Many of us are into spring now, have had an exciting school year, said farewell to the end of an orchestral or band season, or are dreading the inevitable tax time! The Southern hemisphere portion of our international community is heading into autumn. Change is in the air.
I recently watched a wonderful movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where Judi Dench's character "The only constant in life is change." Her character also suggests, ironically, that what we really fear is life remaining the same. This truth is a reminder to let go of things that do not serve us in the practice room, in the classroom, in rehearsal, and in our daily exchanges with others. Change is a constant, so it is better to guide it rather than fight it. We need to embrace change so that we can wake up energized with fresh goals.
The things we fear are usually negative. We fear them because we remember something that happened in the past and we did not like the result. We missed a note; we didn't win an audition; this person disagrees with me - so I didn't get the admiration or job I wanted. But what if we focused on the fact that in a changing world we need not dwell on the past? If we embrace change and focus our goals, life will not be the same -it will be better.
Speaking of change, your IHS Advisory Council has released three issues of a new monthly electronic newsletter. We feature artists in their native tongue with links to translations. Though this is not a new activity for the IHS, the format of a monthly digital release is. Some highlights so far include a video of an interview in Italian with Luca Benucci and Dale Clevenger; and an article and video in Spanish, French and English with Javier Bonet playing natural horn. Kristina Mascher(in German and English) shares extensive information and strategies from an American Horn Quartet master class on "The Art of Chamber Music."
Topics of other articles include the London Philharmonic Orchestra's premiere of James Horner's concerto for four horns and orchestra, my favorite exercise called "Long Tunes," and an interview with IHS Los Angeles co-host Annie Bosler about the exciting events in store for us in August.
"IHS Members Only" content on the IHS website includes five videos of Dale Clevenger discussing Shostakovitch's 5th. After signing in, look on the Multimedia menu for Horn Excerpts, then from the menu on the left choose Shostaovitch, Symphony No. 5. The American Horn Quartet also produced a video about choosing repertoire or their performance this summer in Los Angeles.
In the spirit of embracing change, I encourage you to take a moment to play your horn for people (neighbors, friends, schools, nursing homes, etc.) who might not have the opportunity to hear those sounds. You will contribute to their day in a musical way, and in doing so will change how they see you. The bonus is that you will have shared of yourself. I simplify my fears sometimes by thinking "Just share the planet." It can be that simple and, in sharing, you can create a positive image for yourself and those around you.