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Video Text: “I’m Beth Wiemann. I’m an Associate Professor in the School of Performing Arts here at the University of Maine. I teach clarinet for Performance majors and Music Education majors. I also teach composition and music theory, which are some of the big building blocks of music.
“My career as a researcher is really as a musical artist. I compose. I’ve composed pieces for different ensembles across the country, sometimes in Europe. I also compose for people on campus. Sometimes the groups on campus will ask me to write a piece for them. I also use some electronic media when I write so I use electronic sounds as well as some video along with my music, so I make kind of little music videos that a group can play along live with.
“So that’s my research stuff, I also play clarinet professionally and I play in the area. I play at conferences. I play in New York; I play in Boston, that kind of stuff. And my students here range from composition students who really want to go out and write music for choir or whatever and clarinet students who want to be public school teachers. So I have a range of all kinds of musicians in my studio.
“Why am I here in Maine? I grew up in Burlington, Vermont, so I’m a northern New England person and this is like home for me. Part of the reason I came here was that it reminded me of home and it has a very friendly campus. My department colleagues are all very friendly; all the students call us by our first names. It’s just a very personal place.
“I think the students get a lot of individualized attention here, at least in the areas that I work in, in music and theater and dance. People get to know the faculty very very well and we’re sort of, we’re not buddies, but we’re actually quite close to them. So it really is more like joining a family than anything else.
“I have a student right now, who really wants to be the next Sheryl Crow and she’s working on making a demo CD of her own songs. She’s making the electronic accompaniment so that she can take them out on the road and turn on her computer and sing along. It’s very fascinating for me to see her and watch this process happening with her because she is used to playing a guitar. She can still do that, but now she has more opportunities to do other things.”