Posted by: Date: March 8, 2012 In:

2012 Northwest Horn Symposium

PLU and SOAC will host the 2012 Northwest Horn Symposium from March 30-April 1.

The weekend, filled with master classes, guided warm-up sessions, presentations, and performances, will draw horn players from across the region. Three performances are connected with the symposium, which will feature prominent regional artists and master horn players; all are open to the public. Featured artists include Douglas Hill, Bernhard Scully and Mark Robbins.  

The symposium is open to music and horn lovers of all levels of musicianship in the northwest region, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Western Canada and Washington. Many participants are college and high school students from the Northwest as well as horn aficionados and vocational horn players who love playing and teaching. Many come to participate in the chance to share knowledge, perform and hear great performances.

“When I attended this symposium in 2003, as a student, the experience was tremendously valuable in that I interacted with people who were experts in their field and who were inspirational in their level of playing ability,” Gina Gillie, symposium organizer and PLU assistant professor says. “Last year, I attended the symposium as an educator, and it was a valuable experience for me to listen to other pedagogical methods, observe teaching styles in master classes, and to take a lesson with the President of the International Horn Society, Frank Lloyd, as well as a natural horn lesson with specialist, Andrew Clark.  My past experience has shown me that these types of events are valuable for all levels and all kinds of musicians.”

The Horn Symposium is an annual event that changes location every year based on who is able and willing to host it. Members of the Northwest Horn Society have been undertaking these symposia for several years now with the goal of educating and promoting excellence in horn playing. The last time it was held at PLU was in the 1990s.  

The horn symposium is unique in that it provides a dense, three-day immersion into the world of teaching, learning, performing, listening and enjoyment of the world of horn.  It is an opportunity for local horn players to interact with world-class musicians like Douglas Hill, Bernhard Scully and Mark Robbins. Master class opportunities are valuable learning experiences for students who might not otherwise get to interact with such masters. Special presentations will be given on interesting and cutting-edge topics that will both inform and inspire teachers and students alike.  

One unique opportunity will be the presence of the iVasi system, which is an audio-visual presentation of an orchestral playing situation.  Hornists can play along with a recording of an orchestra while watching a conductor on the screen.  This is about as close as one can come to getting practice as an orchestral horn player without actually practicing with an orchestra.