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"Evette's Story"

By Deborah Check Reeves
Curator of Education and Woodwind Instruments

NMM 13401.  Clarinet by Buffet-Crampon, Paris, 1962

Hi. My name is Evette. Before a very sweet sixth grader adopted me, I was simply known as "the clarinet." I was born during the 1960s in a factory in France that was making Evette model E10s for Buffet-Crampon. I was shipped to the U.S. where I started my illustrious career. I donít really remember too much about my first owners. I know I was used for a little while by a beginning band student, only to be left in a closet before being sold to another family with a beginning band student. Unfortunately, I suffered the same fate there. Finally, I was sold to my long-time family in 1979. That is how I came to live with and become Marcy Montgomeryís best friend.

Marcy had been taking piano lessons with dear old Mrs. Rood. Although she enjoyed playing the solo literature, Marcy longed to make music together with other people. So when offered the chance to play in band in sixth grade, she jumped. That is where I came onto the scene. It was Marcy, in fact, who named me. From then on I was always affectionately called "Evette." With me, Marcy learned how to make music with other people. In middle school, Marcy was the first clarinetist in band. In high school we got to go outside and march with the band. It was a lot of fun going to football games and marching competitions. Marcy even got to play in a small ensemble made up of oboe, horn, bassoon—and me! I know we competed in solo and ensemble contests, but I honestly donít remember how we did. We must have done OK because I think I would have remembered if I didnít behave.

I know I influenced Marcyís life. It was in band that Marcy learned about making music with others. Here she learned about cooperation and camaraderie. She learned how to listen, too. She learned how to pick out different types of instruments just by hearing them and she learned how to listen to all types of music. Because of me, she started to listen to the music of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. Do you know to this day Marcy still enjoys swing dancing to music of this bygone era? After learning how to play me, Marcy never had any fear of trying out other instruments. After all, she played piano and me, why not try a third, fourth or fifth? Since I got to hear her practice, I know that on some of the instruments she was downright awful. But, on others she was pretty good!

A couple of springs ago, Marcy visited the National Music Museum. Because she no longer played me, she was looking for a good, permanent home for me. An attempt at letting a cousin play didnít work out. Why not give me to this museum? For an old gal, Iím still in good shape. I donít even have any cracks in my wood. That is how I came to live in Vermillion from all the way in Greenwich, Connecticut. My new name is "NMM 13401." But, thanks to the National Music Museum, I know my story will forever be preserved and I will always be known as "Evette."

The Evette Name as Seen in Maker's Signature Stamp

Signature on clarinet Signature on clarinet

NMM 13401. Clarinet in B-flat by Evette & Schaeffer (trade name for Buffet-Crampon & Cie), Paris, ca. 1960-1970. Evette-Schaeffer Model E-13. Serial number D11214. Boehm system. Grenadilla body. German-silver keys, rings, and ferrules. Gift of Gift of Marcy Montgomery, Greenwich, Connecticut, 2007.

Return to NMM Newsletter Index (March 2010)

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Most recent update: August 27, 2010

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