Eastman - Rochester New Horizons Music
The Birthplace of New Horizons. Founded in 1991 by Dr. Roy Ernst, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY
Donald Kirk: Bass Clarinet
Native of Erie, PA
Education: Youngsville (PA) high school, 1953, Penn State, B.S. in chemical engineering, 1957.
Family: Wife, Jean; children, Steve (Ontario, NY) and Susan (Walworth, NY), who has a husband and two teenage girls.
Professional history: Pulp and paper research, Hammermill Paper Company, Erie, PA, 1957-1973 (interrupted by military service, 1958-1960); Environmental compliance manager, H.J. Heinz Company, Pittsburgh, PA, retired 1998.
Residence: After 41 years in the same house, we moved from Pittsburgh, PA to Fairport, NY in July 2014 so that we can grow old near our children.
I began clarinet lessons at the age of nine and continued through high school. I played in the high school band until graduation in 1953, after which I put the instrument away for 50 years. In 2003 I relearned my skills and joined a small church orchestra. When our clarinet section swelled to three, I switched to bass clarinet to better balance the group. I appreciate very much the opportunities at New Horizons, both musically and socially.
Most of my music history is vocal. I sang in church choirs from the age of five until our move in 2014. I also sang in two quartets for about 25 years, one male and one mixed, and arranged most of the music sung by both groups.