David H. Thomas has been an orchestral clarinetist for 25 years. Additionally, he is also an experienced soloist, with numerous critically acclaimed performances.

Starting his performing career directly after undergraduate studies, he won a position with the Greensboro Symphony in 1982. The next year he was offered the principal position of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Washington, DC. The grueling demands of opera and ballet repertoire honed his skills as a versatile player. In 1989, he won the principal clarinet position of the Columbus Symphony in Ohio.

A noted orchestra among several giants in Ohio, the Columbus Symphony had its Carnegie Hall debut in 2001. The review was glowing.

For the past 16 years David has impressed audiences with his music making, both as orchestral and solo performer. Columbus Dispatch chief critic Barbara Zuck offered these comments in a 1994 review of Thomas' rendition of Rossini's Introduction, Theme and Variations:

"Thomas, ...has steadily grown in stature and confidence. Even so, I'm not sure anyone was prepared for the absolutely bravura display of virtuosity Thomas delivered last night. Who would have expected him to emerge as the clarinet equivalent of Cecilia Bartoli? I don't recall a bigger or better reception for any artist, anywhere."

From an April 30, 2005 review of the CSO in a concert of opera overtures and tenor arias, Zuck noted: "(Thomas) had as many great lines as the singer, and his brilliant performances once again reminded us how his playing has spoiled us over the years."

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Breathing is my Life

…and my career. I cannot afford to breathe incorrectly. Yet I have been, perhaps for years. Habits change and erode over years, imperceptibly. When I went to an Alexander teacher to get some help with posture to relieve neck and shoulder pain, I ended up learning how much tension I was holding in my torso and neck. And you can’t breathe with a tight torso. Nope.

During many, many solo performances in my career, I had to fight my body’s compulsion to breathe in order to finish some phrase or other. (This happens more often when I’m playing solo in front of the orchestra and standing. When sitting in the orchestra, there is more time to recover from each improper breath)

Wind players often suffer from “bad air” remaining in the lungs after they breathe. A breath may be convenient or musically necessary at a place where the lungs are not yet empty, so the new air mixes with the old, stale air. After a few more breaths like this, the air in the lungs is full of carbon dioxide. The body will then being to convulse to try to breathe, even in the middle of a phrase. I have had to overcome this desperate reaction and continue until a more suitable time to breathe.

The solution is to plan proper exhalation at certain times, and to take smaller breaths so as to fully exhale the at the end of a phrase. But proper breathing, where the muscles inhale and exhale much more efficiently, also helps to maintain a better balance of good and bad air. It helps keep un-necessary tension out of the chest, affording more freedom of breath.