Catching up with Larry Clark

Catching up with Larry Clark

Catching up with Larry Clark

Composer, Author, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Carl Fischer Music


Larry Clark is at the forefront of publishing music and books for school ensembles.  2017 has been an extremely fruitful year for him in producing new compositions and arrangements for band and orchestra, including Dream Engine, Power March, Angel Echoes, Adamant, Aspirations and Transcending.  He arranged three pieces for Christmas:  Canon for Christmas featuring Pachelbel’s Canon overlaid with The First Noel, and two Christmas spoofs, Old St. Nicholas Had Farm and Christmas Mash-Up.  (Links to these pieces appear below.)  Larry also completed several commissions this year, including one for the Saint Andrews School in Boca Raton, FL, that will premiere in November.  In addition to composing, Larry is very proud of his editing work for Carl Fischer and is preparing a forthcoming biography of the renowned clarinetist, Stanley Drucker.

Recently, Bandworld Magazine recognized Dream Engine in its Top 100 new pieces list.  The composition captures attention immediately with the classic Renaissance dance forms favored by Ottorino Respighi that are expressed through the harmonic language and sound of Bernstein.  All of Larry’s pieces feature lyrical melodies into which he weaves the emotional, rhythmic and instructional content he wants to convey.   One of his signature characteristics is a rich, full brass and string sound that he uses to help young musicians discover how to play sonorously with crisp, clean rhythm and articulation.

Other honors include winning TODA’s Composition Contest for Transcending and the inclusion of three of his new compositions in this year’s Texas UIL Prescribed List:  Cloud Dancing, Crystalline and Celtic Echoes.  If you have a dynamite trumpet section and awesome strings, Transcending is for you!  The rhythms and melodies evoke the English folk traditions popularized by Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughn Williams, and the composition’s accessibility make Transcending feel like a piece that would be at home at The Proms.  The piece’s lush harmonies and orchestration recall John Williams’ sound, whose style Larry assimilated while working on his popular arrangement of the Star Wars themes. In addition to the careful craftsmanship for which Larry has received national recognition, his pieces are designed to engage students in the learning process and satisfy the audiences who will hear them in performance.

Counter-intuitive as it seems, Larry is always focused on satisfying his own musical barometer and believes in the quality of his music before he focuses on the reaction of others.  This guiding principle allows him to explore musical concepts in an authentic and fully developed way.  Larry leverages his teaching experience to compose music that is playable by students at their respective levels of accomplishment.  He engages students as respected musical participants who are equal to the musical as wells as the intuitive and intellectual challenges the music presents. The music’s overarching melodic lines combined with Larry’s philosophical purpose are the keys to his music’s effectiveness at communicating with audiences.  Larry is deeply rewarded by the enduring success and popularity of pieces like Quintus, Whispers, Resurgence, Shenandoah’s Simple Gifts, Be Thou My Vision and Twist of Fate, which we feel have the potential to hold similar places in music education as Norman Dello Joio’s Variants on a Medieval Tune, Gustav Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite and Vivaldi’s Stravaganza, all written for student musicians.  Larry’s music presents the distinctive “American Sound” often associated with Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and Leonard Bernstein in a way that preserves its integrity and richness.  At the same time, he composes his music to be approachable for young players so that they learn to express it effectively at their respective level of accomplishment.

Larry began his career as a Middle School Band Director, which ultimately led him to become Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Carl Fischer after previous experience and relationships with Warner Bros. and Belwin Mills.   The opportunity to arrange film scores for his own students helped mold him into the composer he is today.  We think that Larry’s career trajectory is similar to Vincent Persichetti and William Schuman, who composed music of enduring value for the American music educational system.  These models have inspired Larry to author and edit books and series, including the Compatible Ensemble Series, I Used To Play Series, and Six Steps to Success.  Larry also co-authored the Yamaha Advantage with his dear friend and Carl Fischer’s former CEO, Sandy Feldstein.

2018 promises to be even more dynamic! Larry is working on another commission for Hudson ISD (Texas) and is awaiting the release of this and other commissioned works in the 2018 Carl Fischer catalogue.  He is working on new books in the Compatibles Series and is editing several exciting new projects for Carl Fischer, such as Yes, You Can!, a book on string pedagogy for band directors who also teach strings.  You can keep up with all of Larry’s work, performances and publications on his webpage, or through social media at

Larry is always happy to talk with band and orchestra directors about their needs and the music they use to accomplish their purposes.  He would love the opportunity to meet you in person at:

  • The Midwest Clinic in December, where he will present all of the new Carl Fischer band and orchestra products for 2017.
  • The Florida Music Educators Conference.
  • The University of Central Florida, where he will present a session on selecting quality literature.
  • The Texas Music Educators Association, where he will present the literature selection clinic.

In March 2018, Larry will team up with Sheet Music Deals at ASTA to present a Reading Session of new string orchestra music from Carl Fischer.  He hopes you can come to the Reading Session and stop by the Sheet Music Deals or Carl Fischer booths to say, “Hi”!



Chamber Music

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Series proudly offers 15% off Larry Clark’s compositions using promotion code “Larry2017” valid through December 31, 2017.


Larry Clark

Vice President and Editor-in-Chief

Carl Fischer/Theodore Presser

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