Clarence Padilla, clarinet



Clarence Padilla is a Professor of Music (clarinet) at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and served as Music Department Chair from 2004 to 2018. Professor Padilla has concertized, conducted and presented master classes across the United States and internationally in Italy (2018), Ecuador (2017), Brazil (2014), France (2011/2017), China (2009/2013/2016), Mexico (2005/2007), and Germany and Austria (1993).

Clarence Padilla has been a regular member of the Des Moines Symphony since 2000, appeared as a clarinet soloist with the orchestra in 2013, and served as the Acting Principal Clarinet for the 2010-11 Concert Season. Mr. Padilla has performed with a highly varied group of artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Midori, Ray Charles, Leslie Odom, Jr., Kristin Chenoweth, Marilyn McCoo, Amy Grant, Celtic Thunder, Sutton Foster, Simon Estes, The Manhattan Transfer, Roger Williams, Patrick Stewart, Lee Greenwood, and conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, JoAnn Falletta, Bright Sheng and Lukas Foss. He has also recorded for the Disney Company Entertainment Division and Touchstone Pictures.

Mr. Padilla has frequently performed for national touring musicals including Evita, Sound of Music, Cinderella, A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein, West Side Story, Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, South Pacific, La Cage Aux Folles and 42nd Street. Clarence Padilla is the Conductor and Musical Director for the Des Moines Metro Concert Band, a professional wind ensemble that performs during the summer months under the auspices of the Music Under the Stars Concert Series.

Clarence Padilla has released three solo compact disc recordings: In Play (2014), With the Wind (2010), and Playing Through (2002). Additionally, Professor Padilla appears as a soloist on two compact discs recorded by the Drake University Wind Symphony - Mosaic (2013 – Liquid Ebony by Dana Wilson) and Collage (2009 – Jazz Suite for Clarinet and Wind Symphony by Bill Liston). Padilla’s solo recordings include the music of William Dougherty, Graham Lyons, Alec Templeton, Francis Poulenc, Paul Jean-Jean, Ralph Kendrick, Pierre Gabaye and Andrew Classen.

Students who have studied with Clarence Padilla have been selected as winners and finalists for state, regional and national competitions sponsored by the Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA), the National Foundation for the Arts, the International Clarinet Association and the Des Moines Symphony. Former students have been accepted to study at many of the prestigious music programs across the country, including the University of Southern California, Ohio State University, Rice, University of Florida, De Paul and Arizona State University.

Clarence Padilla holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from California State University, Long Beach, a Master of Music Degree in clarinet performance from the University of Southern California and has pursued doctoral studies in clarinet performance at USC where he was a student of Mitchell Lurie and David Shifrin. Professor Padilla previously served on the faculty at California State University, Fullerton.