Memories of the brother he lost 34 years ago are drawing Maurice Adams back to York this weekend.
A professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Adams was born and raised in York. His parents founded Adams Jewelers, the shop his younger brother, George, took over after serving in Vietnam. George Adams died in 1979, his early death attributed to his exposure to Agent Orange during the war. George's son Joseph has carried the Springettsbury Township family business into the third generation.
George Adams "was the life of the family," Maurice Adams says. "Whenever he was around, everybody was laughing."
Maurice Adams will bring back the memories of those days with a clarinet recital Saturday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. An avid musician when he attended William Penn Senior High School, Adams played clarinet with the York Symphony Orchestra before his engineering career took him in a different direction.
"I picked (the clarinet) out of the closet in 2009 after not playing for 45 years," he says. "My kids moved out, and I lost my wife, and I opened the coat closet and there was my clarinet sitting there on the top shelf."
Practicing three hours a day, the now-73-year-old found the music coming back to him. A year after he started playing again, he gave a recital in memory of his wife.
"Now I play in ensembles with some people with the Cleveland Orchestra," he says. "I figure it's time to give a recital in my hometown."
He'll perform a series of clarinet duets as well as classical pieces and French music from the Romantic era with Melanie Blaser accompanying him on piano. The duets are particularly meaningful, as he'll be joined by Spring Garden Band members Charles Schuman and Lillian Hoffman, who went to high school with George Adams.
It's "challenging, beautiful, dramatic music," Maurice Adams says.
The music ought to strike just the right note for a "rascal" of a little brother who is still very much missed.
Clarinetist Maurice Adams will give an hourlong recital at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 25 W. Springettsbury Ave., York.
The performance will include Concertino, Opus 26, by Carl Maria von Weber; sections of "The Magic Flute" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Camille Saint-Saens; and "Csardas," a Hun´garian folk piece by Vittorio Monti.
Admission is free.
- Reach Mel Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org.