Douglas Hill – "A Place for Hawks" added to OMS
Douglas Hill – A Place for Hawks for mezzo-soprano, horn, and strings
August Derleth (1909-1971) was one of Wisconsin’s most prolific authors and poets with more than 150 published books of fiction, poetry, Wisconsin history, biography, science fiction, mystery, and short stories. His creative output more often than not derived its inspiration from his town and area of birth and life-long residence, Sauk City. The natural surroundings of these rolling hills and Wisconsin River bottoms were beautifully expressed in hundreds of his poems and much of his prose.
The four poems selected for A Place for Hawks set the poet/singer near the still and silent woods, in awe of its darkened depths during the cold of winter, wishing at once to go in and yet called by unseen walls that “only sight could breach.” This uncertain solitude is suddenly disturbed by a frightening and fantastic encounter with “the great bird” as he flies near and shares a brief moment of eye contact before reentering the “darkness of the winter wood.” The third poem finds the poet/singer virtually soaring with a “hawk on the wind.” Having moved beyond the darkness and uncertainty of primal nature, the poet/singer finds kinship and ecstasy simply watching as the hawk floats, circles, vaults, and dives. The final poem sings warmly and optimistically of the coming of spring with its blossoms, birdsongs, and “birch with yellow catkins” shaking in the air. The poet/singer looks forward to a journey to the hills “far from village streets” where the “hawk flies high” and where the “earth of grass and tree” will surely provide “their strength again.”
Taken as a literal set of experiences or as a symbolic confrontation with one’s own nature, these poems, and the music which enhances their power and romantic simplicity, reach outward to touch a certain spirit which connects us all to the earth, grass, trees, and the joyful soaring of the hawk.
The composer wishes to thank “the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for its grant support which made the composition and preparation of this work possible.
IHS Executive Committee encourages support for Iltis MRI Horn Repository Project
October 17, 2016
IHS member Dr. Peter Iltis, horn player and Professor of Kinesiology at Gordon College, has launched a research project entitled the MRI Horn Repository Project (MHRP). In collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Gottingen, Germany) and the Institute for Music Physiology and Musician’s Medicine (Hannover, Germany), this project utilizes real-time magnetic resonance imaging (RT-MRI) to study tongue and throat movement strategies of elite horn players and players who suffer from career-threatening movement disorders, with emphasis on embouchure dystonia (EmD). In the next two years, his research team aims to significantly expand its data base and to provide selective access to scientists, doctors, and brass teachers world-wide to further understanding in this new, developing field of study.
The project has already resulted in five journal publications, presentations at three international symposia dealing with medical problems of performing artists as well as horn pedagogy, an internationally-televised episode with Deutsch Welle Television (Sarah’s Music: Music and Science), and a YouTube channel “MRI Horn Videos: Pedagogy Informed by Science.” The YouTube channel features a growing series of video lectures highlighting the RT-MRI work in Germany. The lectures are presented by Dr. Iltis and Mr. Eli Epstein, former second horn of the Cleveland Orchestra, now serving on the faculty of the New England Conservatory and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. These movies provide a valuable source for expanding the understanding of brass pedagogy. The lectures have Epstein presenting the pedagogical side, while Iltis presents the scientific side. Together, they provide a well-balanced and disciplined approach to understanding the amazing images. They have presented this work in two consecutive years at the International Horn Symposia held in Los Angeles (2015) and most recently at Ithaca College (2016).
Two significant testing sessions of the MHRP are planned for the next calendar year (January 2017-January 2018). During each 10-day session, 12 elite horn players from top European and American Orchestras will be recruited for scanning. The IHS Executive Committee enthusiastically supports this research project because of its application to many brass players and their problems. Inevitably, results will come more quickly with financial support, and we encourage those who possess the financial means to support this worthwhile project to visit http://www.gordon.edu/mrihorn for information regarding how to contribute.
President, International Horn Society
"The Collected Works of Douglas Hill" in Online Music Sales
The IHS Online Music Sales is proud to announce the launch a new series of publications titled “The Collected Works of Douglas Hill.” Professor Hill is a Past President and Honorary Member of the International Horn Society, and is Emeritus Professor of Music-Horn at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1974- 2011). He has composed extensively for horn as well has written numerous well-respected texts on horn pedagogy and technique.The IHS will be releasing several titles every month. The first four titles are listed below and can be found here.
A Set of Songs and Dances (for clarinet, horn, percussion, bass)
Five Little Songs and Dances (for solo horn)
Scenes from Sand County (for WW5, violin, viola, cello, and bass)
Low Range for the Horn Player
New Advisory Council Members and Officers
Advisory Council members: elected by the general membership were Nobuaki Fukukawa (second term), Amy Thakurdas (first term), and Geoffrey Winter (third term); elected to three-year terms by the Advisory Council were Annie Bosler (first term), and Justin Sharp (first term); elected to a two-year term by the Advisory Council was Jeffrey Snedeker (third term).
Jeffrey Snedeker was elected President of the International Horn Society. Kristina Mascher was elected Vice-President, and Annie Bosler was elected to the Secretary/Treasurer position.
Statement on HR Amendment #48
To the International Horn Society and musicians everywhere,
Recently, some attention has been drawn to a bill that has passed the US House of Representatives and is currently being discussed in the US Senate. I have read the text of the proposed HR Amendment #48, found in H.Amdt 1218 to H.R. 5293 for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017. On the surface, the actions suggested in this bill may seem like logical cost-saving measures, but after reading the bill and thinking about its ramifications, I believe this bill has the potential for grave consequences for musical groups in the US armed services. These groups are an important part of our history and culture. In a nutshell, this amendment “limits their ability to play in social functions, dances, and things that are really outside their core competencies and the competencies of the military.” I believe any restriction of the exposure to the public or preventing direct public interaction of these ensembles would constitute a significant cultural loss, a loss of some of the best expression of patriotism and artistry America has to offer. Anyone who has heard one of our military groups knows that performing music at social functions, etc. is well within their “core competencies”—indeed, the US armed forces are blessed with some of the finest musicians in the world.
Military music existed in this country before the Revolutionary War and even at that time was an important contributor to soldier and citizen morale and respite, establishing a strong connection between armed forces and the general citizenry. Music serves to unite communities, and military musical groups, more than any other musical ensemble, unite our country at home and provide similar comfort to American soldiers and their families overseas. They also provide opportunities for talented individuals to express their patriotism in artistic ways. Preventing performances that maintain the military’s connection and trust of the American public would seem to go against this proud expression of patriotism and the founding inclusive principles of our country.
I also believe passing this bill would establish a convenient path to even more cuts and unintended ramifications, which would further compromise the artistic quality, personal investment, and the relationship between the military and the general public. In context of the total defense budget, the amount of money it might save does not seem to warrant the devastating potential effect it could have.
Please encourage your senators to vote against any amendments, motions, or bills which would restrict the use of funding to military bands. To read the text of this bill, look for Rep. McSally’s justification for Amendment 48 in the text of the following:
To contact your US Senator, http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
President, International Horn Society