Jack Aubert

One of the most helpful musicians new clarinetists get to meet is Jack Aubert, who plays with both the City of Fairfax Band and the Main Street Community Band. Over the years several clarinetists joined Main Street who had picked up an instrument left behind by a grown child, or who hadn’t played their own clarinet in decades. With his collection of mouthpieces and his mini clarinet petting zoo, Jack has helped bring new players into the clarinet section offering suggestions as to the right instrument, helping with squeaking and bent bridges, and sometimes playing along with them when the parts have just been too challenging. Last year Jack accompanied the City of Fairfax Band on its tour of France, a country that was his home during four years as a an economist with the Foreign Service. While most members of the band were off touring the major sites, Jack headed to a music store in Paris he knew and loaded up on all the sheet music he could carry back home.  France is only one of many countries Jack has lived in during his career. “I have lived two years or more in: Senegal, Haiti, Finland, France, Belgium and Morocco and briefly visited about 40 countries. As a foreign Service Officer, I have been able at one time or another to carry on a simple conversation in 12 languages, but they are all now dormant except for English, French, Italian and Spanish.” In addition to the clarinet, Jack plays bass clarinet, Eb clarinet and alto saxophone. Originally from from Levittown, Long Island, NY, and Glen Rock, NJ, Jack played in dance bands in high school and during his summer breaks from college.  He later played in an amateur orchestra in Brussels, and chamber music in Brussels and Paris. After his career in the foreign service, Jack studied computer science and finished his career as a computer guy doing network engineering. Upon his retirement, Jack joined Main Street in 2012 because he hadn’t played in many years, and quickly got busy with other ensembles. “I currently play clarinet in the DC Concert Orchestra and two clarinet quartets about once a month as well as duets with a pianist weekly.  I play in many ad hoc chamber music groups including wind quintets, trios with piano plus cello or viola and attend an annual chamber music workshop. I rarely pass up an opportunity to play my instrument.”  Jack and his wife Kathleen have four married children and five grandchildren. In addition to all his musical activities, he enjoys almost all building and craft occupations:  carpentry, plumbing, wiring, welding, leatherwork, stained glass, sewing, sundials (studying and constructing them) and crossword puzzles. His favorite book is “Middlemarch” by George Eliot. What if Jack could study any other instrument? “For me the second most beautiful instrument, after my own, is the cello.  For playing though, I would choose bassoon which is more plausible than learning a string instrument.”