Heidi Lucas, assistant professor of Horn, and the IUP Department of Music hosted the Northeast Horn Workshop January 22–24, 2016. More than 300 student, amateur, and professional musicians registered to attend the conference.
The conference featured performances, master classes, and lectures from several of the leading performers and pedagogues on the horn. Additionally, competitions were held in the following divisions: solo, high and low horn mock auditions, quartet, composition, and jazz. The conference was organized by Heidi Lucas, assistant professor of Horn in the IUP Department of Music, and Jonas Thoms, instructor of Horn at Wright State.
The conference featured efforts from faculty, staff and students across the IUP College of Fine Arts. Events were held in Cogswell Hall, Gorell Recital Hall, and Fisher Auditorium as well evening jam sessions at Spaghetti Benders. Sixty music majors from Sigma Alpha Iota, Delta Omicron, Phi Mu Alpha, Pennsylvania Collegiate Music Educators Association, and the IUP horn studio helped with setup, registration, stage crew, and tear down. In addition to Lucas, eleven IUP music faculty (Therese Wacker, Stephanie Caulder, Rosemary Brumbelow, Kevin Eisensmith, Zach Collins, Christian Dickinson, Keith Young, Mike Kingan, Sun Min Kim, Henry Wong Doe, and Timothy Paul), emeritus faculty member Jack Scandrett, Matthew Emanuelson (student), and the members of the IUP Horn Choir performed at the conference. Hank Knerr, Cate Planisky, Jeff Wacker, and Dave Surtasky from Lively Arts helped with production of the Genghis Barbie concert. IUP Department of Music secretaries Vickie Morganti and Meghan Moore aided with preparation of the program and logistics.
Horn soloist and teacher Frøydis Ree Wekre from Oslo, Norway, was studying piano and violin before turning to horn at the age of 17. Outside of Oslo, her studies have taken place in Sweden, Russia, and the USA.
After one year in the Norwegian Opera she joined the Oslo Philharmonic orchestra as co-principal, a position she left in 1991. She has been very active as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe and North America.
As a teacher, Wekre was professor of Horn and Chamber Music at the Norwegian Academy of Music until 2011. Nowadays she is travelling worldwide giving master classes. Currently she is also the international guest horn teacher at the RNCM in Manchester, England.
Her book, Thoughts on Playing the Horn Well, has been translated into several languages. More than 40 compositions are written for her, some of which have been recorded on the labels of SIMAX, CRYSTAL, and 2L.no.
Frøydis Ree Wekre is an honorary member of the International Horn Society since 1994, and she has been associated with the Sarasota Music Festival, USA, Banff Festival of the Arts, and Domaine Forget, Canada.
During the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's 2011 European Festivals Tour, Caballero—and the Pittsburgh Symphony horn section he leads—received rave reviews. Michael Church of the Independent called Caballero "a principal horn whose pianissimo is simply miraculous," and Guy Dammann wrote in the Guardian, "The horn section—led very much from the front by their excellent principal William Caballero—is one of the best in the business." In its September 2012 review of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Exton recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 5, Gramophone magazine wrote, "Pittsburgh's first horn is as spectacular as any on disc."
The 2014–15 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra season represents William Caballero's 25th year as its principal horn under the Maestros Lorin Maazel, Marris Jansons, and Manfred Honeck. Before joining the symphony in May 1989, Caballero previously held principal horn positions with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, and Hartford Symphony. He held third horn positions with the Montreal Symphony and Montreal Opera and acting third horn with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. He has performed as guest principal horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony. Born in New Mexico and reared in Wisconsin, Caballero's early horn studies included working under Larry Simons, Barry Benjamin, and Basil Tyler, as well as studying the piano and pipe organ. Caballero graduated from New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Richard Mackey and Thomas Newell, both former members of the Boston Symphony.
Currently, Caballero is the associate teaching professor of Horn at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. Previously, he held teaching positions at Indiana University Bloomington, Rice University in Houston, Texas, and Duquesne University. He has been invited and presented master classes throughout the world, including Northwestern University, Colburn School of Music, New England Conservatory, University of Indiana Bloomington, Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony, and the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories. The past two summers, he joined the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival as performer and teacher. For the previous seven summers, Caballero was on the faculty and performed at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan.
In January 2012, Caballero began collaboration with the Internet music teaching company ArtistWorks.com, based in Napa, California. His teaching website was released in September 2012 as the only complete horn teaching curriculum available via the Internet for horn students worldwide.
