Recently, I learned a new German word: Ploppschütz. The literal English translation is “plop protection,” which is a pretty awkward turn of phrase unless you know it’s all about covering the bell to reduce the transmission of aerosols in conformity with local government coronavirus measures. Come to think of it, it’s still an awkward phrase, and the implementation involved the destruction of a few dozen pairs of tights. Miraculously, considering the current restrictions around the world, a 40-participant horn festival took place in the heart of Germany, the Sauerländer Horntage. Even though the complications imposed by hygienic concerns and social distancing made difficult work for the organizers, the willingness to adapt to current circumstances and meet these challenges brought us all an incredibly moving experience of community and shared music-making.
Rising above massive challenges and thriving in spite of nearly impossible odds describes the subject of our Interview of the Month, former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Her gracious, lovely, determined and committed character shines forth in her words, as she describes the role music and the horn played in helping her along the road to recovery after being shot in the head in an attempt on her life in 2011. Even though she faced challenges most of us can only imagine, she brought her discipline and strength of character into everything she did, every single day. She has been an inspiration of mine for many years, and I’m thrilled to share her story with you here.
In this issue, you will also meet our dynamic new area representative for Louisiana, Centria Brown. You’ll read a moving tribute to the memory of Scandanavian horn legend Ib Lanzky-Otto by the equally legendary German virtuoso, Peter Damm. Matthew Haislip will tell you how etude study honed his musical skills during lockdown. Italian horn star Luca Benucci shares his philosophy of teaching in our pedagogy column. There’s a trivia contest with prizes and a whole host of IHS news, announcements, and opportunities to explore.
So don your Ploppschütz and dive in!
Kristina Mascher-Turner Vice President, IHS Editor, Horn and More
(Photo: professors for the 2020 Sauerländer Horntage horn festival, L-R: Kerry Turner, Kristina Mascher-Turner, Stefan Klein, Mathias Pfläging, Josef Kahle, Geoffrey Winter, Jan Golebiowski)
Interview of the Month - Gabby Giffords
Kristina Mascher-Turner: First of all, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and inspiration with our international horn community! When did you first become involved with music, and what motivated you to choose the horn?
Gabby Giffords: Music has always been an important part of my life. I loved to sing as a child, and I even got to play the role of Annie in my elementary school play. I started playing the French horn in fourth grade and was initially drawn to the instrument because of its beauty. I didn’t know anything about the incredible music it could create before I started learning it.
KMT: At what point did your other passions or commitments cause you to set the horn aside? Was it a difficult decision to make?
GG: After college, I wasn’t able to keep up with the horn. My first job was at a consulting firm in New York that had me working very long hours, and then I moved back to Tucson to run my family’s tire business, which took nearly 100% of my time. I certainly missed playing, but would often listen to classical music to relax.
KMT: You have been beautifully open with the world about your journey and recovery since your life-threatening injury, and your courage and determination shine forth every step of the way. Still, there must have been times when you wondered how you were going to get through another day. Was there a particular inner dialogue that brought you past those moments and back...
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Introducing Centria Brown - IHS Area Representative for Louisiana
I began studying the horn at the age of 11 in North Carolina. I first fell in love with the sound of the horn by watching film music. It was without a doubt I wanted to play the horn when I joined band in the 6th grade. I studied Music Education at Wingate University in North Carolina and was encouraged to continue my Master’s in Performance. I fell in love with the Louisiana Culture and sense of family and decided to attend Louisiana State University. I moved here for my Master’s and just finished my Doctorate! Since living in Louisiana, I have learned about myself and grown as a person. I have a deeper passion for performing chamber music, Alexander Technique, and teaching.
Louisiana has a very unique and rich culture. The state of Louisiana has been through a lot but always pulls together and works together to grow. This is the same in the horn community as well. Horn players in Louisiana stay connected from New Orleans to Monroe and from Lake Charles to Baton Rouge. Music in Louisiana is as diverse as the people who live here. Whether you are interested in Classical, Jazz, Folk, or New Music it can be found in Louisiana. We are very fortunate to have high quality performers, teachers, and professors throughout the state!...
