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College of Arts and Humanities

Dr. Jeff Snedeker

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photo of Dr. Jeffrey Snedeker.Professor of Music

Dr. Jeffrey Snedekerhas taught in the Music Department of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, since 1991.  His duties have included teaching horn, music history, and brass literature and pedagogy, performing with the CWU Faculty Wind Quintet and the CWU Faculty Brass Quintet, and directing the CWU Brass Choir and CWU Horn Ensemble.  The CWUHE maintains an active outreach program for public schools, and has been an invited performing ensemble at numerous horn and music educator conferences, including the 28th (Eugene, OR), 30th(Banff), 33rd(Kalamazoo, MI), 40th(Denver), 43rd(San Francisco), 47th(Los Angeles), and 50th(Muncie, IN) international workshops of the International Horn Society. Dr. Snedeker has served as Interim Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Associate Chair of the Music Department, and Chair of CWU’s Faculty Senate, as well as on numerous department, college, and university committees.  He has received recognition for his teaching, scholarship, and service, including 2006 CWU Faculty Member of the Year, 2008 CWU Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year, 2012 Washington Music Educators Association Higher Education Music Educator of the Year, 2012 CWU Distinguished University Faculty for Service, 2014 Washington State Representative Timm Ormsby Faculty Citizenship Award, and the 2014 National Phi Kappa Phi Artist Award.  In 2018, Dr. Snedeker was inducted into the WMEA Hall of Fame.

Jeff is active in several national and international organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the Historic Brass Society, the Washington Music Educators Association Advisory Board (elected to two terms as Higher Education Curriculum Officer), and the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society. He was elected President of IHS in 2006, re-elected in 2008 and again in 2016, and has served the society in many other capacities, including as Publications Editor (1998-2003) and Book and Music Reviews Editor (2003-2016).

As a performer, Jeff has received a number of honors, most notably First Place in the Natural Horn Division of the 1991 American Horn Competition. Jeff currently serves as Principal Horn with the Yakima Symphony. Jeff has been a featured artist, clinician, lecturer, conductor, and host of regional, national, and international conferences on six continents for the International Horn Society, Historic Brass Society, Northwest Horn Society, Washington Music Educators Association, among others, and given concerto appearances, traditional recitals, natural horn performances, and jazz gigs all over the US, and in Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, England, Finland, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, and Brazil. He has also organized and hosted a wide range of events, including early music, brass, and horn workshops. He has held positions and played extra horn with regional, metropolitan, and festival orchestras in Washington (including Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera), Oregon (including the Oregon Symphony), Utah (including the Utah Symphony Orchestra), Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico, Virginia, and Michigan. He has also performed with Early Music Vancouver and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra of Vancouver, BC, and the Seattle Classical Players, among other period-instrument groups.  Jeff has also performed on film and video game scores with Seattlemusic, Seattle Film Institute, and others, including Mirror, Mirror, Underworld: Awakening, Worlds of Warcraft 6, and Arkham Origins.

Jeff has published over 50 articles on a variety of musical topics in scholarly and popular journals, including seven entries in the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary. With pianist Marilyn Wilbanks, Jeff released his first solo recording in 1996, Musique de Salon: 19th-Century French Music for horn and piano, which includes music for natural and early valved horns with fortepiano, and has received much critical acclaim. A second successful recording devoted to jazz, First Times, was released in 1998, and features the horn in settings ranging from horn/bass duo to fronting a big band. His third and fourth solo recordings were released in 2010—The Contemporary Natural Horn, the first ever CD devoted to this literature, and a second jazz CD Minor Returns: Tributes to the Horn in Jazz. His most recent recording, Twelve Etudes for Second Horn, op. 57, by Jacques-François Gallay, is the first-ever “side-by-side” recording, featuring these etudes on both the natural horn and the modern valved horn, serving as a unique pedagogical and artistic resource.  All of his recordings have received very favorable reviews, and are available on and iTunes. Jeff has also been featured on recordings of the works of Douglas Hill and Lowell Shaw.

Jeff completed a BA in music and mathematics at Heidelberg College (1980), a Master of Music in horn performance at the University of Michigan (1981), a Master of Arts in music history at The Ohio State University (1985), and a Doctor of Musical Arts in horn performance and historical musicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1991).  He lives in Ellensburg, Washington, with his extremely patient wife and two talented sons.

Contact Dr. Snedeker


Minor Returns: Tributes to the Horn in Jazz, JS4 released 2010.

The horn has a surprising history in jazz that is overshadowed by so-called “traditional” jazz instruments. Fortunately, key individuals saw the potential (as opposed to the limitations) of the instrument in jazz, and demonstrated that, when given the chance, the horn could participate as an equal. It took outstanding performers, like Julius Watkins, John Graas, David Amram, Willie Ruff, and later Tom Varner, John Clark, Vincent Chancey, Arkady Shilkloper, and many more, to show that the horn could fulfill this potential, and this recording is certainly inspired by and dedicated to them. It is also a tribute to all performers, bandleaders, composers, and arrangers who saw the value of including the horn in jazz settings. This recording is also a tribute to Central Washington University’s strong jazz program, featuring CWU faculty, students, and alumni.

Read a review!

The Contemporary Natural Horn, JS3 released 2010

The revival of instruments from the past and historically-informed performance practices has become an influential force in classical music during the past 50 years. An interesting by-product of this movement has been a number of new compositions written for some of these historical instruments, perhaps most noticeably a surprising number of contemporary works for the natural horn—more than 50 pieces in a variety of settings. The pieces presented on this CD show the natural horn in a few of the many effective settings that exist. The recording itself is the first of its kind solely devoted to this repertoire. The performers are all associated with Central Washington University.


