Testimonials and Press

"Maria Wagner and I have worked together on a number of occasions. Not only has she performed my music (beautifully), but she's collaborated with me in performance as well -- she as clarinetist and I as pianist. This gives me a dual perspective with which to address her skills and talents. Maria has great technical facility, and is extremely musical and sensitive in her interpretations. She's also quite versatile: very comfortable with a great range of musical styles, and able to switch from clarinet to bass clarinet easily. In addition, she's a delightful colleague -- a very quick learner, thorough in her preparations, and supportive of fellow performers. I hope to compose more works for her in the future." -Elliott Schwartz, Composer

"Maria Wagner and I have worked together in several contexts, and her excellent musicianship and caring personality have been present in each situation. As a performer, her playing is vibrant and expressive, and shows her meticulous attention to detail. She generously contributed to my graduate degree recital, where we collaborated on Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. We’ve had other opportunities to perform together and I’ve enjoyed each occasion. Maria is easy to communicate with and her playing is consistent whether in rehearsal or performance. As a teacher, Maria expects excellence but elicits it with kindness. I’ve served as the accompanist for Maria’s spring studio recital, and watched her prepare her students for performance. She communicates goals clearly and offers tools and practice strategies to accomplish those goals." -Elizabeth Hasbrouck, Pianist

"Thank you so much for two great years of study together. I really enjoyed being your student and also you friend, learning and laughing with you. You taught me so much about being a musician, a clarinetist, and a good person - you've really changed my outlook, and I feel I am more in touch with myself and my abilities after being your student. Thanks for being flexible, for talking me through panic attacks and for working so hard to get me ready for auditions. I am so exted for school next year and the challenges that await me. "- Laura, Student

"I wouldn’t be the musician I am today had I not began studying with Maria. Her instruction is clear, helpful, and purposeful. She encourages independence in me as a musician, however I always feel prepared for any performance. Maria’s passion for music and seeing improvement in her students shines through in every lesson." -Jenna, Student

"As a parent, you want to do what’s best for your child. When my daughter realized that music was becoming a passion of hers, she started looking at ways to improve. Maria came into our lives. She has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my daughter. Maria has taken her from a novice clarinet player to a talented musician. My daughter's accolades now include District Musician, All-State Musician and All-Nationals Musician. She has participated in the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble and the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra for the past three years. My daughter is now on her way to pursuing music as a career. Maria has been instrumental in it all. Maria’s passion for music is contagious and her care in cultivating it in unequaled." -Christine, Parent

"At our recent Chorale retreat, Maria spent an hour with each vocal section.  Her exercises, explanations, suggestions and observations were immensely helpful in opening up our breathing, body awareness, and concentration, to degrees that no other vocal warm-ups had ever achieved.  I felt expanded both in being able to produce and control my own sound and in being more sensitively engaged with my fellow singers.  A combination of deep calm and deep excitement." -Katy, Oratorio Chorale

"Maria brings to the passionate musician gentle ways in which to create beautiful music while enjoying the process.  She emphasizes the essential nature of good posture, of focusing on breathing and using it to relax but also focus, and of whole body involvement in this process. I found our time to be a time of peace and centering, of being in the moment." -Sue, Oratorio Chorale 

Press

Zapion presents Sufi, Turkish, and classical Arabic styles

Portland Press Herald; November 3, 2016

 

"Listeners with ears attuned to Western conventions are bound to find an elegant simplicity in the music Zapion champions."  Read more

The Jar Project presents Seven Jarring Dances for Clarinet(s) and Steel-String Guitar

Performing Arts of New England; March 5, 2011

 

"Saturday’s performance by Sonenberg on guitar and recent USM School of Music graduate Maria Wagner on clarinets, brought a delightfully auditory element to a colorful, structured show.

The third movement, “Boldly, Bluesy,” required Wagner to pick up the bass clarinet. The deep richness of the instrument filled all the corners of the room, and the fragility of the higher register had a lovely and surprising timbre when mixed in unison with the steel guitar." Read more

 

 

Contemporary program an exhilirating sonic thrill ride

Portland Press Herald; March 11, 2010

 

"Sunday night's concert at Woodfords Congregational Church, produced by the Portland Conservatory of Music, was the very model of what music-making should be -- entertaining, beautifully played, intellectually stimulating and sometimes moving. The oldest work on the program was composed in 1933, and most only yesterday.

 

The evening started out very well, with ''Six Small Pieces for Clarinet and Piano,'' by Dan Sonenberg, who teaches composition at the University of Southern Maine. The virtuoso miniatures, often highly descriptive, such as ''Bluebird-Lilke,''  and ''Primate Behavior,'' were brilliantly performed by Martin Perry, piano, and Maria Wagner, clarinet."