Thoughts on Teaching and Playing the Horn

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Upcoming Concert: New Works for Brass Trio (0)

On Sunday, April 13th, Black Bayou Brass will premiere six new works for brass trio. These pieces were submitted in response to a call for scores from the Mid-South Chapter of NACUSA (National Association of Composers/USA). According to its website, NACUSA is “devoted to the promotion and performance of American concert hall music,” and they are… Read More ›

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Upcoming Concert: New Works for Brass Trio (0)

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On Sunday, April 13th, Black Bayou Brass will premiere six new works for brass trio. These pieces were submitted in response to a call for scores from the Mid-South Chapter of NACUSA (National Association of Composers/USA). According to its website, NACUSA is “devoted to the promotion and performance of American concert hall music,” and they are… Read More ›

Area Horn News »

Upcoming Horn Quartet Performances (2)

I have several performances coming up over the next week or so, including an orchestral concert (Britten, Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, Korngold, Violin Concerto, Grieg, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1) a performance with brass quintet and choir,  and two concerts with a horn quartet. The quartet concerts are of particular interest because of the repertoire…. Read More ›

Biographical »

Hiatus (6)

My wife and I recently welcomed our first child into the world, so I’ll be taking a hiatus from posting new content for the next month or so. The Job Postings page will continue to be updated on a monthly basis, and I plan to resume regular posting by the end of the summer. For… Read More ›

Chamber Music »

Sunday Review: New York Brass Arts Trio, Feats of Brass (1)

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This week’s review will take a closer look at Feats of Brass, a fantastic new recording on Arabesque Records by the New York Brass Arts Trio. The ensemble is composed of three world class musicians, David Jolley (horn), Joseph Burgstaller (trumpet), and Haim Avitsur (trombone). The performers themselves don’t really need any introduction, so this review… Read More ›

Embouchure »

Video: Lip Trill and Range Development Exercise by Douglas Hill (0)

Here’s a short video demonstration of a great exercise for working on lip trills and range development. The exercise can be found in two publications by Douglas Hill, Warm-ups and Maintenance Sessions for the Horn Player, and High Range for the Horn Player. Both books are highly recommended, and I have used them regularly for… Read More ›

Ensembles »

Monroe Symphony Orchestra: John Williams Spectacular (1)

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This weekend the Monroe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will present an all John Williams concert, featuring music from some of his most well-known film scores. You can see some of the titles in the image at right, and here’s a complete list. Superman March Call of the Champions E.T.: Adventures on Earth Jaws Harry Potter… Read More ›

Equipment »

Mouthpiece Survey Results (2)

InnerDiameter

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and find yourselves refreshed and ready to tackle another year! I’ll be posting my usual semester preview next week, but as promised, here are the results from the Mouthpiece Survey. Before getting to the results here are a few points to keep in mind. Creating this… Read More ›

Etudes »

Kopprasch Project “The Final Five” No. 59 (0)

We are approaching the end of our Kopprasch journey – for now, at least. Number 59 is a melodic study (with variation) which emphasizes the middle and upper register. Try to execute the turns as gracefully (and accurately) as possible, without sounding rushed. Although no articulation markings are indicated, the dolce marking at the beginning… Read More ›

Film Scores »

Friday Review: Video Games Live Concert (7)

Video Games Live

Last weekend I performed with the South Arkansas Symphony for a program called Video Games Live. The show has been around for nearly 10 years, and has toured internationally. All of the music for the show is taken from current and past video games, and includes live and pre-recorded video footage, light effects, and other… Read More ›

General Information »

Thoughts on David Zerkel’s “Some Suggestions on Being an Effective Music Student” (1)

Recently David Zerkel, Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Georgia, posted a great Facebook note titled “Some Suggestions on Being an Effective Music Student, 2012 Edition.” The note quickly went viral, at least amongst music teachers, and can be easily found on Facebook. In addition, Kyle Hayes has reposted the note… Read More ›

Health »

Musician, Heal Thyself: Canker Sores (9)

Canker sores: these minor annoyances can become an issue for brass players, and over the years I’ve dealt with my fair share of them.  First, the disclaimer: I am not a physician, and the following material is based purely on my own experience.  It is not meant to be medical advice – when in doubt… Read More ›

Historical »

More Information on John Barrows (0)

Dave Stoller in Colorado recently posted some wonderful reminiscences about his former teacher John Barrows on my earlier article  “What Alec Wilder Thought of John Barrows.” With Dave’s permission I am re-posting them here because they will probably be of interest to lots of readers. Thanks again to Dave for sharing these! At the end… Read More ›

Instruments »

A New Toy (4)

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Near the end of last semester I purchased a new toy — a natural horn. It’s a great little instrument, and perfect for my needs, which mainly involve demonstrations for students and general noodling around. The horn was created by removing the valve section from an old York single F horn, and the work was… Read More ›

Opera »

IHS 45 Report (5)

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I returned yesterday from the 45th International Horn Symposium, hosted by Professor Dan Phillips at the University of Memphis.  First, hearty congratulations and a huge thank you to Professor Phillips and his students for putting on a fantastic symposium this year! Though there are similarities among all events of this type, each has its own… Read More ›

Orchestral Playing »

Have Horn, Will Travel: An Interview with Lauren Robinson, Part 2 (2)

This Part 2 of a 2-part interview with Lauren Robinson, a professional horn player living and working in Denmark. Read Part 1 here. You’ve been active in music education as well, working as a teaching artist for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s School Partnership Program. Can you talk a little bit about this program and your experiences… Read More ›

Performing »

Notes from a Master Class on Performance Anxiety (0)

