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?"
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.
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)
Inventions, articles, and much more in a site by a well-known British player.
A Belgian horn site (in Flemish only)
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.
enthusiasm for Dennis Brain
A tribute website to Dennis Brain (1921-1957). [Japanese and English]
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.
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.
Buy or sell horns, accessories, music, etc. Only IHS members are allowed to post and only registered site users may view contact information for items listed.
IHS news, as well as news items from the horn world submitted by IHS members.
Horn Event Calendar
Add your concert, clinic or workshop to the horn events calendar. Only IHS members are allowed to post.
Performance Job Listings
Compiled and updated quarterly by Jeffrey Agrell
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
- Last Updated: 09 June 2021 09 June 2021
IHS Members are invited to submit information on any upcoming horn auditions not listed here.
2nd/4th Horn. Application deadline: June 6, 2021. Audition date: August 25, 2021.
Cor Solo 1er soliste. Application deadline: June 5, 2021. Audition date: June 16, 2021.
Horn, principal. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: July 27, 2021.
Horn, associate principal. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: July 27, 2021.
French Horn (Principal, Assistant Principal & Tutti). Application deadline: July 4, 2021. Audition date: Aug. 24-25, 2021.
First French Horn Player. Application deadline: May 28, 2021. Audition date: June 29, 2021.
International Orchestral Academy (Apprenticeship/Academy position). Application deadline: April 25, 2021. Audition date: N/A.
Application deadline: May 14, 2021. Closing date: May 27, 2021.
Associate Principal Horn. Application deadline: May 19, 2021. Audition date: June 19-21, 2021.
Solo horn(s) / cor(s) solo(s). Application deadline: May 10, 2021. Audition date: June 15, 2021.
1 Cor co-soliste. Application deadline: Jun 4, 2021. Audition date: Jun 19, 2021.
Orchesterakademie des hr-Sinfonieorchesters Stipendiat*in Horn (Apprenticeship/Academy position). Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.
Trainee Horn (apprenticeship / academy position). Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: June 19, 2021.
Cor solo/Wagnertuben / pouvant jouer le 5ème cor. Application deadline: May 31, 2021. Audition date: July 10, 2021.
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.
Horn. Ongoing auditions.
Curso Avanzado de Especialización Orquestal. Application deadline: May 21, 2021. Audition date: not listed.
French Horn. Application deadline: June 11, 2021. Audition date: not listed.
Sección Trompa. Application deadline: Mar. 23, 2021. Audition date: not listed.
Principal Second Horn. Application deadline: May 17, 2021. Audition date: Recorded round, Mid-June; Live round, Mid-July.
Horn. Ongoing auditions.
Musician Callout 2020/21. Application deadline: Feb. 8, 2021. Audition date: not listed.
Horn - ongoing auditions.
Fourth Horn (per service). Application deadline: Aug. 20, 2021. Audition date: Aug. 21, 2021.
Associate Principal Horn/Horn III. Application deadline: Sep. 8, 2021. Audition date: Sep. 22, 2021.
Horn II. Application deadline: Sep. 9, 2021. Audition date: Sep. 23, 2021.
(apprenticeship/academy position). Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.
Horn. Application deadline: ongoing. Audition date: ongoing.
Horn, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band. Application deadline: June 1, 2021. Audition date: Aug. 9, 2021.