International Horn Symposium Day 5

This morning I started the day by going to the adult amateur ensemble where we are rehearsing “Legend of Sleeping Bear” by Eric Ewazen for the final concert on Sunday evening. This work is coming along nicely. We rehearsed it and then played it through once. We have one more short rehearsal tomorrow morning. I think it will be fine.

I also went to another ensemble that will be playing “Music for the Royal Fireworks” by Handel. The horn choir arrangement of this is done so that anyone of any level of playing can manage one of the parts. The 1st horn part is hard and high, the 2nd is not quite so high but has a big range and also is hard. From there they progress so that by the 8th, 9th and 10th parts they are relatively easy. I got the 10th horn part – nice and easy. This will be the final piece played at the Sunday night finale. Everyone knows this work and I think it’s a great one to end the symposium with.

In both pieces there are parts, including the parts I am playing, with bass clef. There were quite a few participants that asked for parts without bass clef. I was surprised but happy that there was something I can actually do that other much more advanced players couldn’t. I can’t transpose worth a darn yet but I can read bass clef from my piano playing days.

One of the things I am really enjoying is getting experience with different conductors. Between the two that conduct the community bands I’m in and the two here I am getting exposure to four different styles. This is not something that I would be able to experience without attending these events. The conductor of the Handel piece spent about 5 minutes discussing tuning and how to do it right. You’d think that tuning would be demanded by every conductor but this ensemble is the only one where we actually tuned up. At my community bands someone plays a tuning note but no one seems to pay any attention to it.

The rest of the day was jam packed with performances as usual. Most of the performances were by winners of various competitions that have been going on during the week. There were new compositions by the winners of the IHS composition contests, solo horn competition winners, jazz solo competition finals and horn ensemble competition finals. It’s just incredible how much music one gets to hear at this symposium. Everyday there seems to be more and more. Almost all of it is truly outstanding.

I haven’t done much practicing this week – playing yes, practicing no – so it will be interesting to see where I am once I get home. I took it easy on the drive out here so I got to hotels well before dinner time and was able to practice in the late afternoon but I’m planning on pushing it to get home so I expect that I will have two full days of no playing. This could be very good or not – I’ll know on Wednesday.

International Horn Symposium Day 6 –>

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