Dear Hornists, Composer Friends — and Friends of Composers:
During the past four decades this project has supported the composition of hundreds of new works for the Horn. Composers and Hornists have had a great ongoing relationship dating back — at least — to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Ignaz Leutgeb. During my presentation at the recent Virtual International Horn Symposium, I noted additional collaborations between Hornists and Composers - including some of our recent winners. Please see the video on the Composition Contest at the 2020 Virtual Workshop!. So, if you are a Composer, talk to your local Hornist, and if you are a Hornist, talk to your local composer. We are encouraging your collaboration as you submit new works to this year's Composition Contest of the International Horn Society.
For more information, rules, and electronic submission see the Composition Contest Portal at The International Horn Society Website. This also provides information about notable works from recent past contests:
CORdially, Randall E. Faust International Horn Society Composition Contest...
In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we musicians found ourselves facing months ahead with an end to practically all live performances. I was thankful to be able to continue to work by teaching my university classes and horn students in an online format, but so many other musicians were not as fortunate. It has been such a devastating time for so many, and my heart goes out to all of those who have been struggling.
I decided to make the most of the time I was afforded to seek to become a better musician and horn player. While I participated in creating some recordings of socially distant chamber music, I also knew that I needed a daily goal. As an everyday rule in the past, I have mainly focused my practice on fundamentals, different warm-up routines, upcoming repertoire, and a few favorite Kopprasch, Gallay, Kling, Bordogni, and Fearn etudes. I own stacks of other etude books, but I had not systematically worked through entire books at a time since my undergraduate days.
In the back of my mind, I knew that one day I needed to complete Maxime-Alphonse. I had spent a lot of time in book one, but I had never worked through the other books completely. I decided that this time of social distancing was the perfect opportunity for the entire set of 200 etudes. This undertaking proved to be the most rewarding time of practice that I have ever experienced on the horn. I perceive that I am an entirely different...
Sein Leben war die Musik, seine ganz besondere Liebe galt dem Horn.
Trauer und Wehmut löst die Nachricht aus, daß unser lieber Hornfreund Ib Lanzky-Otto, erlöst von seinen Leiden, entschlafen ist. Für alle, die ihn kannten ist sein Tod ein schmerzlicher Verlust.
Im wahrsten Sinn des Wortes war Ib in jeder Beziehung eine Legende. Unvergeßlich werden sein expressiver, warmer Hornton, seine perfekte Technik und seine so wunderbare musikalische Gestaltung bleiben. Ich schätzte ihn, den ich bereits in den 1960er Jahren kennenlernte, als Persönlichkeit, als Musiker und Künstler, seine sympathisch humorvolle, liebenswürdige und warmherzige Art und Weise. Es war eine freundschaftliche Verbundenheit über lange Jahre. Während ich schreibe, erinnere ich mich an so manche Begegnung, an Zusammenarbeit in Sommerkursen, nicht zuletzt aber an seine langjährige Mitarbeit als objektiver Juror unseres Internationalen Wettbewerbes für Blasinstrumente in Markneukirchen.
Wir werden Erinnerungen an Ib Lanzky-Otto bewahren und seiner immer dankbar gedenken.
Horn Call Archive - Members-Only Content
My name is James Boldin, and I am the new Publications Editor for the IHS. I know that many Horn and More readers are already IHS members, but if you are not, I wholeheartedly encourage you to join. It's a wonderful organization, with many programs and other benefits for horn players around the globe. I hope you enjoy this selection from our archive, "The Infinite Power of Self-Determination," by S. Earl Saxton (May 1978). The world has changed drastically since 1978, but his words are as relevant now as they were then. May you find them an inspiration during difficult times.
IHS 53 - One Horn Community
Due to the continued effects of COVID-19 on the globe, IHS53 will be held online.
This provides the IHS with a unique opportunity, as virtual conferences have the ability to remove barriers of distance and nationality, especially ones created by travel/income challenges.
