Verne Reynolds, Gardener


One way to know someone is by their hobbies. The name of Verne Reynolds should be familiar to Horn Matters readers, as Bruce and I both studied with him at Eastman and he was not only the long-time horn professor there but also a composer of some note. I have a few personal reflections here on my studies.

As accurately reflected in the musical demands of compositions such as his 48 Etudes, Reynolds could be a very stern and demanding horn teacher. But as I have reached the end of another semester this week I can totally see that in academia, at the end of a long year of teaching, you really crave and need downtime.

blogs 002In the case of Verne Reynolds, his downtime activities included a large garden at his home. My last summer in Rochester I played most of the summer season of the Rochester Philharmonic. His wife Shirley would bring in paper bags of vegetables from their garden to rehearsals to give away (she was a member of the RPO violin section), and I know I enjoyed the fruit of his labors that summer several times!

Not that our humble garden in Arizona really compares, but one project this summer is to expand the plot and yes, I planted and grew the Swiss chard in this photo. So while I realize that for many of our readers horn playing is a hobby, summer is a great time to explore other interests as well.