Pele, a recent work for horn and wind ensemble by Brian Balmages


This coming Sunday afternoon I will be performing at Arizona State University a very attractive, recent work for horn and wind ensemble, Pele by Brian Balmages. For me the work was actually a YouTube find, and it is one that deserves to be better known. In the website of the composer it is listed as […]

Siegfried's Call - Close the Gap

Testing the Soft Playing


Briefly following up on my recent article on testing a new or used French horn, a topic that has come up several times since then is the topic of soft playing. One would tend to think all you need to do to play soft is to play soft! Of course there is a long discussion […]

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Random Monday: Better Late than Never


Last week I took a road trip to New Mexico in order to take care of some business, and also to get some work done on my horn. Regular readers might remember that a few years ago, I had some custom work done on my old Yamaha, and that I was tremendously happy with the […]

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A Mouthpiece Story and a Favorite Horn Ensemble Work


Two short items from ASU horn life last week are the focus today. Brahms will conclude, but first up, I was reminded this week how easy it can be to be fooled by preconceived notions what the problem could be. Without giving away brands and models at all, a student had perplexing problems in the […]

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Hornmasters Extra: Harry Berv


Working on the articles that became the “Hornmasters” series in Horn Matters, one name and method that had been unfamiliar to me was that of Harry Berv. Just a few days ago a fascinating remembrance of Berv by a former student was posted, and to begin, I highly recommend reading this article! It is a […]

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Mailbag: Can I use a Single F to Practice Natural Horn?

A question I have been asked a number of times is along the general lines of can I use a single F horn to practice natural horn? Or, alternately, can I have the valves removed from a single F and use that as a natural horn? The answer is yes, but with some major qualifications: […]

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On Testing a New or Used French Horn


One topic that comes up often is that of testing new and used horns, a good topic and one I have not written about in any depth. Before I get to my thoughts though, there is a two part article by Bruce Hembd on the topic in Horn Matters, it starts here and is well […]

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