I have played the horn for 6 years. I started when I was in the 6th grade. I made All-State in 1995 and in 1996. I did not make it this year due to a not-very-good All-Region audition. I have been told by my lesson teacher that I would have placed extremely well had I gone on. Those things happen, and there's nothing I can do about it except kick everyone's hiney next year. I fully intend on doing so.
I was in the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra from September 1995 through March 1996. I quit because the level of concentration and talent in that particular ensemble was horrible. I am currently in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, where behavior from the former is not allowed. I found this out the hard way. I think GDYO is and excellent group, and so do many others. It has been ranked as the 2nd best youth orchestra in the nation. I am very proud to be a member and a part of its incredible horn section. This year we have played repertoire including Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, Sibelius' Symphony No. 2, and Respighi's Pines of Rome. Our conductor, Richard Giangulio, is co-owner of TrumCor Mutes. These are great!
My lesson teacher is Karen Houghton. She's great, too. (I seem to be very blessed!) She and her husband, Dennis, play in the Texas Wind Symphony and the Wichita Falls Symphony. Mr. Houghton is also a lesson teacher and an instrument repairman. Hopefully, he will have a home page up soon for his shop and you can see what he does for yourself. I can vouch for his expertise. My freshman year at All-State, I crunched my bell. One side of it literally looked like a crumpled ball of paper. He repaired it for me and the scars were barely visible. I couldn't believe it was the same horn. They have a son, Mark, who is my age and is also in GDYO. He was 2nd chair All-State this year.
I really do love the horn and I plan on playing it for the rest of my life. I consider the horn to be the ultimate instrument. It's so incredibly versatile and complex. The horn is capable of portraying any mood, and blends with any group of instruments. I don't think any other instrument is capable of doing the same.
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