Michael Hernon (1940-2019)
Michael Hernon spent much of his life (38 years) at the University of Tennessee Martin, loved working with the students, and would have never retired except for health issues. He played in regional orchestras, taught horn students, directed a horn choir, and taught music history, which was a satisfying life. He considered his fine professional career to be capped by the Punto Award − a surprise, shock, and joy. He had no idea that he was to receive the award until his name was called from the stage, but several former students were with him, which made the moment especially satisfying.
Michael taught, in addition to horn and music history, music appreciation, brass repertoire, and pedagogy, attaining the rank of Professor Emeritus. He conducted horn choirs, brass choirs, and recorder ensembles. Prior to his tenure at UTM, Michael was a faculty member of Brescia University and taught in the public schools in Owensboro and Scottsville, Kentucky. He served for many years in the horn sections of the Jackson TN, Owensboro KY, and Paducah KY symphony orchestras.
Michael studied at Murray State University in Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, and Peabody College (now part of Vanderbilt University), completing his PhD in 1972. Ed Pease, a hornist and musicologist at Western Kentucky who had studied with Willi Apel at Indiana University, inspired Michael in both horn playing and musicology. Michael took great pleasure in teaching music history and published a discography, French Horn Discography, published by Greenwood Press.
Michael particularly enjoyed directing a horn choir of his students, former students, members of the Jackson Symphony, and amateurs. They performed a concert, with up to twelve players, at the end of every semester. Former students include Mary Bisson (who brought Barry Tuckwell to visit) and Dan Spencer, who went on to earn a PhD at the University of Iowa.
Michael retired in 2011 because of his health. He was a lifelong member of the IHS and was presented with the Punto Award at the 2013 IHS Symposium in Memphis.
One of the most visible hornists today, John Ericson has wide-ranging experience as an orchestral player, soloist, and teacher. Co-founder of the online magazine Horn Matters, Ericson began his professional career with serving for six seasons as Third Horn in the Nashville Symphony. From there, he turned to full time teaching; first at the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam) where he launched one of the first large horn websites Horn Articles Online. Since 2001 he has served on the faculty at Arizona State University, where he is Brass Area Coordinator. Besides teaching at Arizona State University, in recent years Ericson has served on the summer faculties of the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Brevard Music Center. He has also performed as an extra with groups including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Rochester Philharmonic.
His publications are a reflection of his teaching. With his additional strong interest in all instruments of the middle brass, Ericson has print and online publications on topics as diverse as the mellophone and the Wagner tuba. His three solo CDs on the Summit label received critical acclaim: The Horn Call hailed Les Adeiux for “Fantastic playing…. The level of musicality, nuance and artistry is not to be missed” and called Canto a “Terrific collaboration between horn and piano.” Table for Three, also on the Summit label, of trios for horn, bass trombone, and tuba with his colleagues Douglas Yeo and Deanna Swoboda, was released in 2015. In addition, Ericson has made recordings with The Potsdam Brass Quintet and The Nashville Symphony, performed on the Grammy Award nominated Fourth World of Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, and was a frequent recording artist in the studios in Nashville.
John received the Punto Award at the 50th IHS symposium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Richard (Rick) Seraphinoff has contributed to the knowledge of Baroque and Classical natural horns, of which he makes historical reproductions. He has been on the faculty of Indiana University since 1986, teaching modern and natural horn, brass literature, and chamber music and giving a week-long course in historical brass instrument making.
Rick earned degrees at Wayne State University and Indiana University. Among his horn teachers are Lowell Greer, Philip Farkas, Meir Rimon, Francis Orval, Michael Hatfield, Myron Bloom, and Eugene Wade. Richard won the 1984 Erwin Bodky Early Music Competition and the 1981 Heldenleben Horn Competition. He has performed on modern horn with the Detroit and Toledo symphonies and the Michigan Opera Theater. On natural horn, he has performed with virtually every Baroque and Classical orchestra in the US and many in other countries. He has written articles for the Historic Brass Society Journal, The Horn Call, and other periodicals, and with Linda Dempf has written Guide to the Solo Horn Repertoire.
Rick has performed at IHS symposiums and regularly exhibits his historical horns there. His experience with a lip injury informs his horn teaching.
Rick received the Punto Award at the 50th IHS symposium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Randy C. Gardner
Randy Gardner was Professor of Horn and Chair of the Winds, Brass, and Percussion Department at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music for 22 years following 22 years as second horn in the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has published books (Mastering the Horn’s Low Register), composed works for horn (Why?!), and performed and co-produced recordings (Shared Reflections: The Legacy of Philip Farkas).
Randy earned a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University. His teachers include Philip Farkas, Christopher Leuba, Ethel Merker, and William Adam. He is interested in psychology, especially sports psychology as applied to music performance.
Randy served on the IHS Advisory Council from 1999-2005, has been a featured artist at international symposiums and regional workshops, and serves as adjudicator at competitions. He has chaired the Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund and commissioned compositions.
Randy received the Punto Award at the 50th IHS symposium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Marcus Bonna has been instrumental in the formation of the Brazilian Horn Association, Brazilian national horn workshops (Encontro Brasileiro de Trompistas), and the 2017 IHS Horn Symposium in Natal, Brazil. Over the years, he has donated products from his company to help the IHS raise money for various programs. As a current member of the IHS Advisory Council, he has supported a closer association between Brazilian horn players and the international horn community.