The theme of IHS53, therefore, will be Our ONE Horn Community, focusing on presentations and performances that emphasize and celebrate collaboration between horn players across the world.
From shared/collaborative lectures to performances by a collaboration of artists from across the globe, IHS53 will be dedicated to the unity that we all share as horn players, musicians, and human souls.
Proposal submission dates and other information will be available on the forthcoming IHS53 website.
The Horn Call Podcast
Episodes 1 and 2 of The Horn Call Podcast are now available! Join us for conversations with Grammy Award winning hornist Andrew Pelletier, Professor of Horn at Bowling Green State University and President of the International Horn Society, and Ricardo Matosinhos, a Portuguese horn player, pedagogue, and composer. He studied horn with Ivan Kučera and Bohdan Šebestik and now teaches at the Academia de Música de Costa Cabral, in Oporto and at Évora University, where he is also a PhD student. Be sure to subscribe to The Horn Call Podcast so that you are notified when a new monthly episode is available.
This month's trivia will focus on horn players and their relationship with composers! See if you can answer these three questions!
We know that Mozart wrote the majority of his horn music for horn virtuoso and family friend, Joseph Ignaz Leutgeb, but what other famous horn soloist did Mozart compose music for?
We know that Richard Strauss dedicated the piano reduction of his Concerto #1 to his famous horn-playing father, Franz Strauss, but who was the player who is honored with the dedication of the orchestral score?
American composer Alec Wilder mostly composed for his close friends, in the classical, jazz and popular music worlds. The majority of his horn music was composed for one player, who was also his best friend in music school! Who was this hornist?
Bonus Question: One of the first recordings of the music of Alec Wilder featured wind soloists and ensemble music conducted by which unlikely maestro?
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Three prizes (score and parts to the brand-new, exciting Jazztets Vol.3 by Steve Schaughency from Phoenix Music Publications) will be offered from a drawing of those with correct answers to the first three questions. Correct answers to the bonus question along with 1,2, and 3 will have their names entered twice into the drawing. Our thanks to IHS president and horn history buff, Andrew Pelletier for supplying the questions for this month’s trivia quiz!
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The goal of Horn Tunes is to provide a library of pieces free for use by and for members of the International Horn Society.
The intention of HornTunes is to collect short, light pieces that can be enjoyed by students, casual players, and professionals. Submissions for solo horn, horn with accompaniment, and chamber music are all welcome. We want to use this opportunity to encourage original compositions and arrangements of public domain works. Consider submitting music with flexible instrumentation, arrangements or new compositions that are appropriate for worship settings, or chamber music to be enjoyed by friends.
Unlike the IHS Online Music Library, submissions to HornTunes will be considered donations to the IHS and will be made available free of charge to members. The composers or arrangers will retain rights to their works. Arrangements of works that are not in the public domain will be considered, but the arranger must obtain the appropriate permissions.
My teaching philosophy is based upon the approach to music through singing (bel canto), in order to bring a student to believe in his own ambition and to build up a wonderful sound, not leaving out, however, the technical development which allows easy expression in any musical form.
The basic elements of my philosophy are the following: AIR development, BLOW, and CANTO (singing) as a mean for conveying one's musical ideas.
Every wind instrumentalist should know his breathing ability and, after exploring his quantitative and time limits, will be able to broaden them with the he help of certain devices called SPIROMETERS. In the morning, before beginning one's practice, one should do some breathing exercises; first breathing in/out with the balloon, with the metronome at 60, for a few minutes. Then do breathing exercises with the spirometer, always with the metronome at 60, starting with the spirometer regulation at 0 and gradually increasing it up to 12.
During practice, whether concertos or orchestral excerpts, one should keep the habit of blowing in/out with the balloon, in order to maintain a clear feeling of the air flux.
An instrumentalist should always breathe while keeping in mind the tempo and the dynamics of the piece.
When the ease and consciousness of breathing have been acquired, one learns to blow into the mouthpiece producing a BUZZ, a vibration which,...