Peter Kurau, Director
The Eastman Horn Choir was founded in 1968 by Verne Reynolds, Professor Emeritus of Horn at the Eastman School of Music, who served as its director until his retirement in 1995. From its inception, the Choir’s mission has been threefold: to provide an expanded ensemble experience for the horn students; to acquaint them (through transcriptions) of the breadth of quality repertoire (with a particular emphasis on the glorious vocal music of the German and Italian Renaissance) within our musical culture; and to encourage contemporary composers to create original works for multiple horns. In addition to compositions and commissions by such notable composers as Samuel Adler, Jeff Tyzik, John Cheetham, David Diamond, and James Willey, the Choir’s repertoire in recent years has expanded to include transcriptions from the classical, romantic, and modern eras.
During the 2003-04 academic year, the Choir was featured on the “Eastman at Washington Square” series, on “Live from Hochstein” in its annual holiday concert (broadcast live on WXXI-FM 91.5, a National Public Radio affiliate), in its biennial tribute to St. Hubert (patron saint of the hunt, from which the horn derives much of its repertoire), in a formal concert in the Eastman Theatre, and on the “Music at St. Andrew’s” and “Music at St. John’s” series.
In 2002, the Choir was a featured ensemble (the only collegiate choir in the world so honored) at the 34th International Horn Symposium held in Lahti, Finland, where it presented three performances to critical and popular acclaim. As a result of its successes there, the Choir was invited to present three performances at the 36th International Horn Symposium, held in July 2004 in Valencia, Spain.
The students within the 26-member Choir are enrolled as applied horn students at the Eastman School, and are pursuing collectively 5 various degrees or majors. Geographically, they represent 16 different states, and 2 countries at present (2004).