Horn Studio

Meet the Studio

W. Peter Kurau, Professor of Horn

Eastman School of Music 2014-2015 Horn Studio

Eastman School of Music 2014-2015 Horn Studio














Lindsey Aaronson is a freshman in the Eastman horn studio, double majoring in horn performance and music education. She has lived her whole life in Deerfield, IL, a suburb of Chicago. Before Eastman, Lindsey performed in several ensembles including Midwest Young Artists’ Symphony Orchestra, ILMEA all state honors orchestra, several ensembles at her high school, and the Symphony Band and Orchestra at New England Music Camp, which she attended for two summers and studied with Meredith Moore. In high school, Lindsey studied with Melody Velleuer at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. Once she is out of school, she hopes to either be a high school band director, or perform in a professional wind ensemble (possibly a military ensemble). Outside of music, Lindsey really enjoys working at Vans, spending time with her friends, and watching shows on Netflix. 

Claire Bradley is a freshman horn performance major at the Eastman School of Music. Originally from Houston suburb of Cypress, Texas, Claire began instruction on the horn at age 11. She studied with Amanda Doyle for four years. Claire served as head drum major for her high school marching band and was a featured soloist in the Houston Youth Symphony.  She also has performed professionally with local ensembles since 2014. A three-time UIL Area Qualifier, Claire received both the John Philip Sousa Award and the Marine Corps Award for Outstanding Musicianship. During the summer, she received a scholarship to attend the Idyllwild Music Festival. She has worked with Michael Isadore, Wolfgang Wipfler, Larry Livingston and is currently studying with Peter Kurau. In her free time, Claire enjoys cooking, puzzles, travel, and spending time with friends and family.

Emma Chang
is currently a Freshman horn performance major at the Eastman School of Music. Raised in San Diego California, she began horn studies with Mike McCoy and Doug Hall high school. She was principal horn of the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra for four years, and played in the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. Emma has enjoyed spending her summers, when not lifeguarding, basking in music at a variety of music camps- SDSMI, Idyllwild Arts Camp and winning a scholarship to Kendall Betts’ Horn Camp. At KBHC it was an honor to work with Peter Karau, Wayne Lu, Robert Hoyle, Lowell Greer, Jeffrey Agrell and Bernard Scully. Other honors include her selection for the SDUHSD District honor band four years in a row, California All State Honor Band and MMYO’s ‘Rising Stars’ concert series. She was also was fortunate to work with the Genghis Barbie horn quartet during a masterclass. In addition, she is the recipient of the Berta/Lehman Music Scholarship award. Emma loves a wide range of music genres. Her present interests include arranging horn covers of soundtrack pieces and Korean pop songs and running her music blogs and YouTube channels. is currently a Freshman horn performance major at the Eastman School of Music. Raised in San Diego California, she began horn studies with Mike McCoy and Doug Hall high school. She was principal horn of the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra for four years, and played in the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. Emma has enjoyed spending her summers, when not lifeguarding, basking in music at a variety of music camps- SDSMI, Idyllwild Arts Camp and winning a scholarship to Kendall Betts’ Horn Camp. At KBHC it was an honor to work with Peter Karau, Wayne Lu, Robert Hoyle, Lowell Greer, Jeffrey Agrell and Bernard Scully. Other honors include her selection for the SDUHSD District honor band four years in a row, California All State Honor Band and MMYO’s ‘Rising Stars’ concert series. She was also was fortunate to work with the Genghis Barbie horn quartet during a masterclass. In addition, she is the recipient of the Berta/Lehman Music Scholarship award. Emma loves a wide range of music genres. Her present interests include arranging horn covers of soundtrack pieces and Korean pop songs and running her music blogs and YouTube channels.

Ava Conway, Los Angeles native, is a freshman horn performance major at the Eastman School of Music. She began her horn studies in middle school with Amy Sanchez, Professor of Horn at the University of California Los Angeles. In high school she joined the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts, where she took private lessons with Dr. Annie Bosler. Ava was principal horn of the Colburn Wind Ensemble and participated regularly in California All-State ensembles. In 2015, she was chosen to play with the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. Ava was a member of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, which went on a China tour in the summer of 2016. She has performed with the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and has played side-by-side Pacific Symphony. She has attended the Idyllwild Chamber Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Colburn Horn Camp, and 2015 International Horn Symposium. Ava studied piano with Dr. Janet Favreau, and is a two-time winner of the Southern California Junior Bach Festival. In addition to her studies with W. Peter Kurau, she has worked with artists such as Andrew Bain, William VerMeulen, Hazel Dean Davis, Wolfgang Wipfler, and Kristy Morrell. 

