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(Photo credit: El Bibliomata)

We usually have everyone play a short solo in our weekly horn seminar after about three weeks into the semester. This semester we’re doing something new: everyone is playing a short solo (most are doing the Saint-Saens Romance) four times, in four different ways:

1. Normal mix of F/Bb fingerings.

2. F horn fingerings only

3. Bb side (trigger) only

4. Natural horn (i.e. hand horn)

Working on hand horn is new to many and takes more getting used – it’s a totally different way of thinking.  We have our wonderful Seraphinoff natural horns to use for this.

Oh, yes, one other thing we get to practice: during any “normal fingerings” performance, we will be adding an extra challenge: bad behavior from the audience – we will talk, move around, make noise, send and receive phone calls, etc etc, doing our best to detract from the performer’s focus and concentration. If they can maintain their focus through this, normal concert conditions will be a snap. (We will be behaved during the other 3 types of performance of this piece).

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