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|Volume 3 Issue 8, October 2017|
Greetings from Eugene, Oregon in the heart of the Pacific Northwest! I hope this newsletter finds you all enjoying music in every aspect – performing, listening, advocating, and participating in every way that you can.
Last June, I was very fortunate to be able to attend the 49th annual International Horn Symposium in Natal, Brazil, hosted by Radegundis Tavares and was elected to the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society. As a longtime performer and teacher, this new position gives me a wonderful opportunity to serve our community of horn players in a way that is new for me, and it gives me pause to reflect not only on the wonderful performers and teachers that have shaped my own musical life, but on how many people have helped and influenced me from behind the scenes as well. From administrators and secretaries, to stage hands, fundraisers and policy advocates, so many unsung heroes play such an important role in ensuring that our collective cultural traditions can be enjoyed and experienced by us all, and as an intentional community, we can help pass our knowledge and love of music on to the next generation.
One such unsung hero is the inimitable Heidi Vogel, who you will hear from in this issue. Heidi has been the Executive Director of the International Horn Society for many years, and has done a stellar job of administering the nuts and bolts of this organization. I got to spend some quality time with Heidi while attending the symposium in Brazil, and it was such a pleasure to get to know her quiet, warm wit, and to see her in action as Executive Director. So, I just want to give a friendly shout-out to Heidi to thank her for her incredible contribution, years of dedication and fortitude as our administrative leader of the International Horn Society.
In this issue, you’ll also get a chance to read an interview with Joshua Williams, winner of the International Horn Competition of America - professional division, read about the Sauerland Horn Workshop which took place in Germany, hear from Kerry Turner about triple horns, check out some fabulous photos from the horn festival at the Mt. Etna, and much more!
As I begin my new role as Advisory Council member, I want to encourage you to be aware of the changing roles you will continue to play in our horn community, how important each and every one of us is to each other, and how every role matters.
Thanks so much for reading, and happy horning!
Lydia van Dreel
Interview of the Month - Joshua Williams
Kristina Mascher-Turner: First of all, it seems your life may have taken an exciting turn recently...a huge congratulations on behalf of the International Horn Society on your first prize at the International Horn Competition of America! Has the high worn off yet?
Josh Williams: I think it has! As amazing as this accomplishment was, it has only motivated me to get back to work!
KMT: Please tell us a bit about how you came to play the horn in the first place, and about that moment when it all "clicked" for you - when you decided to dedicate yourself to becoming a professional musician.
JW: I decided to join the band in 7th grade because I honestly had nothing better to do. My family moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the middle of the school year, so I could not play football. My dad told me to play the horn because the school would have one available to rent. He and I both saw band as a temporary thing. I guess we were both wrong! I decided to dedicate myself to becoming a professional musician in the 10th grade after being selected for the Honor Band of America. Being around some of the other top high school musicians in the country was a humbling and life-changing experience.
KMT: Preparing for a solo competition is a very specific and personal process. How far in advance did you start practicing for the IHCA? How many hours a day did you put in during the most intense period?
JW: I started preparing for the IHCA in early May. I actually quit my summer job to prepare for the competition! I was a literal depiction of a “broke college student,” but it paid off. I honestly do not know how much I practiced during the most intense period of preparation. I often get lost in the music and several hours go by. I cut the sessions down to an hour a day starting in mid-August.
KMT: Were there any passages in the competition repertoire that were particularly challenging for you? Why?
Helden, Sagen und Mythen
Besonderer Sound bei „Sauerländer Horntagen“
Von Mathias Pfläging
Das achte Symposium rund um das Horn lockte 60 Musiker aus ganz Deutschland, Luxemburg und der Schweiz in das Herz des Sauerlandes. Auch in diesem Jahr konnten die beiden Leiter der Horntage, Uwe Becker und Mathias Pfläging, hochkarätige Dozenten gewinnen:
I recently attended the alumni reunion weekend at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam. An Alumni Band was organized as part of the event, and after the performance in Hosmer Hall I was happy to get a section photo with our former horn professor. Our section included one of his first students, one of his last, and myself smack in the middle.
Left to right: Peter Head (class of '99), Professor Roy Schaberg (retired), David Loddengaard (class of '72), and Andrew Allport (class of '92).
My Return to the Triple
By Kerry Turner
My first encounter with a triple horn was as a college freshman. I had enrolled at Baylor University to study with Bill Robinson. At the time, all I could afford was a Selmer double. Prof. Robinson had just acquired 2 Paxman triples, I’m not sure how, and offered to let me play one of them. It was an instant love affair. Mind you, it wasn’t about playing high notes. I’ve always been blessed with a decent high range. What was it about the horn that made so much sense to me? I think the best way to understand it is to look at what I did not like about the double horn. You don’t really know what is limiting about a double until you learn to play a triple.
Recently, I had the very same experience. I played a Paxman triple during all of my years with the American Horn Quartet. When I began playing with that venerable ensemble, I was playing an Alex 103. The members of the AHQ strongly recommended that I switch to a triple horn. They claimed that, given the sort of repertoire and length of concerts we would be performing, I would soon see the advantages of such an instrument.
Last year, shortly after the AHQ retired, I began to long for a double horn again. the double felt so light in my hands. I felt the vibrations coming off the instrument better. It was sort of like driving a sports car after years behind the wheel of a Winnebago.
However, after a while, the limitations of the double horn began to make themselves known. After six days of 6-hour recording sessions in the orchestra, on the last day, I was faced with extremely delicate, soft and stopped passages on a piece. It was tough going for me. One of my colleagues, who was playing a triple, showed me how much easier that particular passage would be using the high F side. I tried it, and the notes popped right out.
Heidi Before She Earned Her Grey Hair
After over 20 years, I am resigning from my position as Executive Director of the International Horn Society at the end of 2018. I cannot express how much serving the members of the International Horn Society has meant to me over the years. This job has allowed me to travel the world and experience musical performances at the highest levels. Meeting so many talented, exciting, and wonderful new friends has been the highlight of this position. At this point in my life, I am moving on to new goals and expanding my horizons in other creative areas. The International Horn Society has become my family, and your embrace has made me a better person.
Second Mt. Etna Horn Festival
The second International Horn Festival of Etna Volcano was held August 21-25. It was an unforgettable event with nearly 40 participants from all over Italy. Masterclass and concerts for five days with the participation of great horn masters. See the video here.
Barry Tuckwell Award
Award: U.S. $500 towards expenses to attend any horn masterclass or workshop in the world.
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