This is the first of several brief updates regarding the 48th International Horn Symposium at Ithaca College. After several short connecting flights, I arrived in Ithaca yesterday afternoon. As mentioned in this post, I am staying with some relatives here in Ithaca, who picked me up from the airport – thanks Josephine and Shawn! This morning marked the first official day of the symposium, and things got off to a very good start.
I arrived on the picturesque Ithaca College campus in the morning, and found the symposium registration process to be very straightforward and well run. The majority of the events at IHS 48 are divided between two buildings, the Whalen Center for Music (performances, lectures, competitions) and the Campus Center (exhibits). They are located a short walk from each other, making the navigation process very simple. After lunch, the symposium opening ceremony began at 1:00 p.m. Members of the IHS Advisory Council performed the World Premiere of a new work by Dana Wilson, a member of the Ithaca College faculty who has several well known compositions for horn. The performance was followed by remarks from Karl Paulnack, Dean of the Ithaca College School of Music, Alex Shuhan, Symposium Host, and Jeff Nelsen, IHS President. Their remarks were at times funny, but also poignant, given the recent tragedy in Orlando, Florida. All three speakers emphasized the importance of music and the connections it forges between people, fitting words to begin IHS 48! The opening ceremony wrapped up with two more performances: “On the Departure of Beloved Friends,” by Michael Patrick Coyle, a neo-Romantic work written in memory of Larry Jonas, friend and classmate of the composer (Conductor Nancy Joy also dedicated this particular performance to several members and friends of the Horn Society who had passed since the last symposium) and a lively rendition of Vittorio Monti’s Czardas, arranged by Tony Rickard for two solo horns (Jeff Nelsen and Peter Luff) with horn ensemble accompaniment (IHS Advisory Council).
After the concert I spent a few minutes checking out the exhibits. I didn’t get to see everything, but my first impressions were very good. The layout of the rooms seems adequate, and the exhibit rooms are pretty easy to find. I’ll write a more detailed update later this week once I’ve spent some time seeing all of the exhibit rooms. The rest of the afternoon was spent rehearsing for our performance tomorrow, and having dinner with my relatives. Since I’ll be here for the entire symposium, I’m making a conscious effort to pace myself.