Frank Sinatra will come to Academy Village next week, at least in spirit. Jerry Kirkbride, professor of clarinet at the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts, will make a special presentation about Sinatra at the Arizona Senior Academy on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 3:30 p.m. His talk will cover the last phase of Sinatra’s recording career and the recordings on his own label, “Reprise.” Included will be selections of Sinatra’s singing and the musicians and arrangers with whom he worked from 1962-93, the final period of his career.
Although a classically trained clarinetist, Kirkbride comes naturally to this presentation on Sinatra, having created the course “American Pop Music: Sinatra Era,” covering the singer’s recording career and the songwriters responsible for what has come to called the Great American Songbook. He began teaching the class in 1989 and has continued every summer since.
Kirkbride has had a long and distinguished career both in performance and teaching. He has been a continuing member of the world-famous Dorian Wind Quintet since 1970, having toured extensively in Europe, the United States, Mexico and Canada. He has also performed in India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Kirkbride was principal clarinetist for the Metropolitan Opera National Company. He free-lanced in New York City for many years and also held the chair of principal clarinetist for the Brooklyn Philharmonic for six years.
He joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 1974. He plays in the Arizona Wind Quintet and has taught and performed in many music festivals including Arizona Musicfest in Scottsdale from 1992 to 2010. He recently finished a history of the Dorian Wind Quintet and has produced a Dorian Wind Quintet CD.