Ask a Pro

Coordinated by Bill VerMeulen, the Ask a Pro section offers IHS members only a chance to have their (horn related!) questions answered by leading professionals. Responses will be in the form of videos posted on the IHS YouTube channel and embedded on this page. To ask a question, send an email to: This address is for IHS members only. Either log in above or Join today

This and other IHS videos can be found on our IHS YouTube Channel.


"We often have dress rehearsals the morning of the performance even when playing works such as Mahler 6! To add insult to injury, we also rehearse the night before which means we play the program 3 times in a 27-hour period (Fri rehearsal 7-9:30pm, Saturday dress rehearsal 10am-12:30pm, and Sat performance 7:30-10pm). What do you recommend as the best way to recover to be able to successfully make it through this demanding schedule of services?"

Bill VerMeulen's Answer


I am New York state music teacher (trombone) and I judge solo festivals. I had some high level french horn solos the past few years—not many—but a few——sometimes I would suggest asking their teacher about developing vibrato—I thought it was worth exploring——however—recently I was “schooled” by a horn teacher that I should never do that——horn players avoid vibrato like the plague. I never take points off their solo—offer it as a suggestion. I guess I have missed the boat————any way Do you have any suggestions? thanks Matthew Bond

Bill VerMeulen's Answer:

While it is true that some styles of horn playing don’t endorse the use of vibrato, you will find that vibrato use varies dramatically geographically throughout the horn world. Before the digital recording age horn playing developed geographically with sounds and styles that varied greatly. Vibrato was widely used within the French, Russian, East German, Czech horn communities and more. Horn sound and vibrato use was personal and often passed on within the tradition of the region and pedagogy. Although the sound and styles of the horn have homogenized some over the years vibrato use is still a personal and effective addition to expression not dissimilar to its use on any other instrument or voice. As such, I see no harm in encouraging vibrato use done tastefully with service to the music and the tradition of sound and style which best suits your feeling of the composer’s intent. I personally have no problem with judicious use of vibrato on Ravel Pavane or Tchaikovsky 5th but am less inclined to find it effective or necessary for Brahms or Bruckner. In recital and concerto work I am more inclined to endorse vibrato which adds color to the music and sound. Vibrato should be done to add color and increase musical line. Sadly, many use vibrato to mask a lack of center to one’s tone and pitch. Of the types of vibrato; Jaw, finger, breath, lipping, I feel strongly we should emulate singers with breath vibrato. It keeps the air moving and adds to the overall musical line. While many Americans may eschew vibrato use as a matter of dogma I disagree and use quite a bit in my personal solo playing, especially in Jazz styled works and vocal transcriptions. I am glad you don’t take points off and  encourage you to champion anything you believe will best serve the music since that is our sacred trust. 


YouTube: the Horn Channel
Interesting, entertaining, educational and of great historic value. This is a collection of short videos by Ifor James, Hans Pizka and Greg Cass.
Il Club del Corno
The Italian Horn Club. Mostly in Italian with some English translations.
The British Horn Society
Dedicated to the art, craft and fun of horn playing.
Interactive Video Audition Service International ("IVASI"): An Inter-Active Video Guide for Orchestral Preparation, developed by IHS life member James Decker
Nederlands Hoornisten Genootschap
Dutch Horn Society
(in Dutch only)
Horn Articles Online
A large collection of information on horn playing and horn history by John Ericson.
Japan Horn Society
(in Japanese only)
A large site featuring music and recorded examples of horn excerpts by Daren Robbins.
A site run by Damian Walentek of the Polish National Radio Symphony in Katowice, for the promotion of the horn in Poland (Polish Lanaguage only)
Pip Eastop
Inventions, articles, and much more in a site by a well-known British player.
A Belgian horn site (in Flemish only)
Dick Martz
Photos and descriptions of an interesting personal collection of horns.
A Portuguese language horn forum.
A fun site, created by Thomas Bacon.
Free classifieds, 300 page information archive, Walter Hecht's Significa, section listings, and more by Robin Moffatt.
Julia Rose's Horn Page
Notes from master classes by Mark Lawrence, David Krehbiel, Arnold Jacobs, audition lists, and more.
Hornist Lucinda Lewis shares information for brass players suffering with embouchure problems or lip injuries.
Bob Ward's Homepage
Check out the warm-up book and other information from this San Francisco Symphony hornist.
All things horn in Vienna. Includes articles, a forum and a marketplace. In German only.
Website of the International women's Brass conference.
An enthusiasm for Dennis Brain
A tribute website to Dennis Brain (1921-1957). [Japanese and English]
Hans Pizka's Homepage
Bios of famous hornists, advice for young players, big pictures, and more.
BLOGS What is a blog? See The Horn Call, Oct. 2006, p. 44. Barry Tuckwell: A Life With French (sic) Horn
A podcast interview from the University of Melbourne. Scroll down to program number 21.
Works with Horn by Female Composers
An excellent resource by Lin Foulk.

