The East Side once again is enjoying music in the air this summer courtesy of the Evansville Horn Club.
Since the pandemic, visitors and neighbors of the Evansville State Hospital park have been treated to a complimentary serenade during the club’s Sunday afternoon rehearsals, while moved outdoors so musicians could safely practice together while social distancing.
“I have a large back yard with a huge oak tree to shade it, and so it works out pretty well,” says Art Adye, a founding member of the group and principal hornist in the Evansville Symphonic Band. “We sometimes draw a crowd.”
The horn club (“horn” meaning what non-players call the French horn) began in 2002 when the Symphonic Band’s four-person horn section started gathering on its own to make music during the off-season. Over time, the club attracted more players — enough to start the Evansville Horn Choir, now a full-blown, international championship-winning amateur ensemble made up of 20 members from diverse walks of life.
“We have a wide array of professions,” Adye says. “Several of the adults are teachers, but we also have engineers and IT specialists and a guy that works on oil wells.”
With no age limit, the group has three college horn majors and seven advanced high schoolers.
“It’s a really great learning tool for the students; it takes them to ranges they don’t normally explore,” Adye says.
Indeed, the horn choir makes full use of the instrument’s four-octave range, the widest in the brass family.
Membership to the Evansville Horn Choir is free, with the cost of music and space covered by the horn club and community partnerships, respectively. The full choir rehearses twice per month during the school year, currently at Methodist Temple. Each semester, it gives at least one free public concert.
“If you’re a horn player, and want to play, you are welcome,” Adye says. “It’s for anybody that loves the horn.”