Clarinet Quartattitude, “the quartet with attitude,” was formed in 2013 from members of the Clarinet Madness Clarinet Choir and continues to entertain, educate, inspire, and occasionally confuse audiences young and old alike. The group is equally comfortable playing classical, jazz, and pop arrangements; repertoire standards; and new music. Recently headlining Carpe Clarinet Day in Ogallala, Nebraska, they performed the world premiere of Kyle Angley’s “Katabasis.” Their eclectic style, combined with the edgy humor expected from musicians of a certain age, makes for an unforgettable concert of clarinetery (not a real word, but should be) as well as a celebration of community and culture. Clarinet Quartattitude is currently serving up nostalgia by featuring music from the 40’s and 50’s, significantly increasing their street cred. at retirement home communities.
Nancy Williams is the group’s founder, manager, and amateur comedian. When not working hard to finish her degree in clarinet performance, concocting schemes to further her performing career, manipulating students into practicing more effectively, or figuring out how to propel her publishing company to unimagined heights, Nancy is bossed around by five cats.
Deb Knowles is the heart of the group. Kind and gracious to all, Deb is known for sleeping her way to the top of the clarinet section of the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra. (In truth, Deb was married to the orchestra’s esteemed conductor, and her clarinet abilities and magic tone are more than enough to secure her job as principal clarinetist.) Fun facts: Deb grew up in the town that inspired The Music Man and studied with the famous Himie Voxman.
Deb Martin is a recently-retired elementary music teacher and the tallest member of the group. As both a professional vocalist and clarinetist, Deb performs with the Rapid City Municipal Band, but is unable (or unwilling?) to play and sing at the same time. She is also one-half of the Calumet Clarinet Duo, which frequently performs music history outreach concerts. Her most recent claim to fame is forming possibly the only church bluegrass band on the planet, or at least the upper Midwest.
Dan Mulally’s existence is multifaceted. He is an engineer, landlord, bee keeper, stable manager, and politician’s husband in addition to playing piano in various groups. When he’s not playing bass clarinet in Quartattitude, Clarinet Madness, or Rapid City Municipal Band, he plays it in a rock band, Kim and the Cue Balls (seriously!).