Caballero is also in demand as a chamber musician collaborating with musicians such as violinists Gil Shaham, Joseph Silverstein, and Philip Setzer and pianists André Previn, Christoph Eshenbach, Orli Shaham and Andre Watts. William has also performed and worked with jazz musician and composer Chris Brubeck, as well as ensembles that include the Tokyo String Quartet, Trio Johannas, Principal Strings of the Berlin Philharmonic, Center City Brass, Bay Chamber Concert Series, St. Barth's Music Festival, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He is also a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, which includes fellow colleagues of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass section.
Recent chamber music performances include performing Brahms' Horn Trio in E-flat major with Gil and Orli Shaham in Zankel Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, and appearing several times live on National Public Radio's (NPR) Performance Today in NPR's Washington, D.C. studios.
Caballero solos regularly with the Pittsburgh Symphony, with his most recent collaboration as soloist under Maestro Honeck. In April 2014, Caballero performed the world premiere of Robert Levin Edition of Mozart's 1st Horn Concerto in D, and in September 2012 performed the Pittsburgh Symphony premiere of Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1. Previous solo performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have included Richard Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat with Maestro Maazel, Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat with Maestro Andre Previn, Mozart Concerto fragments with Pittsburgh Symphony Concertmaster Andres Cardenes, Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Maestro Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and tenor Anthony Griffey, Schumann's Konzertstück in F for four horns and orchestra with his Pittsburgh Symphony horn colleagues under the baton of Maestro Sir John Elliot Gardener, and the John Williams Horn Concerto under the baton of Maestro Leonard Slatkin.
Other recent solo appearances outside of the Pittsburgh Symphony have included performances in Montenegro with Maestro Ronald Zollman and with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic at New York City's Carnegie Hall under the baton of former Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dale Clevenger.
In May 1992, Caballero premiered Benjamin Lees' Concerto for Horn and Orchestra with the Pittsburgh Symphony under the baton of then-Music Director Lorin Maazel. Following the performances in Pittsburgh, he performed Lees' Concerto in Spain, Germany, and England with the Pittsburgh Symphony on tour. In May 1996, Caballero recorded the concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Lorin Maazel for New World Records.
Caballero holds the Pittsburgh Symphony's Anonymous Foundation Principal Horn Chair.
Stephen Kostyniak joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as associate principal horn in 2006. Prior to taking this position, he was associate principal horn in the Utah Symphony. Born in Schenectady, New York, Kostyniak began French horn lessons at age eight. By the time he had graduated from high school he had performed in major music centers in the U.S. and Europe, including the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Kennedy Center, and Tschaikovsky Hall in Leningrad. He also performed in Moscow, Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and throughout Austria and Norway. At age 17, Kostyniak entered the Juilliard School in New York City where he studied with New York Philharmonic Associate Principal Horn Jerome Ashby. While there, he performed with the Philharmonic, the New Jersey and New Haven, Connecticut symphonies, recorded with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. On tour with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in 1995, he had the privilege of performing in the International Peace Concert broadcast worldwide from Hiroshima, Japan, as part of the ceremony in memoriam of the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of that city.
After earning his bachelor of music degree, Kostyniak spent one season as acting second horn in the San Antonio Symphony. In 1996 he joined the Utah Symphony, with which he recorded and performed for 10 seasons, including at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics alongside such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, and the Dixie Chicks. He has also been an active studio musician, performing the music for ABC's Wide World of Sports and numerous theatrical and made-for-TV movies.
An enthusiastic performer of new music, Kostyniak is a featured performer on Journey Pieces, an album of solo works by the composer Carl Vollrath. In 2005 he recorded Morris Rosenzweig's "A Table of the Most Used Chords for Horn Quartet" with his colleagues in the Utah Symphony, for whom the work was commissioned. He also gave numerous Utah premieres, including the trios of Gyorgy Ligeti and Charles Wuorinen, Thea Musgraves' "The Golden Echo" for horn and electronic tape, and was the solo hornist with the Utah Symphony in the 2007 Utah premiere of Olivier Messiaen's "Des canyons aux étoiles."
Since moving to Pittsburgh, in addition to his performances with the PSO, Kostyniak is a conductor of the Pittsburgh Horn Club.
Appointed as assistant principal horn by Lorin Maazel, Zachary Smith has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1996. Born in Wichita, Kansas, and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, Smith began horn lessons at age 12. He received his bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1982 and held the position of third horn with the Oklahoma Symphony from 1983 to 1988, principal horn with the Savannah Symphony from 1988 to 1994, and third horn with the Jacksonville Symphony from 1994 to 1996.
