Hello friends,

By the time you read this, it will only be a few weeks before  the Macomb symposium. These last few weeks are the most exciting and terrifying. For the artists, it is time for the final details  to be put in place. For participants, it is time to make sure all the  travel, housing, meal, and social details are all confirmed. For the host, it is time for the last extended wave of panic about whether anyone, including the participants and the artists, will actually be attending. For the IHS Advisory Council, it is time  for looking through notes, reports, and the AC Agenda Book.

The Advisory Council meets face-to-face for between 10  and 15 hours during the week (to them it seems much longer)  to deal with IHS business. We receive reports from all coordinators (there are a lot), committee chairs, officers, and even Heidi Vogel, our lifeline to staying solvent. We discuss budgets,  programs, new initiatives, and our policies and procedures.  One thing that has been building for a long time is a need for  a unified handbook of everything IHS, and this will be one of  our major projects over the next year, hopefully to be in place  by 2010 in Brisbane. The goal is to track everything down that stems from our bylaws (and everything that doesn’t) and put it  in one place. Once we do that, we will examine what we have  and, consequently, what is missing. It’s a big job on top of our  normal IHS business, but we’ve already made some progress,  and things are moving well toward that goal.

But as I think about Macomb and all of the things to come,  I find myself reflecting repeatedly on two “heroes” we have  lost recently, Mason Jones and Paul Mansur. I was fortunate to have known them both, Jones only in passing, and Mansur first  as a previous Horn Call editor (a fellow “commiserator”) and  later as more of a friend. Both men were a part of the IHS and  served the society in important capacities, Mason as president, and Paul as editor. In themselves, however, they seem to be almost opposites.

Jones was first and foremost an orchestral player, who  learned from the first generation of European immigrant musicians. He taught at a conservatory. He favored a Kruspe style  of horn, and spent most of his professional life performing and recording extensively, and published books of solos and orchestral studies, all of which shaped horn playing around the  world. Students of his that I have met loved him.

Mansur went the academic route, earning degrees in music  education. He taught at a regional university and was very active in professional music education organizations. He also  played in the Sherman Symphony, a college-community orchestra at the time (and unbeknownst to all concerned, my future wife played in the same orchestra). He favored a Geyer  style of horn, spent most of his time writing and editing articles,  and turned The Horn Call into a credible journal, all of which shaped horn playing around the world. Students of his I have met loved him.

Both loved the horn and its music. Both were involved with  the IHS and received Honorary Membership, the highest honor  the society bestows.

Folks, that’s what makes this society great: people who appear to be opposites, who come at things from very different  ways, find common ground in the horn and its music. I look forward to seeing you in Macomb, or wherever our paths cross.

Wishing you good chops,

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Jeffrey Snedeker
President, International Horn Society

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