Ron Lemon has contributed to music and music education, principally in West Texas. He taught horn and brass methods at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, from 1976 to 2008 and played principal horn in the Amarillo Symphony from 1976 to 2003.
Ron has deep roots in West Texas. He was born in 1935 and grew up in Lubbock, Texas, attending Lubbock High School and earning degrees in music education and performance at Texas Tech University. He played in the Lubbock Symphony horn section during high school and his years at Tech. His horn teachers included Guy Knowles, J.W. King, and Robert B. Taylor.
After leaving Texas Tech, Ron joined the US Navy Band in Washington DC, where he eventually served as principal horn and soloist. During his stint with the band, he performed for President Kennedy's inauguration and his funeral. Next he went to the New Orleans Philharmonic for five seasons, three as principal horn. He also performed one season as principal horn with the Mobile (Alabama) Symphony.
Returning to Texas Tech, Ron completed a Master of Music degree under Anthony Brittin (also a Punto Award recipient) and again performed with the Lubbock Symphony. He has also studied horn with Barry Tuckwell, Philip Farkas, Dale Clevenger, and Abe Kniaz. He performed four summers as principal horn with the Brevard Music Festival Orchestra and twelve summers as principal horn and soloist with the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. Before joining the faculty at WTAMU, he taught at Emporia State University in Kansas, where he performed and toured with the Mid-America Woodwind Quintet.
Ron’s son Jim plays horn professionally in Cape Town, South Africa, with the Cape Town Symphony and Opera Orchestra, and has also performed for eight months with the Barcelona (Spain) Symphony.
Ron was nominated for the Punto Award in 2012 by Bill Scharnberg, host of the International Horn Symposium in Denton TX.
Anthony (Tony) Brittin was the professor of horn at Texas Tech University in Lubbock from 1963 to 2002. During that time, he also played principal horn in the Lubbock Symphony (1970-2004), Midland/Odessa Symphony (1963-1977), and Roswell, New Mexico Symphony (1967-2004).
Tony was born in 1937 and went to high school in Auburn, Alabama, where he studied horn with David Herbert. Herbert attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where Jim Winter (an IHS Honorary Member) was a classmate. Tony then studied with Joseph White at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
His first job was teaching junior high band in Mobile, Alabama and playing first horn in the Mobile Symphony, a valuable learning experience. He then went to New York City to study with James Chambers at the Manhattan School of Music for his master’s degree, free-lancing, which included subbing and playing extra with the New York Philharmonic.
He built the horn program at Texas Tech from 4 students to 24. His students include Johnny Pherigo (past president of the IHS and former editor of The Horn Call), Paul Miller, Bruce Gifford, Alton Atkins, David Atchison, and Cara Kizer-Aneff. Many students who started at Texas Tech have gone on to complete degrees at other music conservatories and find work with major orchestras. At first, the program at Texas Tech had no applied music degrees (a performance degree was added later), so the students studied for music education degrees. “I am equally proud of my students who became teachers or went into other fields,” he said, “and am happy that I was part of their development.”
Tony played in the faculty wind quintet (Mariah Winds), brass quintet, and other chamber music, and was active as a soloist, clinician, and adjudicator.
Tony was at the first horn workshop in Tallahassee, Florida in 1969. He had studied with two Horner students. When he played for Horner, Horner liked his playing but recommended that he move the bell over on his knee so that the sound would project more. Tony believed that to be excellent advice. He attended many other workshops, including the third and fifth, and comments, “The IHS is to be commended on the way it runs itself.”
Tony was nominated for the Punto award in 2012 by Bill Scharnberg, host of the International Horn Symposium in Denton TX.