We had so many spectacular submissions for this newsletter that we decided to make two issues - Part 1 to be released today, and Part 2 in mid-December. Happy reading/watching/listening/participating!
IHS Advisory Council member and Scholarship Chair Dr. Patrick Hughes announces changes to our annual Awards and Competitions.
Interview of the Month: Lydia van Dreel talks to the Stiletto Brass
Amy Gilreath: First of all, thank you so much, Lydia, for asking us do this interview for the International Horn Society. It’s always a pleasure to share with others and make new friends.
Lydia van Dreel: How did you all meet, and how did you all decide to come together as a chamber group?
Amy: The other co-founder of Stiletto Brass, Velvet Brown and I originally met at the 1993 International Women’s Brass Conference. Afterwards we, along with IWBC founder and retired Principal Trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony, Susan Slaughter, performed together in another brass quintet called Velvet Brass for a few years. Years later we found ourselves, again, together for a weekend performance in the Monarch Brass Quintet and began talking about how much we loved playing chamber music and how we had missed performing together. Not surprisingly, we formed Stiletto Brass Quintet soon afterwards. Our current members are myself- Amy Gilreath and Susan Rider on trumpet, guest artist Rachel Hockenberry on horn, Natalie Mannix on trombone and Velvet Brown on tuba. These ladies are not only great musicians but also great human beings. It is a joy to perform with people with whom you connect both musically and personally.
LVD: Given that you live all over the US, how do you get together to rehearse? How often do you rehearse?
Amy: Yes, this can be a challenge! We approach it in a few different ways. Sometimes we get together for a music retreat at someone’s home: reading new music for possible future pieces, rehearsing our chosen program and then afterwards cooking amazing dinners together. Oh and laughing A LOT! Other times we get together a few days before a performance tour and rehearse then. When that happens, everyone has prepared their parts beforehand, listened to recordings and studied the scores. This is very important as we can then quickly move to discussing the musical aspects...
Mientras el mundo enfrentaba los embates de la pandemia, las artes buscaban también cómo sobrevivir, cómo expresarse... cómo conectarse. La música no fue la excepción y también sigue experimentando este fenómeno de búsqueda incesante por conectarnos a pesar de estar aislados. Fue así como entonces las distancias se acortaron más que nunca y en todas las latitudes, las voluntades alrededor del mundo se unieron para crear lo que jamás pudiéramos haber imaginado.
Desde Brasil, dos cornistas de la OSPA -Israel Oliveira y Nadabé Tomás (compañeros de fila)- sintieron la inquietud de hacerle frente a los estragos que estaba causando el Covid19 en los colegas y alumnos y que también afectaba la cotidianidad de sus labores docentes. Ellos estaban decididos contra todo pronóstico a mantener las actividades con sus alumnos, así fuera de manera virtual. De manera casi inmediata, esta idea creció y en menos de un mes, tomó forma gracias a las sugerencias y colaboraciones de otros profesores brasileños que se sumaron al proyecto como fue el caso de Marcelo Das Virgens, Radegundis Tavares y Evandro Neves. La existencia de una comunidad organizada y muy entusiasta con unas ganas inmensas de compartir y de conocer, ya era una realidad. Rápidamente el trabajo se intensificó y diversificó con las 6 reuniones semanales incluyendo todas las actividades en nuestras redes sociales. Para poder cumplir a cabalidad todas las tareas era necesario ampliar el equipo organizado por lo que entonces pasaron a tomar responsabilidades en el trabajo Gabriella Ibarra, Verónica Guardia, Gleice Viana y Paula Guimaraes.
¿Quién imaginaría que las reuniones virtuales pudieran sentirse tan reales? tan humanas? tan cálidas? Cada entrevista ha estado llena de emociones y aprendizajes a través de cada relato, de cada experiencia e historia de vida -que en muchos casos han sido sorprendentemente aleccionadoras!-... Muchos momentos nos...
