Eugene (Gene) Wade was principal horn of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1972-2001) and a music educator with many successful students.
Gene grew up on a wheat farm in Wellington KS. He credits his early upbringing on the farm for teaching him the value of hard work. He began piano lessons with his mother in first grade and moved to horn in eighth grade, studying with Leo Ashcraft in the next town. He listened to symphony orchestras on the radio, and once a month his family traveled 35 miles to Wichita to hear the symphony.
Gene earned a bachelor's degree from Wichita State University, a master's degree from Northwestern University, and a performer's certificate at the Eastman School of Music. His teachers included Philip Farkas, Verne Reynolds, and Louis Stout.
Gene was known for his solid leadership of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra horn section, saying, "The main thing is to try to make things as easy and comfortable as possible with the greatest accuracy and with the best tone." He has appeared as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, among others, and as a member of the Detroit Symphony Woodwind Quintet.
As a teacher, Gene has taught at Wichita State University, the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, Mankato State University, Wayne State University, the University of Windsor (Canada), and the University of Michigan. He has been a guest clinician and recitalist at regional and international workshops. Rick Seraphinoff (Indiana University) comments, "He was a very fine teacher for learning how to play the instrument consistently and easily, and for learning all the things one needs to know to be a successful orchestral player. It was from Gene that I got my basic knowledge of the standard orchestral excerpts during my undergraduate years, and was very grateful to have access to his thorough knowledge of them."
Gene was given the Punto award at the 2001 symposium at Kalamazoo MI. A profile appears in the August 2001 issue of The Horn Call.