How I met my horn...

A year ago a chamber group I was apart of thought it would be fun to introduce our followers to each of our unique instruments.  While cleaning up my computer today (taking advantage of nap time quietness!) I found the paragraph I wrote on my horn and thought I would share it here!


I started playing horn in the fifth grade and played school horns through high school. I had always dreamed of owning my own horn and in junior high school that dream became a reality when my Mom told me she was able to pay for a horn and that the local instrument shop in Anchorage Alaska had two horns for me to look at. A brass Alexander and a nickel played Holton 379. Looking back on it I probably should have chosen the Alex but as a young person in junior high school I had always imagined a beautiful silver horn. When we walked into the store my material side kicked in. I wouldn't even pick the horns up to try I was to shy, embarrassed, clueless how to play test them and overwhelming in love with the silver mass of metal in front of me. I became the proud owner of a Holton 379. That was my horn for use at home all through High school (I played on a school owned King, which I really liked, at school). I played this horn through the first two years of my undergrad at Boston University when my teacher and I decided it was time to invest in a professional horn. Once again I had my heart set on a silver horn, this time a Conn 8D. Don't ask me why. But thankfully I was a little smarter this time around. Seth picked up a few horns for me from Ken Pope. A new one every few days. Each one was worse than the first. I think he did it on purpose because when he brought what would become my horn to me and I played the first few notes on it it was like the heavens opened up. Others in the horn studio joked that it was a “magic horn” also known as the “golden horn”! I never touched my beloved Holton 379 again and I sold it a few months later. I've played on the golden horn since that day in the fall of 1997 … Almost 20 years!!! So what is this horn? Well that's a great question. When I bought the horn it was sold to me as a Knopf- Schmidt copy. However after moving to the Chicago area and having some others look at the horn there seems to be a consensus that it is in fact an original C. F. Schmidt. One of my favorite memories around the parentage of my horn is from Chicago legend, Dale Clevenger. He always seems to admire my horn, every-time he sees it. But, the first time he looked at/played it, after playing a few glorious notes he pulled the horn from his lips and he tipped the horn away from him inspecting the back of the instrument. He leaned in close to me, and in his famous southern Illinois accent said, “my dear, there is nothing Knopf about this horn!”

 Knopf or not I love this horn, and so does everyone else it seems. 





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