Robert Spring has been described as "one of this country's most sensitive and talented clarinetists", Arizona Republic, "dazzled his audience...flawless technique", The Clarinet Magazine, and "a formidable soloist...played with great emotional life" Copenhagen, Denmark, Politiken. Spring's recording of Grawemeier Award winning composer Joan Tower's works for clarinet was described by The Clarinet Magazine as "truly outstanding....one would be hard pressed to find better performances of contemporary music....first rate music performed with the highest professional standards." The Instrumentalist Magazine says of his recording, "Dragon's Tongue", a CD of virtuoso music for clarinet and wind band, "His musicality and technique make this recording a must for every CD collection." Fanfare Magazine says of the CD, "Tarantelle", music that the famous violinist Jascha Heifetz recorded on violin,being performed on clarinet, "This recording was meant to amaze and, man, it succeeds."

The America Record Guide writes about his recent recording of the Copland Clarinet Concerto, "Spring...is fabulous in the Copland. His phrasing is elegant swing tailored with great flow and a spread of tone colors and expressive subtleties. His low and mid-range are especially warm, rich, and embracing and highly effective in the introduction and in the bridge to the jazzy finale. And boy what a finale! The pace is neatly judged to pick up at critical junctures so that, by the end, it feels like an improvised jam session."

Spring attended the University of Michigan where he was awarded three degrees, including the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He was recently awarded the "Citation of Merit Award" from the School of Music Alumni Society. His teachers included John Mohler, David Shifrin and Paul Shaller. Spring has performed as a recitalist or soloist with symphony orchestras and wind bands in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and South America, and has been heard in the United States on National Public Radio's, "Performance Today." He frequently serves as clinician and adjudicator and teaches on the faculties of several summer music festivals. He has published numerous articles on multiple articulation and other contemporary clarinet techniques.

Spring was President of the International Clarinet Association from 1998-2000 and has performed for twelve International Clarinet Association conventions. He hosted the 1995 International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest at Arizona State University where he is presently Professor of Clarinet. Dr. Spring is also principal clarinet of the ProMusic Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, OH. He is a Buffet Artist, and plays the Buffet Greenline Clarinet exclusively.

Joshua Gardner

Joshua Gardner is Clinical Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Performance Physiology Research Laboratory at Arizona State University, where he has taught since 2011. He maintains an active performance career, performing with several ensembles, including the internationally recognized Paradise Winds and Égide Duo, and is a frequent soloist with high school and college bands. He has performed and lectured at conferences for the International Clarinet Association, European Clarinet Association, International Double Reed Society, and North American Saxophone Alliance and has been featured on American Public Radio’s Performance Today. In addition to performing and teaching, Gardner has a strong interest in woodwind pedagogy and research. He won first prize at the International Clarinet Association Research Competition in 2008 and has presented lectures on tongue motion during clarinet performance throughout the US, often accompanied by live tongue imaging. He is currently exploring the use of ultrasound for quantified research and performance diagnostics. As part of the PPR Lab, Gardner often mentors student research initiatives ranging from examining embouchure force dynamics using thin-film force transducers to exploring non-articulatory tongue motion during saxophone performance using ultrasound imaging. He is also a member of the interdisciplinary ASU research group, SAMBA – Science of Art, Music, and Brain Activity. The group plans to integrate ecologically-based perceptual scene-analysis theory, music performance and education principles, and neural brain modeling tests to further our understanding of music perception and education.

Paradise Winds Reed Quintet

Gardner’s performance interests lie primarily in chamber music. He is the soprano clarinetist for the Paradise Winds Reed Quintet based in Phoenix, AZ. Recently, they released Live Beneath Stained Glass (2016), a Blues/Funk collaboration with the Jackie Myers Band. Journey on a Comet’s Tail, an album of entirely original commissioned works for reed quintet, will be released in November 2017. Advocates of original repertoire, Paradise Winds has commissioned works by James Cohn, Deborah Kavasch, John Marvin, Robbie McCarthy, Kurt Mehlenbacher, Alyssa Morris, Tom Peterson, Kincaid Rabb, and premiered the first North American concerto grosso for reed quintet and orchestra by Graham Cohen. Paradise Winds actively tours, records, and holds residencies across the globe.

Égide Duo

As agents of new repertoire, Égide Duo’s mission is to encourage music that addresses social change, including issues involving the environment/climate, animal and human rights, and equality. They aim to provide clear and pointed musical commentary on issues that affect our society today and tomorrow in an effort to draw attention to and encourage active public engagement on such issues. Joshua and Stefanie Gardner have commissioned works by Eric Mandat, Kurt Mehlenbacher, Jon Russell, John Steinmetz, and others dedicated to affecting social change through music.

Dr. Gardner received Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Clarinet Performance from the University of Kentucky and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. Gardner is a Henri Selmer Paris/Conn-Selmer Performing Artist playing Privilege clarinets, a Silverstein Pro Team Artist, and uses Vandoren mouthpieces.