Active in the chamber music world, Smith plays regularly on concert series and recitals at Duquesne University as well as performances with the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project. In 2009, Smith played the Brahms Horn Trio on tour in China, performing in multiple cities. He has been featured as a soloist with the Savannah, Jacksonville, and Guangzhou symphonies, as well as with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Smith currently teaches horn at Duquesne University and has also been a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Atlantic University, and Oklahoma City University. He has been invited to Tianjin University in China numerous times as a guest teacher/performer and has also taught at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. Smith gave classes at the Eastman School of Music and the Northeast Horn Workshop in 2015.
Bob Lauver has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and its wonderful horn section since 2000. He has also been a member of the St. Louis, Columbus, Alabama, and Austin symphony orchestras.
Lauver's education started in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he studied with Neill Sanders, second hornist to Dennis Brain and recording artist with the Beatles. His studies continued at the Peabody Conservatory and Northwestern University.
Lauver has been a soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, and several times with the Pittsburgh Symphony, performing Schumann's "Konzertstück" on three separate subscription concert series. He also performed Mozart's "Horn Concerto #3" as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
His teaching spans more than 30 years in Texas, St. Louis, at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, the University of Missouri at St. Louis (UMSL), and Carnegie Mellon University. Presently, Lauver is adjunct professor of horn at West Virginia University. He has been on the faculty of the Barry Tuckwell Institute for six summers teaching and performing alongside the legendary soloist and many of the country's finest teachers and performers.
In the summers, Lauver performs with the Grand Teton Music Festival, which attracts musicians from the greatest orchestras in the United States and abroad. He loves returning there with his wife and three daughters to enjoy the amazing scenery and to go hiking and backpacking.
Lauver considers life in Pittsburgh with the symphony and his lovely family a dream gig, and he is continually amazed when he pinches himself and realizes again and again he's still awake!
Mark Tennyson Houghton was awarded the position of third horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in June 2014. Previously, he was principal horn of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, and, most recently, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell wrote of Houghton, "He had a tone of burnished elegance and amazing expressive range, and he delivered some protracted decrescendos that took the breath away."
Houghton was born in Long Beach, California, and raised in Keller, Texas. After some basic piano training, he began playing horn at age 12. His parents—who are professional horn players and teachers—were his first instructors. Advanced studies yielded a bachelor of music degree and performer's certificate from the Eastman School of Music as a student of W. Peter Kurau. Other notable teachers and mentors include Gregory Hustis and William VerMeulen.
Houghton has appeared with the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, Arizona Musicfest, Basically Beethoven Festival, the Hall Ensemble, Eastman Virtuosi, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He has toured domestically with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and abroad with the Eastman Horn Choir. In addition to his previous full-time principal horn positions, Houghton has performed as principal horn with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. He has been a featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Phoenix Symphony, among others. Houghton was a prizewinner in the American Horn Competition and the International Horn Society's John Hawkins Memorial Solo Competition. Houghton was recently appointed as an adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University, and has appeared as an artist or guest clinician at multiple International Horn Society symposia, the Eastman School of Music, the University of North Texas, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, the University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University, Wichita State University and the Texas Music Educators Association convention.
Houghton is part owner of Houghton Horns, a family business that specializes in high-quality instruments, services, and accessories for horn players.
Horn player Joseph Rounds grew up in a musical family in a small town in Missouri where his father taught trumpet at Northwest Missouri State University and his mother taught piano. He earned a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music, his mother's alma mater, where he studied horn with Verne Reynolds. Studies continued with James Decker at the University of Southern California.
Since 1987, Rounds has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra serving as assistant principal, second, and fourth horn. Previously, he held positions with the Sacramento Symphony and the Sacramento Chamber Orchestra.
As an instructor of horn, Rounds is currently on the faculty of Duquesne University, as well as a frequent guest clinician at the Eastman School of Music.
He has attended many summer festivals, including Bellingham Music Festival, Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, and Buzzard's Bay Festival in Massachusetts. He performed as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Schumann's "Konzerstück for Four Horns" in 2004 and 2015.
Rounds currently holds a third degree black belt from the Young Brothers Tae Kwon Do Institute under the guidance of Grand Master Young Bo Kong, and resides north of Pittsburgh with his wife.
