Hello friends! Thanks for taking a minute to check this out. I’ve had a lot of fun stuff going on lately and I’m excited to share it with you!
This summer I started doing some intensive study on The Horn Matters Excerpt E-Books to expand my knowledge of the orchestral audition repertoire. The E-books are published onhornmatters.org(now the first listing on Google for “French horn websites”) by my own amazing professor here at ASU, Dr. John Ericson.
In order to study these excerpts best, I compiled Spotify Catalogues for all three E-Books, which are available on my website on the Horn Corner page. The catalogues list five recordings of every excerpt, indicating the starting and stopping points within the larger piece where the excerpt can be found. I initially started this just for my own study, but later realized there are surely other people who could benefit from it – so this project was one of the big things that pushed me to get my personal website off the ground!
Another thing that helped give birth to the website was the incredible middle & high school students I taught this summer. This was my first time teaching several students on a weekly basis, and I taught a total of eight kids throughout the summer. It was a great learning experience for me on a few levels. It forced me to write a number of scale and warm up exercises for players of various skill levels (also found on the Horn Corner page), but furthermore, teaching showed me a side of music I was a little unfamiliar with. It was a very gratifying experience to teach these kids, see them improve, and know that as a teacher I was able to make a difference in their lives – hopefully one that extends beyond music. I still love performing – more now than ever before – but teaching has a personal touch that I’ve never found on stage. It’s truly changed the way I look at music for the better, and I’m very excited to continue teaching in Phoenix!
Backtracking to the Spotify Catalogues, my new project is to calculate the average tempo for every recording in each E-Book to find the “perfect” average recording for each excerpt that is least likely to upset an audition panel. Though five recordings per excerpt doesn’t hold enough data to hold the “perfect” tempo, I’m going to start with that, and hopefully go up to as many as 10 recordings per excerpt down the road to calculate a very precise average tempo for each excerpt. I discovered this technique from Met Orchestra Percussionist Rob Knopper(check out his stuff on my Websites page or click here!) and it’s been a fun project that should hold some great value down the road.
Related to the excerpt catalogues, I’ve also started creating Spotify Catalogues for horn solo repertoire. Good solo recordings are harder to find on Spotify than major orchestral works, but I'm optimistic that there’s still enough good stuff out there to create a decent catalogue. More of those will be coming out soon!
In the way of performing, I am very excited to be playing Principal Horn for the ASU Lyric Opera Theatre on our production of the 19th century comedic opera H.M.S. Pinafore this month. For those in the Phoenix area, the show runs from September 29 through October 2. Tickets are between $8-$21, but if money is an issue let me know and I can try to pull some strings for you ;) Between that and the other great music we’re performing at ASU this year (Beethoven 7, Brahms 4, Tchaik 5) it should be a very fun year for horn playing!
Lastly, a month ago I started my new job as a Creative Fellow for the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. After about a month the job has already been a lot of fun and taught me quite a bit. The job description is very broad, ranging from freshman retention to community outreach to meeting with ASU administration about building new arts facilities, but all of it has been awesome! I’ve especially enjoyed the opportunity to reach out to freshman and help them find their way in their new life here. The one thing I’ve really missed from being a drum major in high school marching band is being able to mentor younger colleagues, and I’m very excited to have that back in my life :)
Thank you very much for reading! And whatever you're up to in your life, keep working, keep dreaming, keep believing, and never give up. Have an amazing weekend!!!