The curriculum for high school participants is the most intense, varied and structured program offered by any horn "workshop," "symposium," "institute," or "camp" since at KBHC, emphasis is on the individual participant improving their own technique and musicianship. The program is structured to ensure that high school participants are provided with the best education possible. Some of the High School alumni of this program have gone on to highly successful jobs as professional horn players and teachers, including Jesse McCormick, current 2nd horn of the Cleveland Orchestra (who now also serves on the KBHC faculty) and Michael Winter, current 3rd horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. High School participants are students 14 to 18 years old, including graduated seniors. High School students are divided into "rookies" and "veterans" of the camp, allowing further tailoring to ensure each student gains the best possible progressive instruction.
Every participant has daily fundamental class instruction with Kendall Betts. Mr. Betts is renowned for his teaching of the fundamentals of playing the horn and musicianship, especially the "Tabuteau Concepts of Phrasing." Participants are given instruction by him in a progressive, understandable way. Breathing, tone production, articulation, phrasing and musicianship are presented on a daily basis with individual attention to the participant's particular needs at the time. Kendall is blessed with a "gift of analysis" in this regard and throughout his career he has helped over a thousand people to improve their horn playing, refine their musicianship, and to achieve their goals. Kendall hears and instructs every participant every day and also recommends specific instruction from other faculty and staff who have defined expertise in a particular area to help the individual participant in solving their problems.
Unlike the other participants, High School participants also get three additional hours of guided instruction per day, taught by our staff. These classes include warm-up classes, fundamentals and excerpts classes, and theory and aural skills. All of these classes are designed to ensure that the high school participants are given every possible opportunity to learn and prepare for a possible career in music.
All participants have two 1-hour private lessons, each with a different faculty member, per week. If attending multiple weeks, you receive lessons with different instructors every time! Scheduling is done by lottery to be fair to all. It is possible to receive instruction from individual faculty during open studios, as well, should you not be assigned a particular instructor that you desire to meet. Please be assured, though, that you will not have a duplicate instructor for any lesson during your entire stay at KBHC.
High School students have class instruction in orchestral excerpts for an hour with a faculty member each morning. The classes are taught by a different faculty member each day, allowing our participants to experience many different teachers, styles, and approaches to horn playing. If the faculty recommends a student attend, there are also open studios every day (pending availability) and specialty classes (topics include eurhythmics, low horn playing, high horn playing, natural horn, audition preparation, trills and special effects, etc).
Every participant is given the opportunity to play solos for our solo coach: Bernhard Scully for weeks 1 and 2, Douglas Hill for week 3 with our pianist, Arlene Kies.
Participants may play in solo class and not perform in recital but all are offered the opportunity to perform in the concerts at the end of the week, if they so choose, provided that the solo coach and Arlene feel comfortable that each participant will have a successful performance. Our participants are surrounded by the most supportive audience possible - fellow horn players!
All our participants are organized into horn ensembles, coached or conducted by the faculty, which perform at the end of the week. These ensembles can vary in size from three to twelve. Every effort is made to choose repertoire and assign parts to ensure that everyone can have an enjoyable and successful performance.
We also offer a natural horn ensemble as well as open studios, taught by natural horn virtuoso Lowell Greer and faculty. No natural horn experience is required and many participants are given their introduction to historical horn performance at camp.
Realizing that the horn camp can be intense, it would be remiss to not allow our participants to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Camp Ogontz! Every day there is a 2 hour block of free time for all participants and faculty. Often, participants will enjoy canoeing, hiking, swimming, and a myriad of other outdoor activities, including the ritual gathering at the Green Chairs.
All participants gather during our evening sessions for camp-wide classes. These classes vary from week to week, drawing on the specialties of our faculty members. Our evening sessions have included topics such as the history of the horn, panel discussions with our faculty on various topics, how to practice efficiently, acoustic designs and recording techniques, "what not to do" to annoy your colleagues, how to learn to improvise, and faculty recitals and performances of new works for horn. The mid-week evening session is "Clam Night" when Professor I.M.Gestopftmitscheist makes his appearance where he belches, disgorges, ejects, erupts, expels, spews and spouts his unique knowledge of the horn and horn-related paraphernalia.
The last two evening sessions of each week are public performances where participants get to perform solo and horn ensemble works. The community and participant's friends and relatives are all welcome to come as these concerts are free and open to the public. The final concert of each week is followed by a gala party and fireworks orchestrated by Kendall (Reg. Int. Pyrotechnician), principal of the virtuoso Feuerwerkidiotensemble along with the associate principal, assistant principal, sub principal, section and extra pyrotechnicians!
We realize that High School students are all minors and therefore are our responsibility to ensure their safety and well-being while at KBHC. We have several rules and regulations that apply specifically to High School participants, and all of the participants are overseen by our staff members to ensure that the students are learning in a safe and friendly environment. Parents are encouraged to contact Kendall Betts with any questions regarding the program.
Third Horn, Boston Symphony Orchestra
KBHC Alum: 2000-2001
"KBHC is one of the best experiences an aspiring horn player can have. I cannot think of anywhere else where you would find this incredible grouping of the world's greatest horn players. And what makes KBHC amazing is not just that you get to hear them all play but you as a student get to study with them all! The atmosphere of beautiful mountains, amazing food, and some of the greatest musicians in the world makes for an ideal few weeks!"