Betty Bley, Clarinet

Betty Bley is a Vandoren Regional Artist and performs with The Pro Arté Chamber Orchestra of Greater Washington, The Washington Sinfonietta, The Loudoun Symphony, and The Virginia Grand Military Band.  She maintains a large private studio and works throughout Northern Virginia as an adjudicator, clinician, master class instructor, clarinet sectional coach, and freelance musician.

Ms. Bley’s students are routinely selected as principal players in local youth orchestras, youth wind programs, All-District Bands, Senior Regional Orchestras, and the Virginia All-State Bands and Orchestras on all types of clarinet including Bb Soprano, Eb Soprano, Bass Clarinet, Contra Alto Clarinet and Contra Bass Clarinet. During the past two years, four of Ms. Bley’s students were selected as Bb Clarinetists in the NafME All-National Honor Band, three of her students were selected to participate in the Music For All Honor Band of America, eleven of her students were accepted to the Virginia All-State Bands and Orchestra, and one of her students was the Woodwind Division Winner in the nation-wide SmartMusic Bumblebee Competition. Two of her students were among six finalists in the 2016 Sidney Forrest Clarinet Competition at Catholic University, and one of them was awarded the top prize. In 2017, Ms. Bley’s students were selected as Principal Clarinet in both the Northern Virginia Senior Regional Orchestra and the North Central Virginia Senior Regional Orchestra.


Ms. Bley holds a MMA in Clarinet Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory, a MS in Management Information Systems from the George Washington University, a BA in Music and a BS in Psychology from the College of William & Mary, and attended the University of Michigan School of Music at Interlochen.  For the past three winter breaks, she has performed as a soloist at the Bruges Conservatory in Belgium, where she received a Clarinetissimo Talent Award for her “outstanding performances and high artistic level.”


Ms. Bley is the editor of clarinet music for the Virginia Band & Orchestra Directors Association, grading and maintaining a database of over 4,000 solo and ensemble works for clarinet.  For four weeks each summer, she teaches clarinet technique to 135 beginning through 9th grade students at the Vienna Band Camp.  


Ms. Bley’s teachers include Patti Carlson of the Virginia Symphony; Paul Cigan, Larry Bocaner and William Wright of the National Symphony Orchestra; Barbara Duman of Reston; Sidney Forrest of the Peabody Conservatory of Music; and Garrick Zoeter of Shenandoah Conservatory.