Story Wonders: A Clarinetist and Her Dad

Topics: music
A Clarinetist and Her Dad

“Band Director Conducts Daughter in Solo Scholarship Performance”

Eighteen-year-old Mikaela Rink has a secret to her clarinet success.

“It’s like living with a human metronome.” Rink said, referring to her father and the clicking timekeepers musicians use to keep rhythm. Bob Rink often passes by her door as she practices at home, telling her if she is rushing or how close she comes to the musical interpretations of the complicated pieces she memorizes.

He would know what to tell her. Her father is Bob Rink, the band director at Ferrucci Junior High, and an accomplished clarinetist himself. This month he will serve again as her metronome when he directs her along with the Puyallup Valley Community Band.

“Conducting her in this solo performance is a unique opportunity,” he says. “I won’t be able to kick back and enjoy the performance as a listener quite the same, but at least I will be intimately involved in the musical outcome. If something goes wrong, I’ll have to blame the conductor.”

Musical ability runs strong in the Rink family. Mikaela Rink’s two older brothers also play instruments. Her brother Andrew Rink, a tuba player, won the Puyallup Valley Community Band scholarship in 2015. Rink’s mother Stacia Rink plays the saxophone, and the family once toured in Europe with the Tacoma Concert Band.

Mikaela Rink won the Lovezzola Music Award this year with her audition for a panel in February. Currently a senior at Emerald Ridge High School, she’ll be attending Central Washington University next year with plans to major in music education and become a teacher like her father.

The young soloist says she finds music easier to memorize because she has perfect pitch and loves the sound of practicing in her kitchen when no one else is home to be bothered by the echoes. Even musical families, it seems, don’t always want a clarinet resonating throughout the house.​​​​

When asked what she would tell other young musicians, Rink echoes the words her father uses to encourage her. “Don’t worry about competing against others. Just work to improve your own better best.”

See Mikaela Rink play and Bob Rink conduct “Solo de Concours” by Messenger at 7:30 pm on Friday, May 19th at the First Christian Church, 623 9th Avenue S.W.

Admission is free.

Clarinetist and Her Dad

About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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