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Distinguished Artists Give Clarinet a Beat

The Distinguished Artist Series at Oklahoma City University continues at 3 p.m. Jan. 23 with a clarinet and percussion performance. The concert will be held in the Petree Recital Hall in the Bass Music Center at Blackwelder Avenue and N.W. 25th Street.

David Steffens on percussion and Bradford Behn on clarinet will perform selections by Larsen, Busoni, Ptaszynska, Deane, Baermann, Cage and Knight.

Steffens is principal percussionist for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He is a recording artist, clinician, educator and champion of new music who has directed the percussion program at OCU’s Bass School of Music since 1997. A founding member of the Robert Hoener Percussion Ensemble, Steffens is featured on four internationally released CDs on the DMP recording label. He is past president of the Oklahoma chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.

Behn is principal clarinetist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Tulsa Symphony. He has held positions with the orchestras of Fort Collins, Colo., and Savannah, Ga., and has performed with the Baltimore, Utah, Colorado, Alabama, San Antonio and Charleston, S.C., symphonies. He is founder and designer of Behn Mouthpieces International, a custom mouthpiece-making company. He is an assistant professor at the Bass School of Music.

The Wanda L. Bass School of Music at OCU recently started its Distinguished Artist Series to give local audiences a chance to hear master musicians perform.

Mark Parker, dean of the music school, said the series is intended to provide the public with a source of the best music the world has to offer.

“This is a chance for people to hear some great musicians perform great masterpieces, and further enrich the cultural offerings of our city,” Parker said.

Other dates and performances are Jan. 30 with the enhake chamber trio performing Mozart, Schumann, Bruch, Marshall, Piazzolla and Bartok; Feb. 6 with Gershwin specialist Jack Gibbons; March 27 with university organist Melissa Plamann performing Bach, Mendelssohn, Eben, Vaughan Williams and Reger; and April 12 with pianist Vladimir Feltsman, presented in partnership with Heritage Hall, performing Bach, Schubert, Schumann-Liszt and Chopin.

With the exception of the March 27 organ recital in the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel, performances will be held in Petree Recital Hall.

 Tickets for the Steffens and Behn performance are $10. Tickets are available by calling the OCU ticket office at (405) 208-5227 or by visiting For updates on events and performances at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music, visit