Saturday, June 25, 2011

IHS 43 Wednesday: Brain and The Barbies

Wednesday's offerings included lectures on our patron saint of horn, Dennis Brain. John Ericson demo'ed different horns that Brain would have played on, and William Lynch shared his research on recordings of Dennis Brain that are new-found and unpublished.

Lunchtime college choirs included Jeff Snedeker's bunch from CWU

Our afternoon lecture featured some newfound ecordings of Dennis Brain. We were asrounded by the exhaustive effort put forth by William Lynch to track down these treasures!

The afternoon recital featured horns in two and fours; the duo Mirror Image and the horn quartet Quadre. I always enjoy presentations by Lisa and Michelle, and very much appreciate their many contributions to the (now growing) duo repertoire. And Quadre seems to get better and better every time I hear them. I very much enjoyed the new work "midlife Crisis," maybe a few of us in the audience could appreciate the sentiment!

Next up was the play and talk presentation from the new horn quartet sensation, Genghis Barbie. I had the chance to visit briefly with these gals backstage (and have them sign my GB CD fundraising mute), and I know we're all excited to watch and see where their wild ride takes them.

The evening recital featured the old and the new; some death-defying natural horn playing by Andrew Clarke, and a jazz horn presentation from Tom Varner

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

IHS 43: Tuesday

Tuesday's sessions included a masterclass by our host, Wendell Rider, on "Inner Beat Phrasing." The students who participated truly seemed to benefit from the ideas of mini-phrase and micro-phrase repetition.

Our internet access was granted today, so many of our wonderful vendors were busy getting caught up on credit card transactions

Lunchtime choirs included Oklahoma State, led by Lanette Compton, our hosts froma recent wonderful Mid-South Workshop

Dinner was at Joe's of Westlake, old school Italian with a large menu and excellent service. Chicken cacciatore with polenta was rich and satisfying.

The evening concert featured Gail Williams and her former student, Nicole Cash. Besides the fine horn playing in solo and chamber works, highlights of the performance included young Jonathan Ring accompanying Gail on drum set, and some mind-meld duo playing by Gail and Nicole on the Beethoven Sextet. Turning pages for the Clearfield "Songs of the Wolf," I wondered if the huge strength of Gail's high range was carrying to the hall in the same way it was screaming to the back. From my spot onstage, it sounded like she was driving a Ferrari at 120 mph, and was about to drop the hammer and leave us all in her dust!

One of my favorite things at IHS is the informal horn choir readings that happen after hours, and one of these sessions happened at The Tower to finish out the night.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

IHS 43rd Symposium- Monday: The View From The Stage

Our Symposium opened with amazing playing by our fearless Society leader, Frank Lloyd, followed by a somber tribute to those we lost this year by the Symposium horn choir. Our concerto winner livened things up with her Strauss 1, and the excellent San Francisco Symphony horn section closed the show:

A quick lunch took us to the 3:30 concert, with Jon's and my Ewazen, A cool new piece presented by Denver IHS host Susan McCullogh, and some great trio playing by Nancy Joy, along with friends from my hometown on flute and piano! Louisiana represent!

Dinner tonight was near the Hampton Inn, at El Fin Nicaraguan/Mexican. Fish tacos were tasty, and Jon's fried pork looked great, with a side of plantains. Be careful with the pico de gallo they bring to the table, it is HOT!

While hanging out backstage waiting to turn pages for the evening concert (I duty I actually enjoy for the birds-eye view it gives me), I was approached by our AC representative from Japan, who wanted to thank the symposium-goers for all the emails of support in the aftermath of the Tsunami, and needed a word in English to describe his feelings. We came up with "heart-felt," and I was suddenly very glad I'd had to be backstage :-)

Turning pages for Patti Wolf as she played a wicked Czerny transcription was both an adrenaline rush and a jaw-dropper. There were places in the score where her fast hands blurred on the keys! Patti told me afterwards that Roger often recommends to his audience that, if they wish to program this piece, they had better marry the pianist! Great contrasts in this concert; the fireworks of Bill Vermulen's selections, and the beautiful aquatic flow of Roger Kaza's.

After my turning duties were completed for the night, word of a Barbies sighting lured me downtown. Missed those elusive Genghis Barbie girls, but enjoyed hearing a piano quartet at Revolution Cafe where the bartender repeatedly reminded the patrons that "this was a performance, not background music! Keep the talking down!" We tipped him well :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

IHS 43: Rehearsals and PARKING

This morning we had brunch at an unusual restaurant not far from the SFSU campus, The Mayflower Restaurant:

A phone call from wonderful Tomoko Kanamaru told us it was time for Ewazen, before the other performers snapped her up :-) so we headed to the Creative Arts Building. We had an hour between our Ewazen rehearsal and Symposium Choir rehearsal, so Jon and I walked the campus, which is quite beautiful:

Then on to Symposium Choir rehearsal, where it was great to see friends and enjoy playing in a horn section with some of the finest players in our Society:

Next up was scouting out parking for the week. There is a garage at the end of State St. that is just $5 a day.

and while we're talking about getting to campus in the morning, we were told by a San Jose native to avoid 19th Street at all costs, unless you want to sit in traffic for upwards of an hour (!). We are planning on coming in via 280 and Merced and avoiding 19th entirely . . .

Our Memphis friends Ion (of Balu Mutes fame)and Kyle met us at Extreme Pizza for a quick bite, where Jon and Ion began plotting the Next Big Thing :-) you never know what's coming next from Balu Mutes, so stop by his table at the Symposium and find out!

The show starts tomorrow at noon, folks! See you there!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

San Francisco, and IHS 43, Here We Come!

Another year of playing and teaching means time for another International Horn Symposium, hosted this year by Wendell Rider at San Francisco State University.

You can download the .pdf of the program HERE

After an uneventful plane trip (except for discovering that my Conn V8DS does NOT fit under the seat of an American Airlines' Embraer, when it DOES fit on a Continental one), I arrived at SFO, picked up the rental car, and jumped into rush hour traffic to meet a Gap friend downtown. After some pics and an adventure ro remember where I parked (!), I headed back to pick up Jon at SFO.

Next morning we headed to lunch at a local spot, Lakeside Cafe, where the patty melts are delicious and breakfast is served late:-)

We drove over to SFSU Campus to check out the venue, and happened to walk up as our host pulled up to unload supplies for registration. And to supervise the set-up of nearly 100 tables for our vendors!