The Horn List at Yahoo! Groups

This horn list is intended as a forum for the exchange of information and opinions related to the horn and horn performance. It is a meeting point where all hornists - professionals, students, and amateurs alike - can trade ideas in a congenial, constructive atmosphere, governed by the rules of mutual respect and common courtesy. Over 1000 members.

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"The Hornlist"

The purpose of the Horn Discussion Group is to provide a forum for electronic conversation about all things relating to the horn's playing technique, repertoire, ensembles, personalities, and so on. Sending a message to the list causes it to be distributed automatically to a subscribing membership of about 900 people worldwide. So questions get lots of answers, and issues get lots of responses. Like hornists themselves, the list is usually full of friendly banter and helpfulness with the occasional curmudgeon. All are welcome.

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Horn Event Calendar
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Performance Job Listings
Compiled and updated quarterly by Jeffrey Agrell

A listing of horn related employment opportunities, primarily academic. To post a job opening announcement contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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IHS Forum
Join fellow horn players in a broad ranging forum. Only Only IHS members are allowed to post. The forum includes an"Ask the Pros" section with a different correspondent every other month.

Some of the best the web has to offer for horn players, including many national or regional horn related sites.

Horn Performance Jobs

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IHS Members are invited to submit information on any upcoming horn auditions not listed here.






Antwerp Symphony Orchestra

2nd/4th Horn. Application deadline: June 6, 2021. Audition date: August 25, 2021.

Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège

Cor Solo 1er soliste. Application deadline: June 5, 2021. Audition date: June 16, 2021.






Guiyang Symphony Orchestra

Horn, principal. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: July 27, 2021.

Guiyang Symphony Orchestra

Horn, associate principal. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: July 27, 2021.

Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra

French Horn (Principal, Assistant Principal & Tutti). Application deadline: July 4, 2021. Audition date: Aug. 24-25, 2021.




Czech Republic

Brno Philharmonic

First French Horn Player. Application deadline: May 28, 2021. Audition date: June 29, 2021.

Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra

International Orchestral Academy (Apprenticeship/Academy position). Application deadline: April 25, 2021. Audition date: N/A.

South Bohemian Theatre Orchestra

Application deadline: May 14, 2021. Closing date: May 27, 2021.


DR Symfoniorkestret / Danish National Symphony Orchestra

Associate Principal Horn. Application deadline: May 19, 2021. Audition date: June 19-21, 2021.







Orchestre des Champs-Élysées / Philippe Herreweghe

Solo horn(s) / cor(s) solo(s). Application deadline: May 10, 2021. Audition date: June 15, 2021.

Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier Occitanie Pyrénées-Méditerranée

1 Cor co-soliste. Application deadline: Jun 4, 2021. Audition date: Jun 19, 2021.


Frankfurt Radio Symphony

Orchesterakademie des hr-Sinfonieorchesters Stipendiat*in Horn (Apprenticeship/Academy position). Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.

Gürzenich Orchester Köln

Trainee Horn (apprenticeship / academy position). Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: June 19, 2021.



Hong Kong










Philharmonie et Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg

Cor solo/Wagnertuben / pouvant jouer le 5ème cor. Application deadline: May 31, 2021. Audition date: July 10, 2021.








Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

1. Principal Horn 100%. Application deadline: May 10, 2021. Audition date: Prelims, May 11-24; First Round, June 21-22; Final Round, June 21-22.

New Zealand

Royal New Zealand Navy Band

Horn. Ongoing auditions.












South Africa

South Korea


Consorcio de Santiago - Real Filharmonía de Galicia

Curso Avanzado de Especialización Orquestal. Application deadline: May 21, 2021. Audition date: not listed.

Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España

French Horn. Application deadline: June 11, 2021. Audition date: not listed.

Orquesta de València

Sección Trompa. Application deadline: Mar. 23, 2021. Audition date: not listed.





United Kingdom

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Principal Second Horn. Application deadline: May 17, 2021. Audition date: Recorded round, Mid-June; Live round, Mid-July.

Corps of Army Music

Horn. Ongoing auditions.


Musician Callout 2020/21. Application deadline: Feb. 8, 2021. Audition date: not listed.

Royal Air Force

Horn - ongoing auditions.


Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Fourth Horn (per service). Application deadline: Aug. 20, 2021. Audition date: Aug. 21, 2021.

Boise Philharmonic Orchestra

Associate Principal Horn/Horn III. Application deadline: Sep. 8, 2021. Audition date: Sep. 22, 2021.

Boise Philharmonic Orchestra

Horn II. Application deadline: Sep. 9, 2021. Audition date: Sep. 23, 2021.

New World Symphony

(apprenticeship/academy position). Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.

Shen Yun Orchestra

Horn. Application deadline: ongoing. Audition date: ongoing.

United States Army Band Pershing’s Own

Horn, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band. Application deadline: June 1, 2021. Audition date: Aug. 9, 2021.

US Marine Corps Musician Enlistment

Horn. Ongoing auditions. For further information please contact Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan Bley at 757-613-8215. Or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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