Horn Day


Horn Day is an annual festival at Western Michigan University open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the horn.   This fun-filled event includes an entire day of horn activities, including a guest artist master class and recital, a solo competition, a recital by the Western Horn Choir and WMU student soloists, and a chance for all participants to play in the Mass Horn Choir, which rehearses during the day and performs in the final concert.

Past guest artists include:

  • William Barnewitz, Principal Horn, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • Michelle Reed Baker, Second Horn, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and faculty member at The Manhattan School of Music
  • Jeff Agrell, Horn Professor at the University of Iowa
  • Douglas Hill, Horn Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Karl Pituch, Principal Horn, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Jesse McCormick, Second Horn, Cleveland Orchestra
  • Virtuoso Horn Duo (Kerry Turner and Kristina Mascher, Luxembourg Philharmonic and American Horn Quartet)
  • Bernhard Scully, Horn Professor at the University of Illinois (formerly with Canadian Brass and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
  • John Ericson, Horn Professor at Arizona State University
  • Cecilia Kozlowski, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band
  • Jeff Nelsen, Horn Professor at Indiana University & President of International Horn Society (formerly with Canadian Brass)
  • Leelanee Sterrett, New York Philharmonic


Horn Day 2018: Saturday, February 10

Featured Artist: Aaron Brant, Dayton Philharmonic

As an orchestral musician Aaron Brant serves as principal hornist with the Dayton Philharmonic, where he has been featured as a concerto soloist, as well as performs with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra as principal horn. During the summer Mr. Brant is an Artist-In-Residence as a member of the Spectrum Brass and Faculty Wind Quintet at the Bay View Music Festival. At the festival he teaches and coaches advanced conservatory students and graduates from across the country on the art of chamber music. 

As an educator, Mr. Brant teaches horn at the University of Dayton, The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Wright State University. He is also a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Educational Brass Quintet, aka the Carillon Brass, and teaches SPARK lessons in select 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. SPARK is a DPO educational program where musicians teach State of Ohio common core curriculum using musical vehicles. 

Before moving to Dayton, Mr. Brant was the principal horn of the South Bend Symphony for four seasons. In South Bend he made his solo debut in 2009, performing Richard Strauss's Horn Concerto No. 1. Mr. Brant also spent four seasons as third horn of the Ann Arbor Symphony, frequently filling in as principal horn. He is a regular substitute with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and has also performed extensively with the Grand Rapids Symphony. In addition to orchestral work spread over eight states, Mr. Brant has performed with a wide range crossover, jazz, and pop artists like Josh Groban, Diana Krall, Mannheim Steamroller, and Andrea Bocelli. 

His primary teachers were Alan DeMattia of the Cleveland Orchestra, Randy Gardner (CCM) formerly of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Peter Landgren (Peabody Institute) formerly of the Baltimore Symphony. 


all events take place in Dalton Center 

  • 12:30 p.m.Registration for Solo Competition participants. Perform your solo/ensemble piece or any other appropriate work for Mr. Brant and Dr. Foulk.  One person will be selected from this competition to play in the masterclass later in the day and everyone will receive written comments.  There are limited slots, so sign up soon!
  • 1:00 p.m.General Registration, group warm-up and reading session
  • 1:30 p.m.Recital—WMU horn students
  • 2:30 p.m.Small Group Workshops
  • 3:45 p.m.Mass Horn Choir Rehearsal (all participants)
  • 4:30 p.m.Featured Artist Masterclass: Aaron Brant, Dayton Philharmonic
  • 5:45 p.m.Break: Sandwiches and snacks will be served to participants
  • 6:30 p.m.Final Concert: Featured Artist Aaron Brant, Western Horn Choir, Mass Horn Choir



  • The registration fee (please pay at the door) is $20 per participant, which provides food and helps sponsor the featured artist.  Please make checks payable to “WMU”. The final concert requires no admission fee and is open to the public.  Family members of participants may observe any part of the day free of charge.
  • Public parking is available in the structure adjacent to Miller Auditorium free of charge.
  • Please bring your own instrument and mouthpiece.  Music for the mass horn choir will be provided at the workshop. Please dress casually.
  • Please contact Dr. Lin Foulk with any questions.