Thoughts on life and music.

Record your Short Call for an AFM Compilation! (Response to Hartford Wagner Festival's "Digital Orchestra")

Michael Manley, a friend and horn colleague working for the AFM in LA, has come up with an excellent idea as a response to the Hartford Wagner Festival situation. Keep an eye out for his article in the next issue of the International Musician, and please spread the word to union hornists to upload their Short Call to the Dropbox!

"As many of you are aware, an organization called “The Hartford Wagner Festival” recently proposed a production of Richard Wagner’s first “Ring Cycle” opera, “Das Rheingold,” which would use a “digital orchestra” in place of live musicians. The news of this spread quickly, chiefly through Facebook, and was met mostly with outrage by musicians—especially horn players. Imagine, went our collective thought, the iconic Siegfried Call being played by an off-stage speaker from sampled sounds. The very idea is absurd and insulting to us, as musicians who know and love opera. But what about the casual opera-goer, or those who have never been to an orchestra concert or opera? How do we communicate what this issue means in a quick, engaging way to those outside our circle? Luckily, a great idea surfaced from a horn player, through a Facebook comment thread discussing the proposed Hartford Wagner Festival: Concerned hornists should record their version of “The Siegfried Call” and upload it to a central place, so we can show the larger community that opera is about live music as much as live singing. I apologize that I don't recall whose idea this was, but I am stealing it as a related project to a Hartford Wagner Festival story I’m working on for the The International Musician, the monthly publication of the American Federation of Musicians. So horn players, show us your best Siegfried “short” Call, we’ll edit them together, and you can help us share the content on your own Facebook feeds. The aim here is not to create an audition-quality audio recording, but a fun, unique and creative audio-visual offering of this beloved solo call. Since YouTube will be the likely distribution channel, please don’t submit audio-only renderings. This is your chance to be the star that you are! ...Feel free to let your creative urges go wild (but keep it clean), and make your video stand out!"

Please submit your video on or before July 7th, 2014. Sheet music at

The Details:

1. Since this project is in conjunction with a story running in the American Federation of Musicians’ magazine, we can only open this up to current members of the AFM. If you’re a student, this is a perfect reason to join, and many Locals offer student and youth rates. 2. Please include the following with your submission:

  • Your Name and your Local AFM affiliation (Local 802, New York City, for example)
  • Your Position (4th horn in _____, band director of _________, freelance, etc) or other musical status (student, hobbyist, retired professional, horn-playing lawyer, etc)
  • Your City and State
  • Email and Phone Number to reach you, in case of questions.

3. Please upload your video to Dropbox via the following link: The fine print: 1. IM (International Musician) invites you to submit your video clips to be considered as content in an online video project. 2. By submitting your video, you hereby consent to the use of your first and last name, city/state of residence, and AFM membership, in connection with any use of the video in any and all media. Participants acknowledge that videos may be available to the public, without compensation, and may be edited for length or for inclusion in a compilation. 3. Important: Be sure to save your video in the original format when uploading it to the Dropbox siteBy submitting, you agree that you will provide IM with your video in its original format in order for the video to be used in future social media, promotion, or otherwise.

This version is still my favorite:

Upcoming Auditions - September 2014

Hartford Wagner Festival is POSTPONED!