Xin He is a freshman horn student from Ellicott City, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. During her pre-college years, she was involved in the music scene in Baltimore, playing outdoor gigs with brass bands during the summer and worked with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program, which served to provide free music education to kids. She was a part of the Peabody Youth Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra, Maryland’s All-State Ensembles, NAfME All-National Concert Band and Youth Orchestra, and a participated in various chamber groups such as the Herald Brass Quintet. In 2014, she attended the Performing Arts Institute of the Wyoming Seminary on full scholarship. In addition to her studies with Peter Kurau, she has studied with Larry Williams, Philip Munds, and Anneka Zuehlke. In the future, she hopes to be a part of a award-winning chamber ensemble. During free time, she likes to look at and take photos of dogs and eat food.

Melissa Palfey currently majors in horn performance at Eastman. She is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she studied with Tammy Kosinski. In high school, Melissa participated in school band, orchestra, and choir as well as All-State ensembles, Detroit Civic Youth Ensembles, and several school chamber groups. She was selected to perform as a concerto soloist with her high school orchestra. She attended the University of Michigan’s MPulse summer program and Interlochen summer camp. Outside of music, Melissa enjoys hiking, drawing, and spending time with friends. 

Zoe Resmer, of Akron, Ohio, is studying horn performance at the Eastman School of Music. Since arriving there, she has played in the Wind Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Horn Choir, and Chamber Jazz Orchestra, as well as arranging and playing traditional hunting calls with the Eastman Natural Horn Quartet. Before coming to Eastman, she studied with Van Parker and Meghan Guegold. She played with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (including a tour to China in 2015), the Ohio All State Orchestra, the Interlochen Philharmonic, the Akron Youth Symphony, the Akron School for the Arts Wind Ensemble. At the Akron School for the Arts, she was also in various chamber ensembles, including a brass quintet and a brass choir, as well as in the pit orchestra of productions of Spamalot and Mary Poppins. Outside of music, Zoe enjoys baking and computer programming.

Tasha Schapiro is a dual degree student in Horn Performance and Physics from Newtown, Pennsylvania. In addition to Professor Kurau, she has worked with Colleen Sweetsir and Jonathan Clark. She was a member of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County for eight years and toured with them in France, Spain and Italy. She was the winner of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County’s Soloist Competition, the Filene Music Scholarship, and the Jerry Nowak Memorial Scholarship. In addition to YOBC, Tasha played with the Delaware Valley Wind Symphony, the Bucks County Symphony and the Warminster Symphony. During high school, she attended Kendall Betts Horn Camp and played in music festivals including All State, All Eastern and All National. In her free time, Tasha enjoys fencing, coaching gymnastics, playing Dungeons & Dragons, baking, and reading.

Fiona Stout, a native of Miami, Oklahomais a freshman horn performance major at the Eastman School of Music. She began horn at the age of 13, studying with high school band director Toye Harris, and went on to study with Richard Wagner of the University of Tulsa. Fiona is a three year OkMEA All State member and was principal horn in the All State Orchestra her senior year. She was the principal horn of the Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, and attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute for two years. There, she studied horn with Gerald Wood of the University of Texasand performed in the orchestra under the baton of Eastman alum Timothy Long. Fiona has performed in master classes for William VerMeulen and also for the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse. She was awarded “Outstanding Musician” at the University of Texas at Arlington Honors Horn Camp in 2015. In 2016, she received a Superior rating at the Oklahoma State Solo and Ensemble Competition and was honored with the John Philip Sousa Band AwardAt Eastman, Fiona is a member of the Flaming Winds, a wind quintet, and is the second horn of the Eastman Natural Horn Choir, which recently made its debut at the 16th Annual Rochester Early Music Festival. Apart from horn, Fiona enjoys the outdoors, animals, and working as a barista at a locally owned bookstore back home.


