Hello everyone. What a great time we had in Macomb! Congratulations to all who contributed so much to making the 41st International Horn Symposium a successful event! First, we must all heap thanks onto Host Randall Faust, his wonderful team, and the staff at Western Illinois University for their generosity, hospitality, and professionalism. Next, thanks to the Featured Artists, Contributing Artists, and other performers, lecturers, and presenters for their artistry and inspiration. And finally, a huge thank-you to all participants and exhibitors for coming in support of the instrument we love, its music, its history, its technique and technology, and the rest of its interesting facets. I know I had a great time, learned a lot, and came away thoroughly inspired. I hope you did, too.

The Advisory Council worked hard during the symposium, and has been working hard since. We received two resignations resulting in openings for two very important positions in the IHS. The first open position is our US Regional Coordinator, who works directly with US Area Representatives to assist in recruiting and supporting IHS members. This person will also assist Area Reps in sharing ideas about recruiting members, hosting events, communicating at the “grass roots” level—in all, a very important service to the IHS. There is more information online, or feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about this position. The AC offers many thanks to outgoing USA Regional Coordinator Alan Mattingly for his years of service.

The second job opening we have requires a little background. The IHS Manuscript Press was created years ago to offer a publishing venue for composers whose works won awards in the IHS Composition Contest. For many years, the rules for the contest did not allow published works to be eligible, so if a work won an award, the composer was offered the opportunity to have IHS publish it. A few years ago, the AC decided to change a few of the rules, including allowing published works to participate in the Contest. As a result, coupled with the explosion of desktop publishing, fewer composers need this opportunity and activity with the Manuscript Press has gradually slowed. In Macomb, the AC voted to expand the mission and means of delivery of this service, to continue to promote all works receiving awards in the Composition Contest but also to expand offerings to reflect the interests of our membership, and to offer these services online. The name has been changed to the IHS Online Music Library, and we need an Editor to oversee it. Once again, there is more information online, or feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about this position. We offer our sincere thanks to Marcia Spence, the outgoing Coordinator of the Manuscript Press, who served in that position since 2001.

In other updates, our Scholarships Program has also gone through some changes in recent years, some successful, some that still need tweaking. As you look at the descriptions published in this issue or online, you will notice that we are making a clear distinction between Contests and Scholarships, and that we have pumped some more money into them to make them more appealing to eligible applicants. We have also re-instituted the prestigious Jon Hawkins Memorial Scholarship. Please check them out. We are pleased and proud to be able to offer these opportunities for younger players, and hope teachers and players alike will peruse them thoroughly (and apply!).

As I begin my last year as your president, I can’t help but think about the 42nd International Horn Symposium, July 18- 23, 2010, in Brisbane, Australia. As president, I am fortunate to get a little behind-the-scenes information, and all I can say right now is that this symposium promises to be a wonderful celebration of the horn in a country with a long, storied past of players and music. While the world’s economies are still not in the greatest shape, don’t be afraid to look into this fantastic opportunity to visit the “Land Down Under.” I did, and so far things are surprisingly affordable.

It is an exciting time to be involved in the IHS. Be sure to share all of this excitement with your non-member, horn-enthusiast friends, and get them to join the IHS so they can share in it. We’ve experienced stable financial health over the past few years, and we want it to continue – and new members always make a difference.

Wishing you good chops,

jeff_sig