60 – Artist: Eugene Mondie of the National Symphony Orchestra

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In this episode of the podcast I am joined by the wonderful Eugene Mondie, who is the acting Principal Clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. He shares his thoughts on why you shouldn’t get “sentimental” about your gear, what kind of adjustments need to be made as a player if you want to use the double lip embouchure, advice on being an adaptable musician, mastering your auditions, and much more.

Discussion Topics

  • Why you shouldn’t get “sentimental” about equipment
  • How can one develop their own concept of equipment to choose?
  • High flow vs. low flow playing
  • Do you spend a lot of time adjusting reeds?
  • Which Vandoren reed to you prefer?
  • Playing with the double lip embouchure
  • The importance of being open minded
  • Do section players have to also play double lip if the principal does?
  • What’s it like playing principal in a high-calibre professional orchestra
  • Professional playing is not a hobby
  • The different kinds of “fun”
  • Building camaraderie in a section
  • Advice for auditioning
  • How to maintain momentum towards the “dream” gig after you land your first orchestral job
  • Advice for dealing with success and/or rejection at auditions
  • The importance of being adaptable
  • Most memorable musical moments
  • Working with some of the great teachers
  • Appreciating what people have done for you
  • Lightning round questions (Gold Members only)



Eugene Mondie is currently the assistant principal and E-flat clarinetist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Appointed by Leonard Slatkin in the spring of 2000, Mr. Mondie has also served as principal of the Spokane Symphony, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, and as acting principal of the Charleston Symphony.

As a member of the National Symphony he has given master classes throughout the United States on their annual residencies as well as here in the Washington, D.C., area. Internationally, he has taught master classes and taught privately as well at music festivals in Japan and Taiwan, Republic of China. In addition he teaches clarinet at the Catholic University of America.

He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College and his Master of Music from DePaul University. His primary teachers have been Donald Montanaro, Larry Combs, and Larry McDonald.

Photo Credit: Nathan Garfinkel

Bio Credit: https://backunmusical.com/blogs/artists/95532742-eugene-mondie









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