Henry Bond is a sophomore horn performance major at Eastman. 

Megan-568 finalMegan Heller is a sophomore horn performance major hailing from Rhinebeck, NY. While in Rhinebeck, Megan studied with Szilard Molnar and Barbara Hill. She was a member of the Bard College Conservatory Preparatory Division. Starting at age 15, Megan was the Principal Horn of the Bard College Orchestra, which she continued performing with until graduation from high school. Over the past two summers, she attended the New York Summer Music Festival, where she was a scholarship winner and this past year performed in the top woodwind quintet. Megan is a dual degree student also pursuing a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

In her free time, Megan enjoys playing sports, especially soccer and tennis. In high school she also enjoyed playing doubles in the school steel drum band.

IMG_2853Leah Jorgensen is  currently a Sophomore Horn Performance and Music Education major at the Eastman School of Music. She is from Jacobus,PA. In high school Leah played in the Allegretto Youth Chamber Orchestra, York Youth Symphony, Franklin and Marshall College Orchestra, and many PMEA festivals including All State Orchestra, and NAfME’s All National Orchestra. Leah was the winner of her school’s concerto competition and the John Phillip Sousa band award. Over the summer Leah has been able to attend Lutheran Summer Music Camp, Tanglewood Music Camp, and Interlochen Arts Camp. In high school, Leah studied French horn with Dr. Brian Norcross. Leah also enjoyed being able to teach French horn lessons. Also, Leah enjoyed being active in her church including teaching Sunday School, going on hikes, being a LINK crew(for high school freshman orientation)leader, volunteering, participating a in Big buddy program and spending time with her family and friends. Leah is excited for all Eastman has in store for her, and where music will lead her in life.

phototoShimon Ohi, a horn performance major at the Eastman School of Music, is from Greer, South Carolina. He began his musical studies in middle school and began playing horn in high school and studied with Paula Riddle and Anneka Zuehlke. Starting his junior year of high school, he attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and was principal horn in Greenville County Youth Orchestra’s Young Artist Orchestra and Carolina Youth Symphony. He has attended the Interlochen Summer Arts Horn Institute and Brevard Music Festival where he studied and attended masterclasses with Peter Kurau, William VerMeulen, Gustavo Camacho, Richard Deane, Hazel Davis, and Bob Rydel. Shimon enjoys being Japanese and doing kendo, a type of Japanese fencing.

Lauren Robinson is a sophomore horn performance major at Eastman School of Music. 


Kara MillerKara Miller, a Texas native, began learning horn at age 11. Now pursuing a dual bachelor’s degree in horn performance and business at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester under the teachings of W. Peter Kurau, she studied with James Wilson, principal horn of the Houston Ballet, before beginning college. While in high school, Kara advanced to the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest four consecutive years for both a solo and a brass quintet; her senior year, she received the recognition of Outstanding Soloist of the day. She also achieved the title of Texas All-Stater three times and performed in ensembles under the direction of Frank Ticheli, Mallory Thompson, and Kevin Sedatole. Furthermore, Kara has performed in masterclasses for distinguished artists such as William VerMeulen, Daniel Katzen, Richard Deane, and Will Sanders. Over the past few summers, Kara attended The Pierre Monteux School, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, and Interlcohen Arts Camp where she had the privilege of working with such people as Howard Howard, Brad Gemeinhardt, Bruce Henniss, Frøydis Ree Wekre, and Kevin Owens. In her free time, Kara enjoys running half marathons, playing with her dogs, and being an active member of her church.

Mattingly photoEthan Mattingly is a junior at Eastman School of music studying under Professor W. Peter Kurau. In the past he has studied with Professor Leslie Norton from Vanderbilt University and Erin Horner. He has received numerous scholarships such as a full scholarship for one week at Kendall Betts Horn Camp, The Mira Jackson Pre-College Scholarship, a full-paying scholarship for the pre-college program at the Blair School of Music in Vanderbilt, and more. In his free time, he composes, learns East Asian musical instruments, and is intrigued by foreign language. He is currently taking his fourth year of French classes, and he is also teaching himself Japanese.

