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Rob Breen


Rob loves sharing his lifelong experience as a working musician with students of any age. He meets the students where they are on their musical journey and guides them toward their goals with a focus on the fundamentals of sound production, technical facility and musical expression.


Here’s how it all started:


Rob grew up in Hartford and began playing clarinet in the 4th grade. After the initial thrill of getting a new toy, he was distracted by new sounds on the radio coming from a quartet of Englishmen calling themselves “The Beatles”. They played electric guitars, not clarinets. He didn’t give much more thought to the clarinet until he was halfway through high school and it dawned on him that the only subject he cared enough about to pursue at the college level was music and music majors had to be highly capable music players.

In the 1970’s, Rob studied clarinet with Nick Lesbines and Ken Lagace of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and Pasquale Cardillo of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. More recently he has studied with Tom Labadorf of the U.S. Coast Guard Band, and Curt Blood of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. In spring of 2020, Rob graduated from the Renton College Band Instrument Repair Technology Program.


Shortly after Rob earned his Bachelor of Music Degree from Boston University in 1977, he began a long career as a military musician. From 1979 to 1981 he served on active duty as a clarinet player with the First U.S. Army Band at Ft. Meade, MD. After returning home, he continued that service with the 102d Army Band of the Connecticut National Guard.


During more than three decades as both a musical and military leader with the 102d Rob continued to improve and expand upon his musical skills to include saxophone, flute and guitar. In the civilian world, he put those skills to use in countless musical theater pit orchestras across the state, concert bands sponsored by the American Federation of Musicians, and both community and professional symphony orchestras. He also served as a clarinet adjudicator for the Connecticut Music Educators Association’s regional and all-state music festivals for more than 20 years. Since 2006, Rob has been the principal clarinetist of the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra. In 2015, he retired from the 102d as First Sergeant with 36 years of military service.

"Life is good. It’s better with music."

Rob Breen: Meet the Team
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