So, you have started a huge new horn website! How did you meet?
We met in real life in 1984. That year Bruce was a Junior at The Eastman School of Music and John was a new MM student, a graduate of Emporia State University in Kansas. We were in the same ensembles rotation, sat across from each other in the horn choir, and John lived directly above Bruce in the dorm for those two years at Eastman.
Were you studying with the same teacher there?
No, at that time Bruce studied with Milan Yancich and John studied with Verne Reynolds. This photo is of the two of us at the horn party for 1986. As you can see we both have hardly changed a bit.
Right…. So have you been tight all the years since then?
Actually, we went in different directions with very little contact but both ended up in Arizona. John went on to earn his Doctorate at Indiana University, then was Third Horn in The Nashville Symphony for six seasons. After that he was the horn professor at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY and then on to Arizona State. Bruce played in Mexico and came back to the states to study with Thomas Bacon at Arizona State, and has performed with various groups in Arizona, including his current position as Third Horn in the Arizona Opera Orchestra.
So do you perform together often?
There is the occasional gig or event in the area but where we have worked together the most has been online. Bruce was the creator and website guru of the original IHS website. Jeff Snedeker brought John onboard to be the website manager toward the end of his time at The Crane School and it just worked out that we both ended up living in the Phoenix area. John was website editor for six years and Bruce was with the site nearly ten years. We both left the IHS site at the same time to further develop other projects of our own. The website work gets in your blood; we both have stuck with it with our personal and professional websites and blogs.
We did back at Eastman however play together on at least three recordings which true Horn Matters fans will all want to purchase:
- Carnival, Wynton Marsalis, Cornet, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Donald Hunsberger, conductor, CBS Masterworks, 1987.
- Rudolf Friml: Chansonette, Eastman-Dryden Orchestra, Donald Hunsberger, conductor, Arabesque, 1986.
- Pied Piper Fantasy, James Galway, Flute, Eastman Philharmonia, David Effron, conductor, RCA, 1987.
On Carnival John is second horn and Bruce third, on the Friml Bruce is first and John second on some tracks and Bruce second on some tracks with another first horn, and on the Galway John is first and Bruce third.
So basically you met 25 years before the launch of Horn Matters and have had solid experiences as horn players and teachers and with blogging and websites. Where do you see Horn Matters going?
While we have both enjoyed our individual blog efforts I think that above all we see something beyond our individual blogs that we believe will be a truly unique and valuable horn resource.
Final question, do you collaborate on site content? Is there a master plan?
No, actually we often surprise each other. We have different angles on things and that makes for a better variety of content, sort of a “Siskel and Ebert” of horn. We hope that the variety of content keeps bringing you back for more.