2007 Northeast Horn Workshop

Reported by Rebecca Dodson-Webster

The 2007 Northeast Horn Workshop was held at Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA February 17-18, 2007. Despite an unusually heavy winter snow storm the week before, attendance was robust, and the participants were treated to some very fine playing and teaching. The featured artist for this year’s workshop was Thomas Bacon, who presented his clinic Practice Smarter Not Harder to a packed room of enthusiastic teachers and students. During the second half of the session, he worked with several workshop participants, employing some of the practice techniques he outlined earlier.  In addition to this presentation and masterclass, Thomas Bacon was featured in performance Saturday night with the Mansfield University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Michael Galloway. Bacon performed Hornful of Blues, Bacon Bits, Blood Count, and Bach Aria.  The evening concluded with an exciting rendition of Ernesto Lecuona’s Malagueńa featuring a section of nine horns, including Rebecca Dodson-Webster, Kelly Drifmeyer, Nicholas Caluori, Aaron Robertson, Robin Sustak, Chandra Chaffee, Patrick Hughes, Lydia Busler-Blais, and Keri Maldonado.

The solo competition was held on Saturday afternoon, and was organized into two divisions: high school, and university. The high school competitors prepared Mozart’s Concerto No. 1, K. 412, and the university competitors prepared the first movement of Strauss Concerto No. 1, Op. 11. The high school winner was Nicholas Hartman of Potsdam, New York, and he performed on the Sunday afternoon closing concert with the Mansfield University orchestra, under the direction of Kenneth Sarch. The university winner was Meredith Moore of Ithaca, New York, and she performed on Sunday afternoon with the Mansfield University Concert Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Adam Brennan. Also featured on the Sunday concert were two selections performed by a mass horn choir made up of workshop attendees, under the direction of Rebecca Dodson-Webster.

Other highlights from the workshop included a large and varied representation of vendors, featuring many wonderful instruments, accessories, and a large collection of music and other items for sale. Guest artists who performed on Saturday’s regional artist recital, and/or in other ways contributed to the workshop included Lydia Busler-Blais, Nicholas Caluori, Kelly Drifmeyer, Patrick Hughes, and Morris Secon. Some of the sessions that were presented included improvisation, instrument maintenance, expression through subdivision, extended techniques, and guided warmups.

Wellness sessions were conducted by Kay Hooper (Alexander Technique) and Kathleen Thompson (yogic breathing). During these sessions, workshop participants were given the opportunity to explore teachings and techniques to achieve and maintain comfortable, efficient, and effective horn playing and overall wellness. Many participants scheduled individual sessions with these practitioners during the workshop.

The 2008 Northeast Horn Workshop will be held at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. More information about this event will be available soon.