The Rewards of Dedication and Hard Work

Crescendo issue: June 2014
  • Anthony McGill, 1993
Anthony McGill (IAA 96) hailed as "one of the most eloquent clarinetists of our day," has been named the Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic.

To those who know McGill, and have experienced his music, this prestigious appointment comes as no surprise. McGill has spent the last decade as co-Principal Clarinetist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and has been a Peabody Conservatory faculty member since 2008.

"There have been lots of great moments within music for me," says Anthony. "They are all surrounded by playing great music with great musicians. The best moments happen in the middle of a performance when I feel chills and know that I have been fulfilled as an artist and have experienced something very special."

"I was fortunate that I had amazing mentors and supporters, good friends, I practiced a lot and I happened to be in the right places at the right times," Anthony said of his professional and artistic journey. "Everyone in my world has been enormously supportive and excited, and I am as well."

His musical journey began at a very young age when he would listen to his equally talented brother Demarre playing the flute and decided that he wanted to be in the music world as well. From that beginning, through graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy in 1996, to where he is now, his life has been a complete immersion of music.

"At Interlochen, I learned that I love being around artistic people and that, to be exceptionally successful, I need to work exceptionally hard."

"Follow your own path," says Anthony. "Do what you love, stay true to yourself and work really hard to get there. Also, to those hoping to be successful in their art, I would say that success is the journey, the playing, the work toward the goal, not the result. Love it enough that you will go for it with all of your passion and not look back."

Anthony is not the only Interlochen graduate allowing his passion to lead him to greater heights within the New York Philharmonic. Here is a listing of other alumni who are lighting up the stage with him:

Violin
Kuan Cheng Lu (IAA 96-98, IAC 97)
Na Sun (IAC 2004)

Viola
Dorian Rence (IAC 1964)

Cello
Patrick Jee (IAC 89-90)

Bass
William Blossom (IAC  58-64)
David J. Grossman (IAC 92-93)

Bassoon
Judith LeClair (IAC 73) (Principal)
Roger Nye (IAA 82, U Fac 89-89)

Horns
Leelanee Sterrett (IAC 00-01, AS 02, IAA 02-04) (Assistant Principal)
R. Allen Spanjer (IAA 70-72)
Audrey Flores (IAA 99-01)

Trumpet
Ethan Bensdorf (IAC 95-00, 02)
Thomas V. Smith (AS 74-75, IAA 75-76)

Bass Trombone
George Curran (AS 92-93)

Timpani
Kyle Zerna (IAC 00-01) (Assistant Principal)

Percussion
Christopher S. Lamb (AS 72-74, IAC 75) (Principal)
Matthew VanBesien (IAC 87) (Executive Director)

Share: