Recital Videos: Lyrical Works for Clarinet, Horn, and Piano

Here are some videos from a recital a few months ago, “Lyrical Works for Clarinet, Horn, and Piano” on October 13 on the ULM campus. Presented as part of our local orchestra’s chamber music series, this was a fun concert to program and put together with my colleagues Scot Humes on clarinet and Richard Seiler on piano.

Carl Reinecke, Trio in B flat-major Op. 274 for Clarinet, Horn, and Piano
Gina Gillie, Three Paintings for Clarinet, Horn, and Piano *World Premiere
George Rochberg, Trio for B-flat Clarinet, F Horn, and Piano

The only work I’d performed before was the Rochberg, way back in 2006 on a doctoral recital at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Of particular interest is the world premiere of Gina Gillie’s trio, a work we commissioned. If you don’t know any of Gina’s music I highly recommend you check it out! Program notes for these works are included after each video. I hope you enjoy listening, and best wishes for peaceful conclusion to 2022 and a prosperous beginning to 2023!

Trio in B flat-major Op. 274 for Clarinet, Horn, and Piano, Carl Reinecke (1824-1910)
German composer, pianist, conductor, and music teacher Carl Reinecke directed the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, taught at the Leipzig Conservatory, and composed prolifically in a variety of genres. Edvard Grieg, Leoš Janáček, Isaac Albéniz, and Max Bruch were among his many successful students. Reinecke began his musical training on the violin, but soon turned his attention to the piano, and embarked on numerous concert tours across Europe. He held positions in Cologne and Copenhagen before settling in Leipzig in 1860 for the remainder of his career. Regarded as an extremely versatile and influential musician, Reinecke composed numerous operas, symphonies, concertos, and chamber works, including the charming Trio, Op. 274, which dates from around 1905. Having retired from his teaching position at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1902, Reinecke devoted his final years to composition. This four-movement work draws upon Reinecke’s lifetime of musical experiences, and is reminiscent of Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Schumann, all of whom he knew personally.

Three Paintings for Clarinet, Horn, and Piano, Gina Gillie (b. 1981) Commissioned in 2021 by James Boldin, Scot Humes, and Richard Seiler

This three-movement work is a programmatic piece that, while it is not based on any specific paintings, is meant to evoke images of what could be a classic painting in the mind of the listener. Each movement is set in a particularly distinct regional setting, the locations of which were chosen for stylistic contrast. The first movement, “Highland Castle,” sets the scene of an old Scottish castle standing stoically amongst a grey landscape. The castle is no longer occupied, but observers can imagine the revelry and energetic Celtic music that might have once animated the scene. The horn begins by playing into a piano with a depressed damper pedal, thus causing sympathetic vibrations to sound like an echo that can be heard across the landscape. The melody is set in the Dorian mode, a common tonality for Celtic folk tunes. While the melody is original, it is meant to sound like it could be an old tune from centuries ago. Recollections of festivities past are conjured as the tempo picks up into a dance with a lopsided meter (6+4/8).“Lavender Fields” evokes images of pastoral fields in France where the purple flowers stretch down puffy rows and the pace of life feels slower. Set in the style of French impressionist music, and specifically influenced by Fernande Decruck, this movement encourages the listener to bask in the wash of lovely sound and lush harmonies.“Conneaut Rag” is influenced by a very American style of music from the early 1900s –Ragtime. The movement was written while the composer was visiting her in-laws in Conneaut, Ohio. The feeling of Mid-western Americana inspired the style of this movement. Again, the melody is original, but it draws on the rich history of the tradition of ragtime in order to give the listener a sense that it could possibly be from a bygone era.

Trio for B-flat Clarinet, F Horn, and Piano George Rochberg (1918-2005)

After serving as Director of Publications for the Theodore Presser Company, American-born composer George Rochberg taught at the Curtis Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. He also held appointments as a guest composer at numerous universities and contemporary music festivals throughout the United States. His works for stage, orchestra, chamber ensemble, voice, and solo instruments earned him two Guggenheim fellowships, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and several commissions from major American symphony orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. A well-known author on contemporary music, Rochberg’s writings were published in 1984 as The Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer’s View of Twentieth-Century Music. Initially a serialist composer, Rochberg rejected serialism in favor of a combination of chromatic and tonal elements after the death of his son. His Trio, originally published in 1948 and revised in 1980, is largely tonal and makes use of traditional sonata form elements in the first and third movements. The first movement begins with an extended horn cadenza, and presents all of the thematic material for the movement. A lively allegro follows this opening, with cadenzas for both piano and clarinet coming at various points in the movement. A slower second movement explores the color potentials of the horn, clarinet, and piano combination, gradually growing in intensity and tempo. Short cadenzas again feature each of the instruments, and the movement closes in much the same way as it began. The finale opens with alternating adagio and allegro sections, but eventually settles into a jaunty triple meter dance. As in the first movement, Rochberg demonstrates his skill at manipulating motivic material, treating motives in inversion and fugally. After reaching an almost unbearable level of tension, the Trio drives to its conclusion in a suddenly faster coda.

Behind the Scenes at The Horn Call: Frequently Asked Questions

This blog isn’t dead, just taking an extended hiatus! Since taking over as Publications Editor for the International Horn Society in the summer of 2020, my contributions on this site have been reduced considerably. However, the following material, given as a joint presentation with Marilyn Bone Kloss at the 54th International Horn Symposium, seemed like it might be of interest to readers of this blog, if there are any left! The impetus for this presentation came from learning just how much “behind the scenes” work takes place to produce a journal like The Horn Call. Though I had been a frequent contributor for several years, I had no idea how many moving parts go into each issue. If you’re working on something for the journal, or have ever thought about writing an article for The Horn Call, I hope the following FAQ is helpful to you.

Why should I write for The Horn Call?

Though not a peer-reviewed journal, The Horn Call is respected and enjoys an international following. Articles are painstakingly edited and proofread multiple times. Your article benefits the IHS by adding to our collective knowledge, and benefits you by getting ideas into public discourse and raising your profile. Your article may also inspire others to carry on further research and write their own articles, continuing the cycle.

When are submission deadlines?

August 1 for the October issue, December 1 for the February issue, and March 1 for the May issue, although we do accept submissions on a rolling basis.

Why didn’t my article get printed in the upcoming issue? I submitted it on time!

We are fortunate to have a queue of previously submitted articles, which we are working through as quickly as possible. Each issue has a page limit: October and May are 108 pages, and February is 96 pages (because of the extra weight of the Advisory Council Election Ballot Card). If we go over these limits, the printing and mailing costs grow exorbitantly. In the case of articles which are timely, we make every effort to get those out in the next issue, given our space constraints.

Do authors receive compensation? What about complimentary copies?

Our contributors are not compensated, but we will promote your published article via social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and other outlets such as The Horn Call Podcast. IHS members already receive access to the full color PDF and EPUB versions of each issue, and if you are not an IHS member, we will provide you with a digital copy. Extra printed copies are in short supply, but can be purchased using the back issues order form:

What topics are suitable for publication in The Horn Call?

Our philosophy is that The Horn Call’s content should reflect the interests of IHS members. We welcome submissions from horn players of all backgrounds! Topics could include history, pedagogy, equipment, repertoire, acoustics, recording, technology, health/wellness, race, gender, entrepreneurship, and music business, but this list is not exhaustive. If you have a unique perspective on a horn-related topic but aren’t sure how to frame it, contact us at or

Can I write an article for one of the recurring columns?

Submissions for columns are generally handled by our column editors. Current columns with their editors are as follows:
Student Corner, Lauren Antoniolli
Creative Hornist/Technique Tips, James Naigus and Drew Phillips
Military Matters, Erika Loke
Cor Values, Ellie Jenkins
Teacher Talk, Michelle Stebleton
Horn Tunes, Drew Phillips

If you have an idea for an article that fits with any of the above, please contact the appropriate column editors!

How should I format my article?

You don’t need to! We will take care of that in the editorial process before publication. If you have figures, images, or tables, please include those as separate files, and indicate approximately where they should appear in the text of your article. We prefer endnotes instead of footnotes, and we loosely follow the Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebooks. We accept MS Word, Apple Pages, and most other word processing files. Images should be at least 300DPI and can be in any file format. We currently use Adobe InDesign for layout, and generate B&W or color PDFs as necessary for printing and digital distribution.

Is there a preferred writing style?

No need to write in an overly academic style unless it comes naturally to you. We prefer clear, direct language.

Why is the print version of the journal not in full color?

Cost, in a word. The PDF and EPUB files are in full color, and we have plans to include even more images in future issues.

Does my article have to be in English?

No! We highly encourage submissions in all languages, and are committed to finding translators for this content so that it can be made available to as many readers as possible.

Where can I find more information?

Visit, or contact us at
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Recent Performance Videos

It’s been a busy semester here in Louisiana, but things are starting to wind down. Final exams and juries remain, as well as a few holiday gigs for which I am very grateful! Best wishes to all of my colleagues as they finish up their teaching and performance obligations for this year.

In lieu of a full update from the past semester, here are some recent performance videos. The first two selections were originally submitted for the 53rd International Horn Symposium, which was 100% online. IHS 53 content is no longer available, so if you didn’t get a chance to hear these videos as part of the symposium you may find them interesting. They are both recent works by living American composers, Douglas Hill and Roger Parks Jones. Program notes for each work can be found in the video descriptions.

Haiku Readings for Solo Horn, by Douglas Hill (music available through the IHS Online Music Sales Library)

Sketchbook for Horn and Piano, by Roger Parks Jones

The next set is from a recent guest recital at the University of Oklahoma (Dr. Matthew Reynolds). This performance was the last in a brief recital tour that also took me to Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR (Dr. Heather Thayer), the University of North Texas in Denton, TX (Dr. Stacie Mickens), and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference at Texas Woman’s University (also in Denton, TX). Huge THANK YOUS! to my kind and generous hosts! It was a fun and diverse program of music for unaccompanied horn and horn with various kinds of electronic accompaniment. If any of these works interest you I encourage you to buy the music and perform them yourself! Program information is in each video’s description.

Visions for Horn and Fixed Media, by James Naigus

Quiet Tears” for Solo Horn, by Douglas Hill

The Confessions of St. Augustine for Solo Horn, by Erika Raum

Gone to the Other Shore for Wagner tuba and electronics, by Nick Norton

Forces of Nature for Horn and CD with Optional Electric Horn, by Nicholas Fife

Summer Update, Equipment, etc.

It’s past time for an update on this blog, and I apologize to my readers (if any are left!) that it’s been so long since my last post. While things have gone well the past several months, I – like everyone else – am looking forward to returning to “normal” as soon as is safely possible. The mood in my state and region is more positive now than it’s been in a long time, which is of course encouraging.

Equipment – A New Horn!

While I’ve played on Geyer/Knopf-style horns for the majority of my career, I appreciate many (though not all) of the qualities of large-bell, i.e. Kruspe-style, horns. I recently got the chance to try one of Yamaha’s Kruspe horns, the YHR 668II, and have been enjoying it a lot! It blows differently than my YHR 671, but there are some interesting similarities as well. Ergonomically the two instruments feel similar in my left hand, despite the design differences. The 668II takes a bit more air, but I am able get some brassiness in the sound when desired. If you compare images of the Yamaha 668II and the Conn 8D, you’ll notice the similarity of design. It’s not just been years, but decades since I last played an 8D, so I can’t really compare it with the Yamaha. Here’s a very brief audio sample from a recording I made for IHS 53. The excerpt is from Roger Jones’s Sketchbook for Horn and Piano.

