Written and Illustrated by Vanessa L. Vache
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I am a music teacher and clarinetist in the Orlando area. I have written and illustrated a book about a fantastic experience I had in Czechoslovakia right after the fall of Communism. After finishing the book I developed a concert based on the book. Instead of doing author book readings I am proposing to do book concerts. A reader or narrator will be need since I am playing the clarinet. You may listen to a couple of informal video clips of our first concert.


When little Vanessa started playing the clarinet the only thing on her mind was making a sound. Little did she know that Clara, the Clarinet, would give her more than the gift of music.

After the squeaks, squawks and years of diligent practice a beautiful friendship formed. Clara would take Vanessa on exciting and amazing journeys.

After joining the Air Force bands and moving to Europe, Vanessa and Clara lived a fast-paced life of traveling from country to country, concert to ceremony, military base to opera hall.

Follow Clara, Vanessa and the Air Force Band as they step off across Eastern Europe right after the fall of communism, into a mysterious and once forbidden land. Their passage to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia marked a turning point in the lives of the band as they were welcomed as heroes.

Why were the people of Pilsen so thankful? Why did they love Americans so much? Join Clara and Vanessa as they experience more than the joy of playing an instrument or the fun of being in band.

Some of the things children will learn from this book: instrument identification, how musical genres relate to cultural situations, to understand audience conventions, how arts reflect culture, historical thinking, cultural character, civic involvement, international relationships, to identify national activities and to understand the significance of national celebrations, to understand the role of musicians. Most importantly see how Clara and Vanessa experienced the joy of music.