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|Volume 5 Issue 1, February 2020|
Welcome to your 20s!
The new year provides us with the wonderful opportunity of looking forward to 12 new months of horn activities, concerts, masterclasses and events. It also gives us the chance to reflect on past achievements, inspirational moments and special people in our lives.
In this month's newsletter we reflect on the lives, artistry and legacy of some of the greatest ever to play our wonderful instrument. Barry Tuckwell and Chris Leuba were giants of the horn who have inspired and brought joy to so many of us. Barry was my first horn hero and as an Aussie, a huge inspiration to show what was possible for all of us down under. I remember buying his recording of the Mozart concerti in high school and wearing it out while I was studying. For years I was convinced that the horn was easy thanks to Barry's playing!
We fondly remember Barry and Chris in our February edition along with a the program of a musical tribute (led by Gail Williams) for her longtime CSO friend and colleague Norman Schweikert. This month's newsletter also features the secret lives of horn players, a fascinating look at professional horn players who have some seriously interesting sideline occupations. From a filmmaker to a chemistry professor, a comedian and a director to a baseball umpire and an acrobat you'll be amazed what some of us get up to when we're not playing the horn. The fabulous Julie Landsman provides us with some valuable insights into the Caruso method in this edition's pedagogy column to kick off 2020 with an injection of new knowledge and tips.
I hope that you all have a fantastic 2020 filled with joyous horn playing, spectacular concerts and great times.
Looking forward to seeing all of you in Eugene in August for the 52nd IHS.
“Interview” of the Month: Jukka Harju
The Horn of the Aerial World
by Gina Gillie
I'd be happy to share a little about my interest in aerial silks.
I went to grad school with an undergraduate colleague who started taking pole dance around 2009. When I saw her pictures, I thought it looked like an awful lot of fun, so I started classes in 2012. After a broken wrist from a bike accident, I started up on lyra (aerial ring), and then finally got to try silks in 2016. That was actually the apparatus that interested me, since it seemed a bit like the horn of the aerial world - temperamental and difficult, but incredibly nuanced and elegant. I enjoy the art of it and the physical challenge. It's the most fun way to develop upper body strength and flexibility that I have encountered.
I'm not always able to train consistently because of my full-time job as a professor and performing musician, and because of a few injuries, but I try to get back to it when time allows. Currently, I take an hour-long class once a week.
Being a musician helps with the artistic side of aerials. Dancers talk about motifs, beats, and rhythm as well, so I am easily able to incorporate my knowledge of music into physical movement. When I create a routine, I am sensitive to the flow of the music and its important moments. This makes if easy to imagine how moves would fit well with the music. I've tried to dream up ways of incorporating the horn into an act; I even thought about getting a super cheap stunt horn, but I haven't done it yet. While my skills are not advanced, I find aerials a very fun way to challenge my body as I get older. Here is a video of some of my work.
Dr. Gina Gillie is an accomplished performer and composer active in the Seattle area, as well as holding the position of Associate Professor of Music at Pacific Lutheran University.
Vote for the IHS Advisory Council (AC)
Kyra Sims speaks to Lydia van Dreel
New York Freelance hornist and actor/writer/director, Kyra Sims, tells us about her life as a horn player and theater artist.
Before we learn about all the non-horn playing interesting things about you, tell us about your life as a horn player. Where did you grow up?
Germantown, TN, right outside of Memphis
When did you start playing horn/where did you study
I started playing horn at age 11, when I joined the 6th grade band at my middle school. I had already been taking piano lessons for several years so I could read music in both clefs, which gave me a leg up on learning horn. I didn’t start private lessons until I was in 9th grade though, so the first year or so of study was my teacher (Jill Wilson) helping me get rid of all my bad habits!
Who are some of your heroes as horn players? As artists? As people?
When I was studying with Jill, she had this beautiful dog, a malamute, whom she’d named Frøydis, after the Norwegian horn player Frøydis Ree Wekre. She told me a little about who Frøydis was, and soon after I found an album of hers at a band clinic. She is still to this day one of my favorite horn players to listen to. Other artistic heroes of mine include the actress Viola Davis, and Lizzo!
You have trained with the Upright Citizens Brigade, you do stand-up comedy, right? Do you also do theater? Other acting?
I did stand up for about a year or so, and I did pretty well I think- I made it into a comedy festival in Chicago, and had a good set there. But after that was over I realized how time intensive it is to become a really good stand up comic, and I didn’t have that time in my life, and I didn’t want to be just an okay comic, so I decided to stop. My main theatre-making these days is with a theatre company I joined in 2015, The New York Neo-Futurists. With them I write, direct, and perform tiny plays- about 2 minutes or less- in a show called The Infinite Wrench. In the show, we try to perform 30 of these plays in 60 minutes, and the audience decides the order. It’s chaotic and experimental, but with moments of truly real, grounded art. I love having a theatre family that keeps me on my toes and lets me be completely myself.
