28 November 2019
Written by Eliza Glover
On Sunday my Mum and I went to the BHF (British Horn Festival) at Guildhall School of Music. As we got closer we saw lots of people with horns on their backs, so we followed them and joined the big queue. We went straight into the Milton Concert Hall for the gala opening concert, which included many young horn ensembles from all over the UK. I did not expect there to be so many French horn players all in one place. It was really exciting.
After the concert, the younger players were invited onto the stage for a workshop. We did some singing and warmups, before playing Liberty Bell March. Thirty-six horns playing all together sounded amazing.
We grabbed a quick lunch before going over the road to the Guildhall recital room. This was BYMT Horn Ensemble’s big moment! We started the lunchtime recital with the Universal Theme, followed by Jurassic Park and Summer Nights from Grease. There were ten of us and Mr Steggall joined in on the bass part – it sounded great.
After a short break, we went back over to the concert hall to listen to Chris Parkes and Richard Bissell play. They played a selection of modern music. They were joined by a very good pianist and violinist and all together, it sounded beautiful. We had a little walk around the area, but as we were in the City and it was a Sunday, everything was shut. We went back to the trade stalls and I tried out some instruments: a natural horn with no valves, a horn with a trumpet style valve and a £9,000 horn, which was great to play. And then it was time for another workshop.
We played some games and a slow piece with Guildhall students. It was then the rehearsal for the big finale, which was Washington Post, with all the horn players in the room – about 150. The young people were on the stage with the professionals and the adults filled the balcony and seats around the edge of the hall – it was so amazing I got tingles.
Last of all was another concert full of French horn solos and ensembles, and it finished with us all playing together in the finale. It was one of the best days of my life and I was so glad that I had the opportunity to go. Mr Steggall and Mrs Brock encouraged us all day and I cannot wait to go next year.