The Venner Clarinet Choir

Theodore Johnson, Musical Director
Jim Adkins, Conductor

The Venner Clarinet Choir was founded by Theodore Johnson, retired clarinetist of The Cleveland Orchestra where he played for 36 years.

Initially, Mr. Johnson began playing duets with Jim Stahl, one of his former students and our sponsor. This grew into a quartet and finally he was inspired to form a clarinet choir to read and perform compositions written and arranged for that particular ensemble.

Mr. Johnson, born and raised in Chicago, has a Danish heritage and the word Venner is the Danish word for friend.  He envisaged this group as friends gathered together
to enjoy the many works of music for the clarinet choir.

The Venner Clarinet Choir has had several seasons together,performed extensively in Northeast Ohio, and hosted guest soloists,including Carl Topilow (Cleveland Pops Orchestra and faculty member of The Cleveland Institute of Music), Stanley Drucker (retired principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic),and Franklin Cohen (retired principal clarinetist of The Cleveland Orchestra).  In addition the choir has hosted master classes with Stanley Drucker, Theodore Johnson, and Franklin Cohen. 

The group consists of many fine musicians from Northeast Ohio,many of them former students of Mr. Johnson. The members of the choir have a variety of advanced music degrees and numerous musical and life experiences. As he had originally hoped, the group enjoys playing together and experiencing the friendship and camaraderie of making music together. Mr. Johnson continues to work with the group as musical director.
The Venner Clarinet Choir formed in 2013 with approximately 13 members comprised of professionals and teachers. Most members have played since childhood and now have many years of experience. As you can see on the members page, they have and continue to play with various groups. Many continue to teach in schools or privately.

The VCC has performed at many venues. The most rewarding is when they team with schools to perform with student musicians. Highland High School teamed with the VCC and Central Instrument Company of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, to sponsor a clarinet symposium. Two special guest soloists and teachers were Theodore Johnson, retired from The Cleveland Orchestra, and Stanley Drucker, retired from the New York Philharmonic. The students had a once-in-a-lifetime experience to learn and be critiqued by two of the best.

Many guest soloists have joined the VCC in local performances. One special guest was Franklin Cohen, retired from The Cleveland Orchestra.

The Venner Clarinet Choir is available to perform on a limited basis. Reach out to us through our CONTACT page and we will reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for supporting live music.
Contact us regarding performance by The
Venner Clarinet Choir and our involvement in music education and promotion.
READ MORE on our sponsor's website.
“We are a choir of professional clarinetists with an enthusiasm for performance.”