To close out this week’s series of master class notes (read Part 1 and Part 2), here are my notes from a talk given by David Sternbach, Research Director of the Center for Arts and Wellness at George Mason University. A former horn player himself, Mr. Sternbach visited a studio class during my time at… Read More ›

Philosphical »

Friday Review: Blow Your OWN Horn! by Fergus McWilliam (7)

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For this week’s review we’ll take a closer look at Blow Your OWN Horn!, by Fergus McWilliam. Mr. McWilliam is probably best known for his work with the Berlin Philharmonic, where he has been a member of their famed horn section since 1985. In addition, he is an internationally recognized clinician and teacher. Subtitled as “horn heresies”… Read More ›

Physical Issues »

Thoughts on Lip Balms: Comment on Horn Matters Article (4)

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Over at Horn Matters, John Ericson is wrapping up a great 14-week online course on horn pedagogy, and one of this week’s topics is lip care and lip balm. Dr. Ericson has invited comments on this issue, but rather than take up too much space on his site I thought it would be best to… Read More ›

Practicing »

Wednesday Review: Horn Fundamentals, by Bruno Schneider (0)

Most horn players today are fortunate to have a wide variety of quality practice materials available to them. Using the internet, one can readily find dozens of great methods, etudes, and other exercises to purchase (for a list of some of them, see this article). One recent addition to these materials is Bruno Schneider‘s Horn… Read More ›

Random »

Students: Looking for Something to Do this Summer? (1)

We heard some great brass juries today – bravo to all the students on their hard work!  I’m planning to post a bit more about juries on Wednesday, but for today here’s a list of some projects for horn students (and other brass players) to consider over the summer break. Summer is a great time… Read More ›

Recordings »

Koetsier CD: Reviews and Press Quotes (5)

I’ve been fortunate to receive some very nice reviews and press quotes about my new solo recording, Jan Koetsier: Music for Horn. There are so many new and excellent recordings out there that it is easy to get lost amongst them, and I am grateful to my colleagues for taking the time and effort to… Read More ›

Reference »

Public Service Announcement: Private Lesson Scams (0)

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Every semester I receive at least a few phishing emails – scams masquerading as legitimate requests to set up private lessons. Although the details of each email scam vary a bit, they all go something like this: Re: Private lessons for my daughter Hi, I want some private lessons for my daughter,Mary. Mary is a… Read More ›

Repair »

Horn DIY: Changing Mute Corks (5)

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Here’s another entry in the “Horn DIY” series, changing mute corks.  My go-to straight mute is Ion Balu’s “Red Mahogany” model.  Over time the corks that came with the mute have worn and even started to break apart in a few places (see below). If you look closely at the top of the corks you… Read More ›

Repertoire »

Kickstarter Horn Solos Project (0)

Several months ago I contributed to a fundraising project on Kickstarter created by Jay Anderson, a software engineer and horn player. Anderson’s goal was to create clean, accurate type settings of several dozen public domain works for horn. For more information about his project, follow this link. In short, the project was fully funded, and… Read More ›

Reviews »

Friday Review: Operatic Horn-Arrangements for Horn Ensemble (0)

Kicking off the Friday review series for 2014 is Operatic Horn, a wonderful resource for horn ensemble arrangements (logo at left linked from the Operatic Horn website). The arrangements are by Davide Fanchin, hornist in the Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatàn. In a relatively short amount of time, Davide has put together an impressive collection of arrangements… Read More ›

Solos »

60 Years of Strauss 1 Recordings! (8)

**See the end of this post for supplementary information. This is a project I have wanted to put together for some time, and have been slowly plugging away at it over the last few weeks. Inspired by this video of the opening chords of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, I thought it would be fun to… Read More ›

Teaching »

Should I Warm Up on the F or B-flat Side of the Horn? (0)

This is a question  I have seen come up in online forums several times, and it is inevitably followed by a debate about which side of the horn is best to use in a warm-up (or in general). Here’s a quick recap of the major benefits to using each side. There are certainly more good… Read More ›

Technique »

Developing Rhythm (0)

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Kyle Hayes, editor of the International Horn Society’s Horn Zone and a graduate student in Switzerland, recently wrote in with the following question. Have you written anything on your blog with advice/aids in developing rock-solid timing?…Timing as in accuracy in rhythm, subdivision, and the like. Basically seeing the music and having the subdivision just happen… Read More ›

Technology »

Recording Project Update: First Edits and Beyond (3)

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Here’s another brief update on my Koetsier recording project (read the previous one here). As of my last update I was still working on liner notes and waiting to dig in to some first edits of the pieces. I’m happy to report that I’ve completed the liner notes, coming in at 1954 words (2000 words… Read More ›

Uncategorized »

High School Recruiting Trip FAQ (0)

As part of a busy month of performances, the members of Black Bayou Brass (resident faculty brass trio at ULM) presented a series of concerts at several high schools in southern Louisiana. The concerts went well, and our audiences were very eager and attentive. There are some strong instrumental music programs in that part of… Read More ›

Warm-ups and Routines »

Long Tones: A Love/Hate Relationship (2)

This semester I added long tones back into my practice routine, and I’ve noticed some positive results over the past several weeks. To clarify, I normally play long tones in my warm-up routine, but it’s been a few years since I did any additional long tone work during the day. In graduate school I practiced… Read More ›

Websites and Blogs »

Funding Sources for Horn Players (2)

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If you have a project in mind – either big or small – chances are that it requires (or would be improved by) some type of funding. Arts funding is incredibly competitive, but there are ways of putting together money to pursue research and/or creative projects. Here are a few resources and ideas to get… Read More ›

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