Japan Horn Sound plays "Jupiter" from The Planets by Gustav Holst. Video produced by Nobuaki Fukukawa, featuring all members of Japan Horn Sound
There’s SNOW-place like the IHS for the holidays! Help us bring life to this snow person, as we’ll be adding more personality for every NEW Horn Society membership we receive from now until Dec 31! JOIN NOW or give a GIFT Membership.
The Quarantine Stretch, Part 1
Solicited and Introduced by Mike Harcrow
This is assuredly one of the most bizarre seasons any of us has experienced. As one who is far closer to 60 than to 30 and who has performed in over forty countries on five continents—including a long stint in Seoul in the Korean Symphony Orchestra—I recall nothing like this since my career began four decades ago. Perhaps not since World War II has performing around the world been thrown into such turmoil. Having lost well over US$10,000.00 from performance cancellations since March of this year myself, I at least have a university teaching job that pays our bills; but I realize perfectly—and with genuine empathy—that many others have suffered far greater losses because of the global pandemic. What is so encouraging through all of this, however, is the resourcefulness of friends and colleagues in stretching themselves to remain creative, to learn new skills to facilitate their creativity, and to proudly and expertly display these newly-acquired skills in inspiring projects (performed on balconies, in front yards, on YouTube, in social media outlets, etc.) while negotiating cancelled seasons, taking on other full- or part-time jobs, home-schooling children, watching savings disappear, and enduring a great host of other challenges.
While I know there are so many of you doing this very thing, I asked a few of our wonderful colleagues who are in some way reinventing themselves to share their thoughts and experiences by responding to any or all of the following prompts:
• How are you diversifying or bolstering your musical skill sets for the future due to current orchestra closures and performance cancellations? • What secondary skills are you honing or exploiting? • Have you taken on another job to maintain an income? If so, what? • What hobbies or new interests—music-related or not—are generating income for you?
I am grateful to each of our contributors for giving us a little insight into their personal struggles and victories. Let us continue to learn from, inspire, and encourage one another.
Please consider contributing any recollections, anecdotes, simple one-liners you heard and have remembered from working with Michael Hatfield throughout his career from public schools days in Evansville, college days in Bloomington, and professional and informal days throughout his performing and teaching career in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Aspen, Santa Fe and Bloomington for a tribute article being constructed. Photos from all those cities are being sought as well as recollections from administrators, audience members will gladly be included along with those from former colleagues and pupils. Mr. Hatfield has touched so many nationally and internationally. Please send your thoughts at an early convenience to John Dressler via firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month’s questions are courtesy of Hervé Joulain, IHS Country Representative for France. Send your answers to email@example.com by December 10. If you answer all 4 questions correctly, your name will be entered into the prize drawing. Hervé has kindly offered 3 copies of his new solo CD, “En Forêt: French Impressionistic Horn Music” (Muhiddin Dürrüoglu, piano) as prizes.
Which French player refused the position of principal horn in the Boston Symphony Orchestra?
To whom did Charles Gounod dedicate his 6 original Melodies for Horn and Piano?
Louis François Dauprat
Georges Barboteu was a fine horn player and composer, as well as being famous for whistling in studio recordings. What other instrument did he play?
Who premiered Dukas’ Villanelle?
Paul Dukas (himself)
Area Rep Corner - Jonathan Luxton
Your Horn and More team is happy to bring you this new regular feature, the Area Rep Corner. Here our representatives and regional coordinators from around the world can introduce themselves and share news from their local horn communities. Our first contribution comes from Jonathan Luxton, IHS country representative for Ireland.
Notes from the Emerald Isle
Since joining the International Horn Society, I am still the only member in Ireland. However, I have not been idle!
I have been able to carry on teaching online since March, and for the last three months, I have started directing the historic Limerick St. John’s Brass & Reed Band.
We are now in lockdown again, so my efforts to start an outreach programme with the band for young students in the local area have been put on hold. We were sponsored by Fine Wines Limerick so we could start an instrument bank, and we were able to begin teaching adults. It was wonderful to see the band hall filled with colourful P bones and P cornets. When will they start to make P horns??
