I have neglected the studio blog for some time now; it somehow has been incredibly busy! The studio is strong and healthy, and we have presented two to three online studio recitals per year since 2020!
Many of my middle and high school students auditioned for and were accepted into their respective All-State Honor Bands the last few years, and a few of my high school students have gone on to study music at the university level. Some high students have performed or will perform in Carnegie Hall this year, namely Clare and Julian (congratulations!). Students are also returning to in person concerts with their local youth orchestras, yay!
Several adult students are returning to their local community bands and orchestras; it is truly an exciting time! All their hard work and dedication is paying off as they return to the stage with their colleagues and hear the progress they have made these many months! :)
The next online studio recital is this Saturday, May 14, 2022. There are about 15 students performing everything from "Oh Canada" and "Champagne Song" to Saint-Saëns' "Morceau de Concert" and Bernard Krol's "Laudatio." I am excited to hear everyone!
Like so many other important, wonderful events, the IHS scheduled for August 2020 has been cancelled. Although this cancellation is a huge loss for so many, it is a small sacrifice in the big picture of the pandemic. Here in the greater LA area we have been sheltering in place since March 12th. I read somewhere last week advice about personal outlook during this challenging time. As hard as it is, the advice suggested, try to focus on what we have gained through this experience, rather than what we have lost. I am trying to remember this idea every day, sometimes with more success than other times. Of course, this advice seems terribly inadequate to the many, many families who have lost loved ones, in our own neighborhoods, states, and the entire world. Please do what you can to stay positive, help others, and help stop the spread of the coronavirus. And don't forget the power of music, whether you are listening or playing!
Yikes! Everyone-- I want to wish you good luck staying safe, healthy, and sane over the next few weeks! With all the uncertainty and stress, community members need each other's support more than ever.
I also want to share some good news--I am excited to be a contributing artist for the 52nd Annual International Horn Symposium in Eugene, Oregon in August 2020!
I will present "Preparing and Performing Unaccompanied Horn Solos." Specifically, I will discuss notation interpretation, extended techniques, phrasing decisions, and presentation issues such as audience connection, embodying emotions, and staging.
For more information about the symposium, please visit: http://www.ihs52.com.
A big thank you to Lydia Van Dreel, the organizer of the event this year and Professor of Horn at the University of Oregon!
I am excited to share the news of Alan Schlessinger's performance of the third movement of Concerto No. 1 by Richard Strauss. My high school student Alan won a solo spot at the Samohi's Senior Gala, performing the concerto's final movement with orchestra.
The year has been full of many exciting and newsworthy moments; so busy, in fact, that I haven't had a chance to keep the studio news online up to date! Between my own performances and teaching and my students' performances, the blog has taken a back seat. But fortunately Alan's performance was recorded and you can check out the recording on YouTube by clicking here!
Alan is performing by memory and with refined, clean technique. He worked so hard this spring, and you can hear all the hard work paid off! He has beautiful phrasing and tone, clear high notes (listen to those gorgeous high Bbs!), and great articulation, stage presence, and intonation. Bravo, Alan!
The fabulous 50th international horn symposium took place last week in Muncie, Indiana, thanks to the host, Gene Berger, professor of horn at Ball State University.
It was a wonderful week of all things horn! Events began at 8:00 AM and lasted all day, including "night horn choirs" that started at 10:00 PM, for those with energy left after full days of recitals, lectures, master classes, perusing sheet music for horn, and trying out dozens of horns on exhibit.
Professional players, professors, students, horn makers, and enthusiasts from around the world came. Somewhere along the way it was pointed out that "saying yes to something means saying no to other things." This point was made many times over at the conference, as quite often there were multiple events happening concurrently.
Some of my favorite lectures included discussions about the horn as a jazz instrument, the evolution of horn pedagogy in the last 50 years, and Froydis Ree Wekre's discussion, "On being your own teacher." This very well-attended talk (all seats were taken and about 100 horn players sat or stood in the aisles) primarily addressed the mental and psychological challenges we all face in the practice room. I highly recommend her book to anyone serious about horn playing: Thoughts on Playing the Horn Well.
I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. It was also such a treat to hear the many new works for horn-- there were many exciting world premieres as well as some lost gems that were rediscovered and performed at the conference. I look forward to adding several of these great pieces to my own repertoire in the next year or so.
Iosif Andriasov's "Meditation" is one of the most lyrical, peaceful, and meaningful pieces I've had the pleasure to perform. His own son, Arshak, conducted the San Francisco-based orchestra in our recording. It was an honor to perform the piece with him. This recording is from several years ago....I hope you enjoy it. --Erika
Horn teacher and performer