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Horn Studio

Welcome to the Drake Horn Studio page!

The studio is comprised of active and talented students unified by their love of music, horn playing, and their desire to be the best they can be in all their endeavors. Horn students majoring in music at Drake are a diverse group, pursuing careers in performance, education, and music business.

We hold weekly studio classes in which we cover a gamut of skills and music. We do group technique exercises and drills, intonation, accuracy, and breathing/breath control exercises. We play Bach chorales, we play rounds, we play horn ensemble music, and we cover major horn orchestral repertoire as a section. In these classes, Drake horn students learn to play as a cohesive section, how each player functions within the section, and also how to truly lead as principal players. And, we even explore improv to develop a freer, yet stronger, sense of tonality with creativity!

Each semester we hold one or two mock auditions, simulating a real audition, behind the screen. To further emulate a true audition experience, Drake music professors sit on the panel and supply comments. Audition content may feature a particular theme, such as a low horn or opera/ballet orchestra audition. In the 2013-2014 academic year, we covered the entire list from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra first horn auditions.

Drake horn students are also active recitalists, certainly in degree-required solo recitals, but also in all-studio solo and chamber music recitals. We value the opportunity to collaborate not only with other horn players but also with musicians of other instruments, and to learn from their different perspective. Collaborations performed by Drake horn students include everything from Schubert’s Auf dem Strom to Ewazen’s Trio for Flute, Horn, and Piano to David Jones’s Black Box Music for Horn, Bass Trombone, and Piano, and Anton Rosetti’s Concerto for Two Horns to the Titanic Fantasy for 12 horns, arranged by Richard Bissill for the London Horn Sound…and of course, fripperies and quipperies! Drake hornists cover a wide range of solo and chamber repertoire, from baroque to cutting-edge music hot off the presses.

The Drake Horn Studio has had the honor to host master classes with fine hornists from across the nation, including horn virtuoso Tom Bacon, current acting associate principal of the New York Philharmonic Michael Gast, University of Iowa horn professor Jeffrey Agrell, former hornist with Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera Eric McIntyre, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln horn professor Alan Mattingly. We continue to make plans for exciting and inspiring master classes each year.

We invite you to visit Drake to meet the horn studio, join in on one of our events to get a feel for what it’s like to be a part of the studio and a part of the internationally-recognized Drake University Department of Music. Please contact Guinevere McIntyre for more information.


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