ElderJessica Elder is a horn performance major from Mobile, Alabama where she studied with Susan Unger and Rob Seebacher. Jessica was the principal horn and president of the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra, and she was a finalist in the MSYO concerto competition. Additionally, Jessica performed with the Alabama All State Band and Orchestra and was awarded second place in the All State Solo Festival. In her summers, Jessica attended the Interlochen Horn Institute, the Brevard Music Center, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute where she studied with such artists as Jeff Nelsen, Hazel Dean Davis, and Zachary Smith. Jessica is thrilled to be currently studying with W. Peter Kurau at the Eastman School of Music!

SchoberKyle Schober is a performance major from Greer, South Carolina. He began playing at the age of 11 and studied with Paula Riddle. In his sophomore year of high school, Kyle was selected to attend the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities as an early admissions student. Kyle joined the Carolina Youth Symphony at age 13 and held the principal position in the top orchestra from age 15 until his graduation.  In his senior year, Kyle was named most outstanding senior musician in the Carolina Youth Symphony and was also selected to perform Richard Strauss’ 1st Horn Concerto with the orchestra. Kyle has also competed in the MTNA Senior Brass competition twice, most recently taking second place at the national level. He has attended summer institutes such as the Interlochen Horn Institute and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Horn Workshop where he studied with Eric Ruske, Eli Epstein, Rose French and Gustavo Camacho.

Nikolette LaBontea native of South Florida, has quickly emerged as a distinguished performer in the field of orchestral horn playing. Nikolette currently serves as the Associate/Assistant/Utility Horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.  She joined the RPO in 2016 but prior to that, LaBonte was appointed acting assistant principal horn of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra in 2015. While living and working with the orchestra in Honolulu, she also served as the associate principal horn of the Hawaii Opera Theater and Oahu Choral Society. In addition to the RPO and HSO, she has had the opportunity to perform with orchestras across the country including the New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and Syracuse-based Symphoria.

LaBonte will be returning to Rochester not only as a performer, but also to complete her undergraduate degree coursework at the Eastman School of Music, under the direction of RPO Principal Horn W. Peter Kurau. Outside of the concert hall, LaBonte is active in promoting classical music throughout the community.  She currently maintains a private studio, is a guest clinician with the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and previously worked as the education coordinator of the Hawaii Symphony and as an instructor with “Kalikolehua,” an El Sistema program. She has served as a member of a variety of chamber ensembles including the Spring Winds and Upstate Brass Band and is the co-creator and coordinator of “Olympic Overtures”, a multimedia project designed to spread awareness of classical music through collaboration with Olympic athletes.  Away from the horn, she enjoys hiking and scuba diving, although she’ll likely have to reserve the latter for her visits to more tropical climates.


Valerie Ankeney hails from Dayton, Ohio and is finishing her senior year as a horn performance major at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to graduating in the spring with a BM, she is also a recipient of the coveted Performer’s Certificate. At the International Horn Society’s 2015 Symposium in Los Angeles, California Valerie not only won the Frizelle Orchestral High Horn Audition, but was also the recipient of the IHS Paul Mansur Award and a winner of the Masterclass Participation Competition, awarding her the opportunity to perform in David Krehbiel’s masterclass.

Valerie made her solo debut with the Eastman Wind Ensemble when her horn quartet won the concerto competition and performed In the Mind’s Eye by James Beckel.  Valerie has attended the Sarasota Music Festival, Texas Music Festival and Brevard Music Festival and was a finalist in the Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto Competition during the 2015 Brevard Music Center season.  During her undergraduate studies, she performed in masterclasses for William VerMeulen, Frøydis Ree Wekre, Julie Landsman, William Purvis and Adam Unsworth.  

Throughout her time at Eastman, Valerie has greatly enjoyed performing chamber music. She was a member of the Femmes Fatales Wind Quintet and is currently a member of the Ventus Musica Wind Quintet and Eastman Harmonie. Valerie also enjoys performing with the Eastman Philharmonia has won the principal horn position on several major orchestral work through a studio-wide audition process. Valerie is greatly looking forward to performing and recording with the Eastman Wind Ensemble in May on their 2017 tour to Niagara Falls.