Excerpt from Sketchbook for Horn and Piano, by Roger Jones

While I’m still adapting to this instrument, I’m having a great time doing it. One thing I discovered early on is that the 668II responds better to a mouthpiece with a slightly larger bore. In my case I switched from the Houser San Francisco model I was using on the 671 (#14 bore) to the Houser Standley GS12 model (#12 bore), keeping the same rim (Houser E model, 17.5mm). The Standley cup is slightly different than the San Francisco, so that may have impacted the results as well. The Standley model is not new for me, as I played on one for several years before making the move to the San Francisco. I won’t be selling my Geyer-style horn any time soon, but for the time being I plan to keep playing the big-bell horn regularly. If you’re in the market for a large-bell horn, the Yamaha 668II is worth a look.


This month marks my first year as Publications Editor for the International Horn Society. It continues to be an honor and privilege to serve the IHS in this position, especially following Bill Scharnberg’s 17-year tenure! I’m excited about the variety and number of articles that have been and continue to be submitted. Be sure to check out the May issue of The Horn Call if you have not done so already. On a related note, episodes of The Horn Call Podcast are available at, and can also be found on Apple Podcasts and other major podcast outlets. As of this post, 13 episodes have been published (10 regular and 3 “bonus” episodes), with a total of 2,380 downloads. Given the niche market for this podcast, I think this is a respectable number. Guests so far have included: Andrew Pelletier, Ricardo Matosinhos, Gina Gillie, Margaret Tung, Jena Gardner, David Krehbiel, Frøydis Ree Wekre, John Ericson, Jonas Thoms, Albert Houde, Jeffrey Agrell, James Naigus, Drew Phillips, and Katy Ambrose. If you enjoy the podcast medium I hope you’ll subscribe to The Horn Call podcast. It is my hope it will serve as a bridge between IHS membership, content creators, and IHS leadership. It has been a pleasure speaking with each and every guest!

Summer Projects

In terms of teaching and performing obligations, this summer will be very light for me, but I have several other projects in the works. One is a book project for Mountain Peak Music, and another is a commissioning project. More details on both in future posts, I promise! Up next week is a woodwind quintet performance for the 5th annual New Music on the Bayou Summer Festival. If you are a fan of new music, be sure to check out the live-streams of these concerts. I’ve also submitted three pre-recorded videos for IHS 53: a solo performance – which includes the world premieres of works by Douglas Hill and Roger Jones – a ULM Horn Ensemble performance, and a presentation on burnout. The burnout presentation was originally scheduled for IHS 52 (which was cancelled), but it seemed just as appropriate this year! All three will be available to those who register for the symposium, which is scheduled for August 9-13, 2021.

I hope everyone has a lovely summer with plenty of rest and relaxation!

Quarantine Blues?

Here’s a slightly edited version of a recent email I sent to my students. Perhaps it may be of use to you and/or your students.

If you are currently quarantining because of a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure, here are some things you can do to help fill the time.

Be sure to follow all directives from your health-care provider, before doing any of the following.

Assuming you are feeling well enough

Self-Care/Well Being

  • Take a 15-minute walk outside every day, making sure you observe all health and safety protocols.
  • Read a book.
  • Sit outside and read a book/take a short nap.
  • Call/Zoom/Skype/Facetime an old friend or family member.
  • Binge watch a new series.
  • Play an online game with friends.
  • Meditate/Do Breathing Exercises (Try Insight Timer)

Music/Horn-Related: Pick ONE thing to start, and go from there. It’s not about accomplishing lots of things. Do only what you CAN do, and forget about the things you can’t.

  • Rethink/revise your daily routine. Caruso studies, transposition, scales, long tones, etc. Dig in and find something you like to practice, even if you watch TV or something else while doing it.
  • Work on your ear training/theory knowledge (Download Perfect Ear)
  • Record a virtual duet with a friend/colleague. Use an app or figure out how to sync up the videos yourself using free software like iMovie or DaVinci Resolve.
  • Listen to this Horn Solo playlist on YouTube. Then create your own! In addition to the standard works, try to find pieces by under-represented composers. Find the music and buy it!

