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The Top Three Clarinet Players in the Pacific Northwest All Go to the Same High School. And They’re Related.

“That’s the thing that’s so wild about this. They all play clarinet.”

Three Portland high school students have been named the top clarinet players in the Pacific Northwest. They all attend David Douglas High School and, what's more, they're siblings.

Joseph Folwick, Daniel Folwick, and Aubrey Folwick this fall won spots in the Oregon Music Education Association's All-State Symphony Orchestra, as well as the All-Northwest Symphony Orchestra. There are only three clarinets in each symphony, and each time all three spots went to the Folwick siblings. For that last achievement, they beat out all other high school clarinet players from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska.

Tom Muller, the high school's associate band director, says the school has had siblings make the state and regional ensemble orchestras before, but it's rare that they do so for the same instrument. "That's the thing that's so wild about this," Muller says. "They all play clarinet."

The eldest Folwick sibling, Joseph, is a 17-year-old senior with dreams of playing clarinet professionally, Muller says. Daniel, a 15-year-old sophomore, and Aubrey, a 14-year-old freshman, have big dreams as well, their band director says. In addition to clarinet, the younger Folwicks are also accomplished saxophone players, he says.

"They're just some of the nicest kids, too," he adds. "Not pretentious, so humble. They have fun. All the other kids look up to them."

Their mother, Glendy Folwick, says her children all started playing instruments in the fifth grade, through a David Douglas music program. (Her children weren't available for an interview because they were in class.)

In January, the siblings will travel to Eugene to rehearse with the musical director for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and perform with the All-State Symphony Orchestra.

And in February they'll head to Bellevue, Wash., for a concert with the All-Northwest Symphony Orchestra.