Marcus was born in Belem, Pará, Brazil in 1960 and studied at the Federal University of Pará School of Music. He played in the National Theater Orchestra of Brasilia and joined the University of Brasilia before moving to São Paulo to play in the São Paulo State Symphony for the next 20 years. He also played in chamber music groups such Gramado Wind Quintet and Brazil Brass Group.
Marcus hurt his back in 1990 and developed a lighter instrument case for himself. This case sparked interest from his orchestra colleagues, then visiting horn players. He founded the MB company in 1991 to manufacture instrumental cases – all designed by Marcus. The company now employs 72 people and exports about 700 cases a month to more than 25 countries. In 2011, the company received the Exporta São Paulo Award for exporting 98% of its production and for manufacturing a product made 100% with domestic raw materials and, in 2016, it was awarded the title of Child Friendly Company.
Marcus is a member of the Board of Bragantina Friends of the Arts Association. In 2009, together with his wife, Kathia, and Luis Custódio, he founded the Lyra Bragança Project whose purpose is to offer free music education for youth from the periphery of Bragança Paulista (near São Paulo).
Marcus was given the Punto Award in 2017.
W. Peter Kurau
W. Peter Kurau has been active as soloist, orchestral player, clinician, author, and teacher. He has been featured at international and regional symposia and workshops sponsored by the IHS and other professional organizations. Peter is currently the horn professor at the Eastman School of Music, director of the Eastman Horn Choir, and principal horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
Peter came from a musical background; his mother was a soprano singer and his father an organist. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal College of Music, University of Connecticut, and Florida State University. His principal horn teachers were Verne Reynolds, David Cripps, William Capps, and Horace Fitzpatrick (natural horn).
Peter has also taught the University of Missouri-Columbia, SUNY-Genesee, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Houghton College, as well as presenting master classes throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to the Rochester Philharmonic, he has also performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony, Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, and Sun Valley Symphony. He has commissioned and premiered new works for horn by Verne Reynolds, James Willey, John Cheetham, and others.
He was a winner in the Heldenleben International Horn Competition, a recipient of an ITT International Fellowship for study in the United Kingdom, and was an Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency, presenting concerts and classes in Serbia-Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Syria, and Macedonia.
In addition to hosting the 29th International Horn Symposium (1997) and participating in many other symposiums, and hosting the first American Horn Competition (precursor to the International Horn Competition of the Americas), Peter served on the IHS Advisory Council (1993-2001), as Secretary-Treasurer (1994-1998), and as Vice President (1998-2000). He was given the Punto Award at the 2016 international symposium in Ithaca NY.
Alan Robinson and his brother, Gale, were an important part of the Los Angeles studios starting in the 1940s. Gale died in 2006 and Alan is now retired. Alan played the memorable horn part in God Only Knows.
Alan was five years younger than Gale and started to learn horn in junior high school while Gale was away fighting in World War II. He started playing in the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra at age 13; his first movie credit was Humoreque with the youth orchestra. At Los Angeles City College, he studied geology and psychology because, “Music was my life. I knew all about music, so I wanted to learn about other things.”
Alan played in the Utah Symphony for three years before returning to Los Angeles to 20th Century Fox, playing second to Alfred Brain and then Vincent DeRosa. From the 1950s into the 1980s, he traveled between Las Vegas and Los Angeles to perform with leading artists such as the Beach Boys, Barbra Streisand, Dizzy Gillespie, Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and Earth, Wind, and Fire. His movie credits at 20th Century Fox include The King and I, Carousel, Spartacus, and The Sound of Music.
Alan became a house painter and real estate agent during the musicans’ strike in 1958, and toured with the National Orchestra of Mexico, then in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, finally joining Gale in a tour of the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1964. Back in Los Angeles in the freelancing era, Alan played on television series The Waltons and Starsky and Hutch; movies include The Muppet Movie, Star Trek I, and To Kill a Mockingbird. His last studio session was for television in the early 1980s.
See Annie Bosler’s article on the Robinson Brothers in the February 2007 issue of The Horn Call.
David Duke played in the UCLA band in the 1950s and has been sought after in Hollywood studios since the 1960s. He was a member of the Westwood Wind Quintet and played with ensembles such Henry Mancini, the Monterey Jazz Orchestra, Neil Norman, and the Abnuceals Emuukha Eletric Orchestra (organized by Frank Zappa).
David has performed with countless artists and composers for over four decades, including Cannonball Adderley, Teresa Brewer, Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Newman, Kenny Rogers, Arturo Sandoval, Doc Severinsen, John Williams, and Nancy Wilson. Recordings include The Beach Boys, The Carpenters, Natlie Cole, Judy Collins, Miles Davis, John Denver, Neil Diamond, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, Johnny Mathis, Prince, and Frank Sinatra.
Movie soundtracks include Agent Cody Banks, Along Came a Spider, Cats and Dogs, The Chronicles of Riddick, Collateral Damage, The Color Purple, Constantine, Dragonfly, Dreamcatcher, Elf, King Kong, The Legend of Zorro, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Meet the Fockers, Panic Room, Paycheck, Peter Pan, Red Dawn, Rocky II, Star Trek: Nemesis, Under the Tuscan Sun, and War of the Worlds.