Tom Varner is internationally known as the foremost jazz French horn player of his generation and as an inventive, witty, and passionate composer, breaking new ground in his writing for small-group jazz. Over the years, he has composed for and led ensembles ranging from trios to big bands. As Nate Chinen (NY Times/Philadelphia City Paper) wrote in 2000, "Varner has a Mingus-like gift for intertwining complex counter-melodies in a manner that's more soulful than acrobatic. This approach creates countless opportunities for inspired improvisation, resulting in a marvel of cohesive ensemble writing and playing." At times, Varner's music reflects his former teachers Jaki Byard, George Russell, Steve Lacy (Varner played in his octet in the 90s), and jazz French horn master Julius Watkins, as well as other loves such as Stravinsky and Miles Davis.
Varner's newest project, Heaven and Hell, a new work for tentet, was premiered at the Seattle Art Museum and is now out on the OmniTone label. Varner's 11th CD, Second Communion, is a tribute to the 60's jazz pioneer Don Cherry. Varner's composition "Strident," from his ninth CD, Swimming, won the 2000 Jazz Composers Alliance Julius Hemphill Composition Award. Varner's eighth CD, The Window Up Above: American Songs 1770-1998 (New World), was featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Varner has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell, Blue Mountain, Centrum, and Civitella arts colonies, a grant from the NEA, 4Culture, the Jack Straw Foundation, and the Doris Duke Foundation/Chamber Music America New Works composer's grant. He is an annual DownBeat Critics Poll finalist. Varner has performed as a leader at the Vienna Konzerthaus (Parallel Worlds Festival), and the Seixal/Lisbon, Moers, Groningen, and Rotterdam Jazz Festivals, as well as countless appearances in New York and elsewhere in the USA, with sidemen Steve Wilson, Ed Jackson, Lee Konitz, Tony Malaby, Ellery Eskelin, Cameron Brown, Drew Gress, Dave Douglas, Mark Feldman, Mark Dresser, Bobby Previte, Billy Hart, and Tom Rainey.
As a sideman, Varner has worked in North and South America, Europe, Japan, and Russia, with leaders such as George Gruntz, Steve Lacy, Reggie Workman, Bobby Previte, John Zorn, the Mingus Orchestra, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Jamie Baum, Bobby Watson, Jane Ira Bloom, La Monte Young, Jim McNeeley, George Schuller, Peter Schaerli, Franz Koglmann, Butch Morris, Rabih Abou-Khalil, McCoy Tyner, and Quincy Jones with Miles Davis at Montreux in 1991. Varner wrote the music for the feature film Saints and Sinners and plays on over 70 other CDs as well.
After living in New York City for 26 years, Varner moved with his family to Seattle in fall 2005. Since the move, Tom has been active in the rich Pacific Northwest scene and has appeared at the Vancouver, Earshot, and Bumbershoot festivals, the Seattle Art Museum, Tula's, and the Good Shepherd Chapel, as a leader and sideman alongside many greats such as Mark Taylor (sax), Eric Barber, Francois Houle, Wayne Horvitz, Jim Knapp, Steve Griggs, and Phil Sparks. He is now adjunct horn instructor at the Cornish College of the Arts.
Genghis Barbie, the leading post-feminist, all-female horn experience, is the most innovative and energizing chamber ensemble of its generation and beyond. With a combined 24 years of conservatory training, Genghis Barbie delivers to you a visceral and unadulterated musical adventure. Performing arrangements of pop music from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and today, contemporary commissions, and classical works, they are the most versatile and expansive group on NYC's classical/pop/rock/jazz/indie/alternative/punk/electro-acoustic scene. Genghis Barbie was incepted in a unique moment of ingenuity when Freedom Barbie, Cosmic Barbie, Velvet Barbie, and Attila the Horn converged and vowed to create distinctive, interactive and personal performances. In addition to their busy New York City performing schedule, the ladies of Genghis Barbie have performed as contributing artists at the 2011 International Horn Society Symposium in San Francisco, played Schumann's Konzertstück with the Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble, and appeared on America's Got Talent. In May 2012, Genghis Barbie made their Carnegie Hall debut in the premiere of a new concerto for four horns, commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony. As educators, they have toured numerous universities presenting workshops, masterclasses, and lectures on musical entrepreneurship. They have released four studio albums: the self-titled debut album, the holiday album Genghis Barbie: Home for the Holidays, Genghis Baby: Songs for Noa, and the newly released Amp it Up! Genghis Barbie aspires to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show within one calendar year.