paris.
Since 2011, Eileen has been music director of the Salem Band, an all-volunteer community concert band. The Salem Band is the longest-running ensemble of its kind, dating back to 1771 as the town band of the Moravian settlement at Salem. The 21st and 26th North Carolina Regimental Bands were culled from its ranks during the Civil War.
The Salem Band presents several free concerts per season to the Winston-Salem community, including their Holiday Concert at Salemtowne Retirement Community and their summer concerts in Salem Square. There are still two opportunities to see the Salem Band outdoors this summer, on August 6 and August 20.
I never planned to become a community band director, but I am enjoying Salem Band very much. Growing up in central Pennsylvania (an area rife with top-notch bands), my involvement in community bands is partly what inspired me to pursue music as a clarinetist. Since starting as Music Director of the Salem Band in September 2011, I am very pleased with how much the band has improved as a musical ensemble and how much the organization has grown. Our 56 musicians, our dedicated Board of Directors, and our new Swing Band members are a joy to work with. This organization is committed to its role in this community, serving members and audience alike – people from all walks of life, all ages and varied abilities. Directing the band during the summer and performing during concert season as Bass Clarinetist in the Winston-Salem Symphony are constant reminders of how lucky I am to live and work in the City of Arts and Innovation.