Prior to her matriculation at Eastman, Valerie studied with Elizabeth Freimuth and Robert Johnson and is currently under the tutelage of W. Peter Kurau in her final semester of studies at the Eastman School of Music.

Caroline Baker, a native of Colorado, is a Horn Performance major at the Eastman School of Music. Caroline made her soloist debut with the Denver Concert Band after being named the winner of their Young Artist Scholarship Concerto Competition. She also competed in the final round of the Arapahoe Philharmonic Collegiate Concerto open to Colorado and its seven surrounding states. Caroline has enjoyed playing Principal Horn in the Colorado All-State Orchestra and Band in 2012 and 2013 along with other various statewide honor ensembles. Throughout her high school career she relished in playing with the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra and Denver Young Artists Orchestra. In 2013 she was involved in a natural disaster awareness ensemble where she had the privilege to perform in Japan for victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck in 2011. During the summer Caroline participates in the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Denver and Kendall Betts Horn Camp in Lyman, New Hampshire. Aside from playing the horn, Caroline enjoys riding horses, hiking, and spending time with her cat.

CotnerA native of Ann Arbor Michigan, hornist Rennie Cotner is currently a junior studying Horn performance with Professor W. Peter Kurau at the Eastman School of Music.  In Ann Arbor, Rennie studied horn with Tammy Kosinski and performed in youth orchestras through the University of Michigan and the Detroit Symphony, and was a student in the Grammy Award-winning Pioneer High school music program.  She attended New England Music Camp, and there studied with C. Scott Smith of Ohio University.  She was a finalist in the concerto competitions at New England Music Camp and Pioneer High School in 2012, and was also nominated for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Outstanding Soloist Competition.  Now at Eastman, Rennie performs with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Wind Orchestra.  Aside from large ensemble work, Rennie is also an avid chamber musician and has performed works with strings such as the Beethoven Septet and Brahms Horn Trio, and currently is a member of the Emerson Wind Quintet at Eastman.  Rennie is also interested in early music and studies natural horn with Professor Derek Conrod.  Outside of music, Rennie is pursuing a Minor in Religion at the University of Rochester, and is on the executive board for the Rochester Student Association for Interfaith Cooperation.

Katelyn Fridmann is a performance major from Buffalo, NY.  While at Eastman, Katelyn has performed with many ensembles including the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Philharmonia, and the new music group Musica Nova.  She has also performed with the Eastman Opera Theatre, under the direction of Benton Hess, in 2016 performances of Mozart’s Le Nozze de Figaro and Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.  Katelyn is also very involved with her Woodwind Quintet, “Quintensity,” and with them travels all around Rochester and Upstate New York doing outreach performances and teaching lessons.  This year the group will embark for the third time to Lake Placid, NY for a three day residency program where they will give masterclasses in some local schools and perform for the community.  Katelyn also does freelance work in Rochester and Buffalo, including with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Philharmonic, SUNY Oswego Opera Theatre, SUNY Brockport Opera Theatre and St. John’s Lutheran Church.  Katelyn is experienced in Natural Horn as well as Wagner Tuba and enjoys performing with the Eastman Horn Choir every year at their multiple concerts, especially the Hochstein Christmas Radio Broadcast.

Robert Levine is a senior studying French horn performance under Professor W. Peter Kurau.  He became interested in playing at the age of 10 after his Rabbi showed him what a French horn was. He is currently preparing for his senior recital which will involve a multitude of instruments, such as, shofar, natural horn, piston horn, descant horn as well as the standard double horn.  Robert enjoys riding his bike when he is not playing horn.  He also enjoys playing natural horn and learning about how the design and purpose of the horn has changed through the times. 

He also has great interest in designing instruments, more specifically French horns.  During his freshman and sophomore years he teamed up with some students and a professor in a Rapid Prototyping course that its offered at RIT to design and 3D print a natural horn using an instrument made by R. Seraphinoff that was donated to Eastman as a template.  Unfortunately the project was never fully finished, however Robert plans to finish the project on his own during this last semester and hopes to have a prototype by May.  He also designed some other experimental devices to be used with the horn as well as a few standalone instruments and hybrid mashups.    

