A few more Thoughts on the Southwest Horn Conference 2012

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With the passage of more than a week it is good time to reflect a bit more on the event.

Right off the top, my recital (presented jointly with Daniel Katzen) was among the best if not the best workshop performance I have ever given. And all from memory: the Schumann Dedication and the Fantasy Pieces (originally for clarinet) and also the Franz Strauss Fantasie. I wish more people had been there; it was the first event of the conference, but for sure that started the weekend off right for me!

The venue itself was a great size and location, at a community college rather than at Arizona State. There are faculty at smaller colleges and community colleges that really need to give hosting a regional workshop some thought as the hall was big enough, everything was right there, parking was easy, etc. I hope someone out there takes note of this.

Many outstanding performances were heard. Really, we have some horn talent in the southwest!

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A great variety of music was heard as well, from standards to world premieres. If you like the horn you could easily find a lot of music that you liked hearing, and hear it performed on the highest level. As “Exhibit A” I would present this video below, shot at the workshop and uploaded very nicely to YouTube by an audience member. It is of Laurence Lowe, horn professor at BYU, from the Friday evening recital. A stellar performance of two of his works (I especially enjoyed the first one, his Intermezzo for Horn and Piano) and also the Caccia movement of the Reynolds Partita. (Direct link to video here).

Great master classes and sessions were heard as well as great horn choirs. And soloists! The featured artists (J.D. Shaw and Bruno Schneider) were excellent but really there were many very fine performances. It is impossible to briefly encapsulate what all was heard except to say you should have been there!

Another thing in the category of things I was very impressed by was the movie produced by Annie Bosler, 1M1: Hollywood Horns of the Golden Years. I was not sure what to expect honestly when I sat down but tremendously enjoyed this one hour plus documentary, premiered this summer at the IHS symposium. It really is in the category of must see for any serious horn player. My understanding is that the website for this movie will launch soon, when it does we will have more on Horn Matters.

Did I mention trying horns? I was particularly interested to try the new Dieter Otto horn that is now endorsed by Jeff Nelsen. It is a very nice horn, well worth a longer look. For more on that specific horn (the model 180K) check this page on the manufacturers website. And Bruce Hembd has more on the topic of horns at the event.

As I have already posted about the Konzertstuck performance  and my “Horn Secrets” session I would just close by noting again that many high notes were heard and that overall the event was very inspiring to me. In the end it is hard to put it in words exactly either but the result is that the event has me thinking bigger and looking at some existing projects and new opportunities in new ways. Hopefully others at the event came away feeling the same. Many bravos yet again to host Rose French!

And remember, if you missed this event there are always more out there on the horizon. Check our Events page at Horn Matters for more.

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