The Block

WMS Horn Section brings the history of the horn to The Block Feb. 20

Muskegon, Michigan, Jan. 21 – The horn section of the West Michigan Symphony will present a musical history of the horn at The Block, West Michigan Symphony’s alternative performance venue, Saturday, Feb. 20.

Titled “Bach to Bach,” this celebration of musical history is a program created by the West Michigan Symphony French horn quartet, comprised of Paul Clifton, Greg Bassett, Lisa Honeycutt and Leah Brockman. The quartet of professional musicians will use music to illustrate the development of the horn as a modern orchestral instrument.

Using the horn to provide a window into the history of music over the last few centuries, the program will include performance, instruction and even an opportunity for the audience to try out horns made from garden hoses.

The four members of the ensemble comprise the horn section of the West Michigan Symphony orchestra, but also have a wide range of experience playing with orchestras across the country and beyond.

Paul Clifton, West Michigan Symphony’s principal horn, is a graduate of Western Michigan University and holds a degree in horn performance. Paul also holds positions in the Illinois and Southwest Michigan symphonies and plays with symphonies in Grand Rapids, South Bend, Lansing, Battle Creek and Ann Arbor.

Lisa Honeycutt serves as associate principal with the West Michigan Symphony and is a member of the musician’s committee. Among the orchestras Lisa has performed with are the Grant Park Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Kalamazoo Symphony, Florida Orchestra and the Memphis Symphony.

Greg Bassett has been playing with the West Michigan Symphony for over five years and has been a member of the Cleveland Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Olympic Brass Quintet.

Leah Brockman holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California. She has served as principal horn of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in Shenzhen, China, and the South Dakota Symphony in Sioux Falls. Additionally, she has performed with the Macau Orchestra, Pearl Delta Chamber Soloists, Florida Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Sioux City Symphony, Dakota Wind Quintet and the Novus Brass Quintet.

When asked to describe the program the group replied, “We believe that the opportunity to explore a single instrument of the orchestra can be thrilling for an audience, they will be able to listen to the tremendous variety of sounds that have been expected from the instrument; they will hear about the ways that technological innovations changed the history of music; and they will even get the opportunity to participate on horns made from garden hoses.”

The program is selected to emphasize a variety of styles and introduce some works and composers that might not be familiar to a wide audience, while still being very accessible and showcasing some of the most popular features of the horn.

The concert is Saturday, Feb. 20 and begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and $30 and can be purchased by calling the West Michigan Symphony ticket office: 231.726.3231 ext. 223; online at TheBlockWestMichigan.org; or in person at 360 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon. Doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit TheBlockWestMichigan.org/season-tickets/.

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