Clark in his shop

Clark in his shop

Clark W Fobes received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from C.S.U., Fresno in 1976 and his Masters of Music Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1983. Mr. Fobes has had a very active career as a clarinetist in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1981 performing regularly with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and the California Symphony. An accomplished clarinet doubler, Mr. Fobes has often been called upon to play bass clarinet, contra bass clarinet, basset horn and Eb soprano clarinet. He plays the bass clarinet/contra bass clarinet chair with the Skywalker Ranch Orchestra and can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks. Composer Steven Mackey wrote a soloistic BBb contra bass clarinet part for Mr. Fobes in his commissioned symphonic work for the San Francisco Symphony entitled “Pedal Tones”. Mr. Fobes principal teachers were Rosario Mazzeo, Russell S. Howland, George E. Waln, Gary Gray and Howard Klug.

In 1977, at the age of 23, Mr. Fobes was appointed principal clarinetist with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and in the same year began a parallel career as a woodwind repair technician. After moving to San Francisco in 1981 to further his performing career he found immediate employment as a repair technician and soon became the preeminent clarinet repair specialist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Fobes started his own business in 1985 and his reputation for fine craftsmanship and expertise in clarinet acoustics drew clients from all over the US. Beginning in 1986 he began serious work and research in the art of mouthpiece design and hand finishing. Mr. Fobes launched his own brand of professional clarinet mouthpieces in 1990 and in 1993 introduced his line of “Debut” mouthpieces for students which have become extremely popular the US. In 2000 he closed his repair business to devote his energies to hand crafting clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces and to the manufacture of his unique solid wood barrels and extensions for the clarinet.

The signature qualities of Clark W Fobes mouthpieces are superior craftsmanship, pure sound, precise articulation and excellent intonation. Fobes mouthpieces and barrels are now played by professional clarinetist around the world including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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