Kayla Stone is a clarinetist and educator with a particular interest in the development of music through the years. Much of her career has been built around establishing a culture of “inclusive performance” – music that connects to a wide audience, is available to all, and bridges the gap between the institutions of classical music and the world at large. Kayla’s interest in inclusivity in music also ties into where she performs, often outside of traditional performance space -– nursing homes, parks, and schools, to name a few. Through performance, Kayla seeks to better connect community and music. She is a passionate supporter of chamber music written by living composers, with a focus in bringing someone else’s artistic intent to life for an audience. Her work in this field includes the premieres of new works in chamber music and small ensembles, including wind quintets, reed quintets, clarinet quartets and octets, trios in various settings, pierrot ensemble with percussion, and a performance for the Living Music Initiative at the International ClarinetFest in 2019. Kayla has played with the Rubato Clarinet Quartet since 2018, and the Furman Woodwind Quintet since 2021.
While her love for the development and showcasing of new music is a major aspect of her life as a performer, Kayla also has a love and excitement for traditional repertoire. She explores the distinction between the well-established practices of composers like Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven; and the complete reconstruction, or even abandonment, of those customs in contemporary music. She attended the Aria Music Academy in 2021, and, following the Furman University Concerto Competition, had the honor of performing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Furman Symphony Orchestra.
Kayla also has built a career around music pedagogy. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, and student taught in the Anderson 4 school district in Pendleton, South Carolina in 2022. She has conducted and led bands from sixth to twelfth grade in competition and concerts, including a Concert Performance Assessment with the Riverside Middle School band, receiving a Superior with Distinction. Kayla has taught clarinet lessons from students ages 13 through late adulthood. In addition, she has received her teaching certificate from Department of Education in South Carolina.
Kayla is a Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar and served as Furman Bands President from 2021-2022. Notable awards include the Vince Perone Outstanding Bandsmen Award, Furman University; and the Keith Lockhart Award, Furman University. Having recently graduated from Furman University with a B.M. in Music Education, Kayla is currently studying at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University for a Master’s degree in Clarinet Performance. Her principal teachers include Alexander Fiterstein, Anastasia Christofakis, and Cecelia Kang.