Above all, take care of yourself and seek help if you feel overwhelmed.

Fall 2020 Semester News

As our fall semester is nearly at the halfway point, I won’t even bother calling this post a semester “Preview.” Rather, here’s a brief update on some recent activities.

Fall Classes/Lessons

Like many places, my university is operating with a combination of face-to-face and online instruction. Things seem to be going well, and the faculty and students have done an admirable job adapting to the new environment.

ULM Horn Studio Fall 2020

Online Solo and Chamber Performances

We have been live-streaming a few concerts and recitals, and also releasing pre-recorded concert videos on our school’s YouTube Channel. While these aren’t quite the same experience as attending an in-person performance, they have been fun to put together, and will hopefully provide some musical enjoyment for audiences. Here are links to a recent faculty brass quartet recital and an upcoming horn and piano recital.

I would add that creating these has provided ample opportunities to work on my sound and video recording techniques, which are amateur at best. We experimented with various camera angles and settings, and I am still dealing with the learning curve on the various equipment and software. I think the audio is pretty good, at least!

The Horn Call Journal and Podcast

Since taking over the role of Publications Editor with the International Horn Society, I’ve been heavily engaged with preparing the October issue of The Horn Call. I’m glad to say that the journal is ready, with printed copies on their way to mailboxes and the electronic version already available online. I’m very grateful to the entire team at The Horn Call for their hard work. I hope you enjoy reading the October issue (cover image above), which features an in-depth article by Paul Neuffer on legendary Hollywood studio musician—and IHS Honorary Member—Vincent DeRosa. In addition to The Horn Call, the IHS also offers several other print and electronic publications, including an e-newsletter, Horn and More, produced by IHS Vice-President Kristina Mascher-Turner. We also have a monthly Horn Call podcast, which launched in August. It’s been a blast working on the podcast, and we have several wonderful guests lined up for coming episodes. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the first two episodes, check out the link below and subscribe using your normal podcast app to get updates.

Other News

In other news, I received word that my application for promotion to Professor of Music was approved! THANK YOU to my colleagues and mentors near and far who supported me through the process.

Thanks for reading this far, and stay safe!

Caruso Journal Wrap-up: Weeks 11 and 12

This will be the last update in my Caruso Journal [you can read the other parts here: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |10]

I got busy last week with some other horn-related things (more on this in a future post) and had to defer my Week 11 journal entry. Rather than  post Week 11 late, I thought it would be appropriate to combine Weeks 11 and 12  into a single, final summary.

When I began practicing Caruso studies 12 weeks ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but in my experience they have lived up to their reputation as great fundamental exercises! My consistency, endurance, and timing have improved over the last several weeks, and as I’ve mentioned before I will definitely be encouraging my students to practice them. Here are a few summary thoughts for anyone who is thinking about getting into Caruso Studies.

  • Go slowly – follow Julie Landsman’s suggested Practice Calendar, or create your own. Whatever you do, come up with something that is progressive and allows enough time (several days to weeks) on each pattern before adding more difficulty and complexity.
  • As a corollary to the above, be patient – if you are playing Caruso correctly, your playing should improve. If it doesn’t, take a break for a while, and/or consult with an experienced teacher. If you don’t have access to a teacher right now, watch (and re-watch) Julie Landsman’s excellent YouTube series.
  • Track your progress – use a chart (or mark in the music) dates and week numbers to help you adhere to the practice calendar. Be vigilant about avoiding strain when playing any of the exercises. I did not get good results when I had to force something to come out. It worked out much better to play to my comfortable limit and then repeat the pattern the next day or every other day.

I’ve enjoyed working on Caruso Studies, and doing so has helped me become more aware of my breathing and physical timing when I play the horn. I’ll keep doing them and trying to get better!


Caruso Journal: Week 10

My apologies for being a day behind with my weekly Caruso Journal! Yesterday got away from me with various online meetings and other obligations.