私は、東京フィルハーモニー交響楽団(Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra)の首席ホルン(principal horn)として活動しながら、休日には野球のアンパイア(Baseball umpire)をしています。
私はさっそくその講習会に参加する事を決心し、Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring（審判学校。MLB公認）の校長をしている、Jim Evansから直接、初心者の私が指導を受ける機会に恵まれました。
さらに、その講習会に参加していた方に勧められて、首都圏野球審判協会(MBUA=Metropolitan area Baseball UmpireAssociation )に加入する事になりました。
Strike! He’s Out! That’s a Catch!
Logo Items For SaleDid you know we are now selling IHS logo merchandise on our website?
Please take a look!
A Life of Chemistry and Music
by Roseann Sachs
I have been a musician since I began studying the piano in kindergarten. It was in fourth grade that I began playing the French horn as part of a very strong school music program in Minnesota. I still remember the sense of awe when I first played in a band; and while each instrument had its own part, together we made something much better. It was in middle school that my parents bought me a fine used Mirafone double horn, the horn I still play today. I realize now what a sacrifice that was for them to make that purchase.
As I headed off to Bethel University, in St. Paul, MN, my interests were focused on science and its application to medicine. However, I continued to study piano privately, and I made first chair horn in my college band as a freshman. At the end of my first year, I declared chemistry as my major; but midway through my second year, I also added in a music major, with an emphasis on piano performance. College was very busy for me: a life of long labs, problem sets, lots of practice room time, ensemble rehearsals, recitals and concerts. I have never regretted studying both chemistry and music in college! But what would I do with those two degrees? Along the way I had decided that I wanted to be a college professor, and the intricacies and problem-solving that were a part of organic chemistry were what I most wanted to teach. Therefore I pursued a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Minnesota.
Admittedly, during the years of developing my chemistry courses, starting up my undergraduate research lab, earning tenure, and having and raising children, I did not play my horn. When I started to play again here at Messiah College, the horn certainly required some maintenance! Since then, I have played in Messiah College’s horn choir, pit orchestras for our college theatre program and at several high schools, several church gigs, and with the Greater Harrisburg Concert Band. Each time, I’m reminded that there is nothing that compares to performing live music. Chemistry is truly beautiful, trust me on that! However, it’s not the same as how music touches and restores my soul when performing, with either my horn or from the piano, with others.
Roseann K. Sachs is Professor of Chemistry at Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA
For complete details, eligibility requirements and submission instructions, go to www.quadre.org/projects
Tributes to Barry Tuckwell
By Ben Jacks
The first thing I’ll always remember about Barry was his eyes. I first met him backstage at Perth concert hall when I was about 15 after hearing him play the Brahms trio. It was an inspiring performance, delivered in a very matter of fact way but with amazing control and fearlessness.
Years later in Melbourne I met him again, and those intense eyes immediately grabbed me. He had a way of seeing through things and making his thoughts clear without saying very much. His control of the instrument was incredible. The ease with which he seemed to be able to go across registers, control dynamics at both ends of the spectrum and convey a musical line was amazing.
Barry was also an incredibly funny man. His wit was first rate; at times I’ll admit I laughed without quite understanding his joke and then hours later when the penny dropped I appreciated it all the more.
As an Australian trailblazer he showed all musicians, not just horn players, what was possible with not only talent but determination. To scale the heights that he did is almost unimaginable today and yet he did it all.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to record an album with Barry conducting. I learned so many things. He taught me that preparing for a long recording is quite different from a solo concert and that maintaining a clear and pure musical line was the most important thing. His humour again was always on display during this process and many of jokes I cannot repeat in this forum!
I remember vividly one occasion during this week when we were enjoying a quiet beverage at the end of a long day. An acquaintance of mine walked past and stopped to say hello. I introduced Barry and was on the verge of giving a colorful introduction. He stopped me and said, “I used to be good at what I did a long time ago.” Even after all Barry had done, he remained a humble and generous soul and one I was lucky enough to count a friend.
Ben Jacks is Principal Horn of the Sydney Symphony, Orchestra Brass Co-ordinator at the Australian National Academy of Music, and a much sought-after soloist and chamber musician.
by Geoff Collinson:
I will always count myself a very lucky person to have spent so much time with Barry over the last 17 years. To hear firsthand stories of an incredible life and to gain insights into the person behind the onstage presence that I previously had only known from a distance will always be one of the most treasured experiences of my life. His life was music and horn was his voice. He has touched the lives of many people around the globe with his music and unique sound. That sound was formed from one concert he attended of the Vienna Philharmonic in Scotland when he was in his early twenties. Hearing their principal horn, Gottfried van Freiburg, stuck in his mind. Van Freiburg would never know that in the audience he was inspiring a young man who would go on to become a legend of our instrument.
My greatest inspiration from my friend is the thought of a 19-year-old boy getting on a boat from Australia to the UK in 1949 with a horn in an old leather rucksack with not much else but a dream and a great musical gift. The rest, as they say, is history.