I teach at a small music school in Killaloe, the Munster Music Academy, where so far I have one trumpet student. The school offers a good variety of instruments, but the majority of students (or their parents?) solely want to study the piano. This I just do not understand. By playing a string, woodwind, or percussion instrument, students have the opportunity to play in amateur orchestras, bands, ensembles, etc. I believe the opportunity to play in youth groups is so important for social interaction, friendships, teamwork, and responsibility to others, learning about other instruments, and expanding your musical education. If you only study the piano, it can be a very solitary musical experience. Interestingly, in November last year, I was invited to deputise as conductor of a local amateur orchestra. The orchestra had a fine string section but no oboes, bassoons, or French horns. Where are these amateur players?
The band’s outreach programme for teaching brass and woodwind to students is called First Steps in Music. I’m excited to have the opportunity to introduce brass at the grassroots level with these young aspiring players, and hopefully through them and their parents help to begin to spread awareness of brass in Limerick.
I am passionate about children having the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. I was brought up in the UK when instrumental lessons were free. We are offering local schools in Limerick the chance to study for a small weekly fee, and we will provide the instruments.
I have only been in Ireland for just over a year. In my time freelancing and teaching, I have met some wonderful horn players, but I have noticed a surprising lack of amateur brass and woodwind players in general in the greater Limerick area.
I believe that there is a wonderful opportunity here in Ireland to bring brass players, old and new, out of the woodwork, in addition to inspiring a new generation.
Horns A Plenty Christmas Virtual Ensemble
Don Krause, founder and leader of the annual Horns A Plenty Christmas ensemble, invites you to lend your chops and enthusiasm to this year's Covid virtual horn choir! The music and instructions are included in this PDF, and the link to the click track is here.
Pedagogy - Erik Ralske
Five Essential Reasons to Subdivide
Have you ever been so excited to hear a recording of a performance you just gave, feeling certain that it was not only flawless, but also musically thrilling, only to be bitterly disappointed after hearing the recording? You may think, “how could it sound so bland when it seemed so exciting from behind the horn?” Upon a closer listening, you may hear the missed opportunities to really convey the emotions of the music. Maybe you let a long note die on the vine? Perhaps you now hear a less than perfect slur? If it seems odd to think of subdividing as the cure for your musical malaise or technical lapses, not so! Read on….
Students are told by their teachers to subdivide from the earliest lessons, with the emphasis solely on good rhythm and yet the ability to play steadily still eludes so many. However, the value of subdividing while playing goes way beyond “playing in time”. In fact, subdivisions are the force that propels music forward—either towards greater intensity and passion or towards moments of calm of resolution. If we recognize the power of this mini-engine that sits between the big beats of the basic pulse, and then learn how to drive this engine with precision in order to take our listeners on exactly the journey we envision, our performances can be transformed.
How to start?
The first step is to take a passage and break down every long note down to the next logical smaller value. Using the the overly familiar solo entrance of Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto #1 at bar 28 as an example, we would divide everything into 1/8 notes. Be careful not to articulate with your air, but instead, slice through a long block of air with your tongue. Play through the passage enough times with a metronome so that you’re certain of the rhythmic precision. Note: When practicing with a metronome, break free of being a passenger and “following the metronome”. By playing all the subdivisions, you...
Due to the continued effects of COVID-19 on the globe, IHS53 will be held online.
This provides the IHS with a unique opportunity, as virtual conferences have the ability to remove barriers of distance and nationality, especially ones created by travel/income challenges.
The theme of IHS53, therefore, will be Our ONE Horn Community, focusing on presentations and performances that emphasize and celebrate collaboration between horn players across the world.
From shared/collaborative lectures to performances by a collaboration of artists from across the globe, IHS53 will be dedicated to the unity that we all share as horn players, musicians, and human souls.
Proposal submission dates and other information will be available on the forthcoming IHS53 website.
YOUR HORN AND MORE IHS E-NEWSLETTER TEAM:
Nobuaki Fukukawa Mike Harcrow Ab Koster Kristina Mascher-Turner (editor) Lydia Van Dreel Anneke Scott Dan Phillips