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The Creative Hornist

Jeffrey Agrell, Series Editor

agrellThis is my last Creative Hornist column. After seventeen years, I’m turning over the reins to an extremely creative team: Dr. James Naigus and Dr. Drew Phillips. Both are college horn teachers who also compose, play piano, and who have their own performing duo (“Cor Moto”) where they switch off playing each other’s compositions while the other accompanies on piano.

I’m not going anywhere, I’m just going on to other things. One of the catalysts for the change is the sabbatical I had during spring semester 2016. It was a transformative time for me in a number of ways. I got to be a beginner at something for the first time in a long time (drums/rhythm study), and that part of it was both scary and exhilarating. I was used to giving lessons where I was the expert. Now I was the novice, making imperfect efforts to imitate the master. I was nervous about my mistakes, all too aware of how far I had to go, but I couldn’t wait to get back to the drum to practice more after every lesson.

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Jeffrey Agrell is professor of horn at the University of Iowa.