Geoff Collinson is the founder of the Melbourne International Festival of Brass, was head of the University of Melbourne brass department, and has served as principal horn and guest principal horn of major orchestras throughout Australia.
Tributes to Chris Leuba
Tributes by Jerry Domer, Randy Gardner, Geoffrey Winter, Mike Simpson, Mike Graef, Keith Eitzen, Mike Hettwer, Roger Kaza and Marian Hesse.
Many thanks to Marian Hesse for curating this collection!
From Jerry Domer, Chris Leuba’s best friend:
Jerry Domer provided us with some stream of conscious thoughts about his dear friend, Christopher Leuba.
Chris considered himself an expert on Belgian beer and loved train travel.
He loved going to hot springs. In the early 70's, he visited us in Montana and would insist on being taken to a hot spring pool near the Idaho border in western Montana. Flipping a coin, we would sometimes take him cross-country skiing, which he also enjoyed despite having virtually no skill and terrible balance. When he fell (often), he would ungraciously reject any attempt to help him up. Just try to imagine the vision of Chris in a pair of baggy swim trunks emerging from a hot spring pool, or gingerly trying to co-ordinate skis and poles while bundled up in cold weather gear…smiling yet?
Chris drove only Volkswagens. Old VW's. For a few years, he owned three black VW Beetles, which he named Three, Blind, and Mice. Usually, only one was drivable at any given time, but there were others, a Karmann Ghia, which was a Beetle that looked like a sports car, and a VW bus. Later there were a couple of other models, but they were old when he acquired them. He would never consider buying a new car. There was one exception, an ancient Mercedes sedan. Not a VW, but still German.
Though he would vehemently deny it, he loved cats, all cats, even the ones who disliked him. He would tease those. Whenever he had a working camera with him when he visited us, he would take pictures of the cats, just the cats, unless my wife Joan had one in her lap, then she would be included. (Note from Marian: Jerry’s wife and Joan Watson were two of the important people in Chris’ life. Jerry told me he referred them as his two Joans.)
No one was ever like Julian Christopher Leuba, and no one will ever be like him. Our lives were vastly enriched by him.
In his ascent to Valhalla, he either rode a train or drove a VW. He didn't like horses!
Let Us Hear From You
A Tribute in Music to Norman Schweikert
Norman Schweikert was a huge influence not only on stage but through his teaching. In the 80’s and early 90’s, he conducted the horn choir at Northwestern University. Norman transcribed a number of works, but the Vaughan Williams struck me as a wonderful tribute to him. With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra dedicating a concert to Norman last November 1st, I thought the timing was right for a large horn choir with former students and current students. It would have been the way Norman would also want to be remembered.
Gail Williams, Horn Professor
This concert turned into more than I ever expected. I would suggest it to one horn player, and the word got around about the recital - more and more people wanted to play. Brian Thomas, 2nd horn of the Houston Symphony and a former Schweikert student, provided me with programs from his era at NU. The program included a few works from those programs and in this order! Nu Horn students Chicago Symphony Horn Section joined by former students Chicago Horn Consort The Wilder work was performed with Norman many years ago. Vaughan Williams with 45 Hornists and Tuba, Gene Pokorny We sent Norman a huge lovely sound and certainly a memorable tribute.
Carmine Caruso and the Caruso Method
By Julie Landsman
My love of teaching was inspired by the great mentors in my life. The most influential teacher I had beginning at age 13, was not a horn player at all! He was Carmine Caruso, who played the saxophone and violin!
What was it about Carmine’s teaching that rocked my world? Let’s start with his unconditional love for all of his students. When I had a lesson with Carmine, I felt embraced and accepted, not only as a horn player, but as a whole person. Carmine taught from his heart, a quality I strive to emulate with my own students.
Carmine‘s favorite phrase was “play with abandon.” He often critiqued teachers who blamed the student for not improving. Carmine took his job as the “the fixer“ deeply to heart. It is the teacher’s responsibility, he believed, to help the student overcome any physical problems on the instrument, in order to become the best musician possible. If the student did not improve, the onus rested with the teacher. As long as the student did the work and the lines of communication remained open, it could be a beautiful partnership between a wise teacher and a motivated student.
I have tried to emulate my mentor. His patience and ease are qualities that I hope to embody. I made a pivotal phone call to Carmine while I was teaching at Rice University in 1983. The memory of this call for help remains fixed in my brain. I was having a difficult time staying calm and patient with a particularly challenging student, so I reached out to Carmine for his guidance on patience and tolerance.
IHS 2020 in Eugene, Oregon
Welcome to the heart of the Pacific Northwest, home of the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance and host of the 52nd annual International Horn Symposium
Our symposium theme is “The Healthy Horn”
Come to IHS 52 to be inspired by breathtaking concerts from internationally renown horn virtuosi, to meet artisan horn makers from around the world, to attend master classes and presentations from experts in many fields, and to explore all aspects of horn health
Your Horn and More IHS E-newsletter team:
International Horn Society