During his summers away from Eastman, Robert has worked at Interlochen Arts Camp as a cabin counselor.  He also has worked at brass repair shops, Siegfried’s Call in Beacon NY, and JLandress in New York City. Robert hopes to learn the art of brass instrument making out in Kansas City after he graduates from Eastman.    

Rebekah Lorenz is completing her senior year of study at Eastman this year. She has passionately explored a wide breadth of ensembles and repertoire since her first semester, from the Baroque to the contemporary. Recently, she has performed in the resident orchestra of the new music festival soundSCAPE in Maccagno, Italy; performed a recital of Works for the Horn Composed by Women, and another recital for natural horn and organ as part of the Christ Church series Tuesday Pipes; and performed the music of Marty Paich as a member of the Eastman Chamber Jazz at the 2017 JEN Conference in New Orleans, alongside David Paich. Rebekah has performed as a substitute horn with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and with Symphoria as well. In 2016, the Eastman Philharmonia toured to Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and Rebekah was selected to perform as principal horn in the world premiere of Kevin Putz’s Letters from Georgia with Renée Fleming. She has also been selected to join the Eastman Wind Ensemble on the 2017 recording and concert tour to Niagara Falls. Additionally in school, Rebekah has been a member of the ensemble Harmonie since 2016, and the Eastman Brass Guild for the past four years. In 2015, Rebekah and her esteemed Eastman colleagues drove to Indiana, PA, competed, and received first place in the Northeast Horn Workshop Quartet Competition, and performed with Genghis Barbie. In her summers, Rebekah has attended Le Domaine Forget Summer Music Festival, Kendall Betts Horn Camp, and held full time administrative positions in the offices of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra.

Graduate Students

Dan Hively is a horn player in the first year of his graduate studies at Eastman. 

HeadShot (1)Sara Petokas is from rural Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. She began her horn studies at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania where she studied Music Education and Horn with Dr. Rebecca Dodson-Webster. Sara was principal horn with the Northern Tier Symphony Orchestra for 4 years. She was a substitute horn with the Williamsport Symphony and the Orchestra of the Southern Fingerlakes for 3 years. Sara had solo performances with the Northern Tier Symphony for which she played Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4. She was also a Concerto Competition Winner and performed with the Mansfield University Orchestra, on Camille Saint Saëns Morceau de Concert. Sara was an Intern with the Endless Mountains Music Festival for Summers 2013-2014. Sara has taken lessons with William Purvis, William Caballero, Randy Gardner, Joseph Rounds, and Anneka Zuehlke.

Currently, Sara is getting her MM in Horn Performance and Literature and studying with Professor Peter Kurau at the Eastman School of Music. Sara is TA for the Eastman Horn Studio. She is teaching horn lessons through the Eastman Community Music School for which she has her own studio. She teaches Secondary Horn lessons at the Eastman School of Music. Sara is also teaching Horn Methods for the Education Program at ESM.  Sara is hoping to continue her studies and get her DMA to teach at the collegiate level.

 Born and raised in Louisville Kentucky, Tyler Taylor is currently in his second year at the Eastman School of Music as a candidate for the Master of Music in composition and horn. He is a composition student of David Liptak and a former student of Robert Morris, and studies horn with Peter Kurau. Tyler earned his BM fro the University of Louisville where he studied composition with Steve Rouse and Krzysztof Wołek as well as horn with Bruce Heim. While at the University of Louisville, Tyler was able to have private lessons and attend masterclasses by Grawemeyer Award winning composers Djuro Zivkovic, Brett Dean, Michel van der Aa, Simon Bainbridge, and Esa-Pekka Salonen as well as many other reputable composers including David Felder, Bent Sørensen, Joel Hoffman, Authur Gottschalk, Sydney Hodkinson, and Chen Yi. 

As an aspiring composer and contemporary chamber musician, Tyler has found that experiences in which he can participate as both a performer and a composer are the most inspiring and exciting. During his time as the 2016 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival horn fellow, Tyler played in a performance of his own piece “Liberation compromise” which was featured on the “Student Lunchtime Recital” series. He was also accepted as both a performer and composer at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium where “Liberation compromise” received its premiere. He has enjoyed similar opportunities while attending the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival as well. At Eastman, Tyler performs in the Eastman Philharmonia, contemporary music ensembles Musica Nova and Ossia New Music, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble; and has enjoyed performances of his music by the Eastman Graduate Composers Sinfonietta, members of the Talea Ensemble, the University of Louisville Symphony Orchestra, and more. His sinfonietta “Encompass” was awarded the Howard Hanson Ensemble Prize by the Eastman Department of Composition. Tyler’s most recent performances include the premiere of  “Lake Music” Concerto for Horn and Chamber Orchestra featuring himself as the soloist and Vie for Solo Horn featuring the commissioner Sara Petokas. 