Here we are in Week 10, and I’ve expanded the Intervals exercise to thirds, per Julie Landsman’s recommendation to change intervals after two weeks. Perhaps it’s just having two weeks of practice with this exercise under my belt, but the thirds actually feel easier than seconds. Synchronizing foot tapping, breathing, and air attacking the start of each note is going pretty well, except when I get into the highest register. Still a work in progress, but noticing some definite improvement.

Noodles and Spiders are also going well on alternate days. I usually do the C Noodle twice, once at quarter =60 and again at quarter =120, followed by Variation 1 at the same tempos. I also play Spiders on C, E, and G at quarter=60 and 120. I’ve not added Snakes yet, but will do that soon.

In terms of low register work, I’ve incorporated Chromatics Down into my daily routine and use Arpeggios Down for a warm-down at the end of the day. These are deceptively difficult exercises to play with great control and consistency all the way to the bottom of the range. Because these exercises require contact between the lips and mouthpiece throughout their entirety, I’ve found it very important to pay attention to the jaw and leadpipe angle as a means of getting into the low register.

As mentioned in a previous post, my plan is to continue with this journal through Week 12. There are a few more Caruso exercises that I haven’t explored yet, but I plan to do so in the coming weeks.  Feel free to check them out on Julie Landsman’s Caruso page using the links below.


Caruso Journal: Week 9

Week 9 means I’m now in the third month of work with Caruso Studies. A little over a week ago I incorporated the Intervals, Noodles, and Spider exercises into my daily routine, playing a set of Intervals and two sets each of Noodles/Spiders on alternating days. There are a few more things to add in the coming weeks, but at this point I’ve encountered most of the exercises found on Julie Landsman’s Caruso website.  I would point out that there are lots of variations on the basic Caruso exercises, which allows for growth and adaptation. Here are a few takeaways I recently jotted down regarding my past few months of work with Caruso studies.

  • A day of rest between the Interval Studies seems to be working, and for the most part I haven’t experienced any stiffness from these pretty intense workouts. The flexibility exercises (Noodle/Spider/Snake) provide a good balance.
  • Following the link from this Horn Matters article, I spent some time perusing the Caruso Forum on There is so much content here that it was tough to know where to begin. I did however find some good advice about the use of a metronome for Caruso work. In general the recommendation seems to be to NOT use the metronome except for periodic reference, and to instead rely on coordinating the physical act of foot tapping with playing. It’s difficult to describe the difference in feel between foot tapping and responding to the metronome, but there is definitely a difference. Proactive playing vs. reactive playing sums it up best, I suppose.
  • Julie Landsman’s Caruso Videos have been extremely helpful, and I have been re-watching them periodically as I make my way through the various Caruso patterns. One thing that really stuck with me is her description of support feeling like your belly button is pressing towards your spine. For whatever reason, this concept has really helped with Caruso studies and other stuff too!


Caruso Journal: Week 8

I’m back for Week 8 of my Caruso Studies journal. If you’re wondering how long this series will go, I plan to stop after Week 12, through the end of the first page on Julie Landsman’s suggested practice calendar. If you’ve followed these entries up to this point, thank you for reading!

Speaking of the Practice Calendar, I have a confession to make. Towards the end of the past week (Week 8) I went ahead and incorporated the Chromatics Down exercises into my daily routine, and have also been playing Noodles/Spiders and Intervals on alternating days. It sounds like a lot of new material to add, but Chromatics Down was scheduled for Week 9 anyway, and the Practice Calendar says “In the 3rd month, you may begin doing heavy lifting and flexibility exercises on alternating days.” In reality, I only jumped ahead by a few days.

So, how do these new exercises feel? Pretty good, so far, although I’ve been doing Caruso patterns for long enough now to know that it takes several days (for me at least) to really settle into them. The past few days have gone well, but really it’s about finding the most efficient way to play each pattern, which continues to be a work in progress. More next week!


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