Posted by Aaron Wynne on 10/01 at 03:43 PM
I’ve never had any experience with the horn nor have I even played in my high school’s band. But while sitting amongst the 15 or so students attending Ellen Campbell’s master class this past Thursday, I found myself in a friendly environment learning elements of music that transcend just the horn.
The event began with one of the student’s playing a rendition of Mozart on the horn. The piece had some elegance contrasted with bouncy pieces. However it was apparent that the student was a first year student in the music school with some technical lapses pointed out by Campbell. She quickly worked with him and had him replay portions of the song that he could work on. She talked about breathing more naturally and wanting to be relaxed. She also talked about getting the first note to be accurate and start with a good attack. This is something I found that can transcend across multiple instruments and facets of music.
After the student’s performance, Campbell gave a lecture about being a good team player and how to handle yourself in an ensemble. She then went on to explain the role of each of the horn players and I found myself relating the relationship of the first horn and the assistant horn to that of guitar and bass.
A few students then went on to play a few pieces. My favorite was a rendition of En Foret (as a side note I don’t feel this recording quite does the piece justice but it was the best I could find) by a girl who played along with a piano. I found the piece to be fun and exciting laced with mystical verses.
What I realized from attending this class was that I was quickly picking up things that I could use on my approach to playing bass or guitar - things like accentuating notes or wanting to move the piece with a certain direction and flow. I also realized that most if not all of the students were there because of their class.
I found myself thinking why does it take a class to force students to attend such an event? Now, if I can translate a horn teachers lessons to the bass or guitar then I’m sure there are countless people out there that could have benefited regardless of what instrument you play.
I admit I don’t take advantage of all the musical events and programs happening around campus. But after attending this event it’s clear I would do myself a favor to make more of an effort to get involved with what the music school has to offer. (If you feel inspired, check out the music school here, and upcoming events here)
After a couple more performances including a rendition of Beethoven, I found myself walking out content and inspired.
Author: Aaron Wynne
Bio: Aaron is a senior at The Pennsylvania State University and is originally from Wells, Maine. He is studying public relations and psychology. His hobbies include playing music, particularly bass, playing and watching sports, and watching movies, his current favorite being Inception. His music tastes are wide spread but his favorites include progressive metal, experimental rock, instrumental rock, and alternative. His favorite bands currently consist of Between the Buried and Me, Animals as Leaders, Red Sparowes, and Dysrhythmia.
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