Tyler began exploring avenues of pedagogy after teaching music theory and horn at the University of Louisville Summer Wind Band Institute and giving private composition lessons in Louisville. These overwhelmingly positive experiences strongly influenced the direction of his career; namely to continue studying composition and horn at the doctoral level with the goal of becoming a professor of composition and a performer of contemporary chamber music.


Erin Futterer is in the final year of her doctoral studies at Eastman under the tutelage of Peter Kurau, where she enriched her knowledge and passion for many different facets of horn playing. From early music to jazz, symphony orchestra and chamber music to solo performance, and scholarship to commissions and lectures, she has certainly followed a less traveled, more scenic route, but one which has ultimately led to several notable achievements.

Having served as the natural horn assistant at Eastman for 5 years, she is looking forward to participating in the  inaugural performance of Ensemble True Concord, an all-period classical group of which she is a founding member. In November of 2016, Erin was asked to give a solo recital on natural horn as part of the Rochester Early Music Festival. Also for REMF, she arranged a set of traditional French calls of the hunt for horn quartet, which she performed with members of the Eastman natural horn studio on the Prism-style closing concert. Admittedly, some of her interest in this era of music stems from her fascination with with the instruments, and she in fact owns both a Midwinterhoorn, on which she is quite a novice, and an Alphorn, of which she is slowly gaining mastery. The Alphorn first made its appearance during her lecture recital at Eastman, which featured the solo works for horn that had been commissioned by or written for Frøydis Ree Wekre. Frøydis was the Professor of Horn (now Professor Emeritus), at the Norges Musikhøgskole (the Norwegian Academy of Music), in Oslo, Norway, where Erin, a Fulbright Fellow,  completed her master’s work. The material from Erin’s lecture recital, which she has presented in several versions, both at the 2015 International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles, and in various regional workshops, was excerpted from her ongoing work on Frøydis’s biography, now nearly 2/3 complete. Portions of the finished biography are to be published in the Horn Call,  the publication of the International Horn Society, in near future. Other scholarly endeavors are focused around the physical/mental interdependency in horn playing and FLOW states in performance, and the publication of several of the aforementioned solo works for horn, which have previously been unavailable to the public. 

While at Eastman, Erin was a two-time concerto competition winner, earning the opportunity to perform Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto No. 1 with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, and James Beckel’s horn quartet version of In the Mind’s Eye with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. She also played principal on several large orchestral works including Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony, and Tchaikovsky’s fourth Symphony. Erin has performed with several local orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic and the Buffalo Philharmonic, and is regular member of the Finger Lakes Opera Orchestra and the Genesee Community Orchestra. Her life-long love of jazz and big band is finally taking form, as she has performed with several Eastman-affiliated groups, and most recently on both horn and vocals in Palm Springs, CA with acclaimed jazz musicians Bill Marx, Michael Healey, and the Shelley Yoelin Group.

Inspired by all of her mentors, including Prof. Kurau, Frøydis, and Gail Williams at Northwestern, where Erin completed her undergraduate studies, Erin is dedicated to the the promotion of new music and the expansion of horn repertoire, and currently has two commissions in progress. One is a concerto for horn and and wind ensemble, by up and coming composer Andrew Boss, and will be premiered with the Eastman Wind Ensemble at a future date, and the other is a chamber work for horn, soprano, bassoon, and harpsichord set be completed later this year by Daniel Baldwin, a featured composer at last year’s IHS Symposium in Ithaca.

In Rochester, Erin works as a freelance horn player in the jazz, classical, and early music scenes, and has her own business as a professional gardener and landscape designer. 

Eastman School of Music Horn Studio 2010-2011

Eastman School of Music 2012-2013 Horn Studio