First Times, JS2 released 1997

First Times is a recording of original and standard jazz compositions and arrangements featuring the horn, ranging from horn/bass duo to fronting a big band. The rare appearance of the horn as a solo instrument in a jazz setting is what sets this recording apart, and Snedeker is recognized internationally for his jazz playing. Also performing on this CD are CWU faculty, alumni, and students.


Musique de Salon, Released 1995

The classical CD, Musique de Salon, features the historical predecessor to the modern French horn, the valveless natural horn, with literature for horn and piano from the height of 19th-century France, where the instrument’s recital heritage began. Snedeker is recognized as one of the pre-eminent natural horn specialists in the world, both as a performer and a scholar.

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Other Published Recordings

  • Fripperies, Volumes 1-8
  • …ipperies ‘n Stuff
  • Thoughtful Wanderings: Compositions by Douglas Hill

Fripperies, Volumes 1-8

This recording features the landmark quartets by Lowell Shaw, recorded under the composer's supervision. Performed by Wallace Easter, Timothy Schwatz, Jeffrey Snedeker and Calvin Smith.

...ipperies 'n Stuff

This second recording features more landmark quartets, duets, trios, quintets and solo pieces by Lowell Shaw, recorded under the composer’s supervision. Includes Fripperies 33-40, Just Desserts, Bipperies, Tripperies and Quipperies 5-8.

Thoughtful Wanderings: Compositions by Douglas Hill

This two-CD set features the compositions of world-renowned horn composer, teacher and performer Douglas Hill, faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am featured on Hill’s Song Suite in Jazz Style.

Sheet Music

Suite for Unaccompanied Horn, JOMAR Press
This suite is the result of my contribution to a collective studio composition project at Central Washington University in 1995. While some of my students were a bit more imaginative and adventurous (including a rather memorable work for tuba and frightened voice), I chose unaccompanied horn. Happily, the result turned into a fun group of pieces that can be performed individually or as a suite. Equally satisfying to me is that the pieces serve as musical excuses to work on certain technical problems and extended techniques such as multiple tonguing, multiphonics, whole tone scales and arpeggios, and jazz articulation.

  • “Rainier Fanfare” is inspired by one of the Northwest’s enduring images.
  • “Chorale,” is reminiscent of chant and a few types of organum, using multiphonics.
  • “Waltz” is a quirky number that is probably my favorite movement.
  • “Blues” combines some simple multiphonics with little jazzy riffs, and a middle verse designed to feel like an
  • “improvised” solo.

Compositions for Natural Horn Solo

Goodbye to a Friend (1996) for Natural horn alone

Composed upon learning that a good friend was going to move away, the moods elicited have a similar progression of emotions to those in an elegy.

Two Solo Etudes for Natural Horn (1996)

Includes "Habanera" and "Tchaik'ed Out"



Published Editions and Arrangements

Sevilla (from Suite Espagnol), by Isaac Albeniz, arranged for four horns by Jeffrey Snedeker

Variations pour le cor, by Charles Zeuner (1795-1857)
(arr. for horn and piano by J. Snedeker)
Zeuner was a German organist who settled in the Boston area around 1830, and composed many sacred choral pieces as well as works for a variety of instruments. Variations pour le Cor was written for horn and orchestra, and the manuscript was recently discovered by Mr. Sam Dennison at the University of Pennsylvania Van Pelt Library Special Collections. Includes informative Preface by the editor.

Articles available online

“Hand or Valve (or both): Horn Teaching, Technique, and Technology at the Paris Conservatoire, ca 1840-1903” A paper presented at “Paris: the factory of ideas: The influence of Paris on brass instruments between 1840 and 1930” A symposium co-sponsored by the Musée de la musique and the Historic Brass Society, June 29, 30 and July 1, 2007, Paris, France.

“The Natural Horn Today” A look at the natural horn and its relevance to composers today. (2005)

Other publications (selected)

  • “New Wine for Old Bottles: Contemporary Music for Natural Horn,” The Horn Call XXXVII, No. 1 (October 2007): 61-66.
  • “The Creative Hornist: Overtone 74: An Interview with Todd Sheldrick.” The Horn Call XXXVI, No. 2 (February 2006): 41-43.
  • “Fearless Canadian: An Interview with Jeff Nelsen (Canadian Brass),” The Horn Call XXXIII, no. 2 (February 2003): 45-51.
  • “Past/Presents: Revisiting the Recorded Improvisation #4: Two French Fries: Watkins and Amram,” The Horn Call XXXIII, no. 1 (October 2002): 61-64.
  • “The Color of Brass: An Interview with Eric Ewazen,” The Horn Call XXXII, no. 1 (November 2001): 33-34.
  • “Music from the Heart: An Interview with Arkady Shilkloper,” The Horn Call XXIX, no. 4 (August 1999). Translated and reprinted in Hornposten (Journal for the Norwegian Horn Club) 41 (2000).
  • “New Dragons in the Sky,” an interview with composer Mark Schultz, on the occasion of the premieres of two pieces at CWU, The Horn Call XXIX, no. 3 (May 1999): 47-51.
  • (Lead translator) “Slide Trombone Teaching and Method Books in France (1794-1960),” by Benny Sluchin, Historic Brass Society Journal Volume 9 (Fall 1997).
  • “A ‘New’ Piece for Natural Horn: Variations pour le Cor, by Charles Zeuner (ca. 1830),” The Horn Call XXVIII/1 (November 1997).
  • "Fétis and the 'Meifred' Horn," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society (Fall 1997).
  • "Dauprat's Méthode de Cor-alto et Cor-basse," Historic Brass Society Journal, a series of six articles, Volume 4 (1992): 160-192; Volume 5 (1993): 42-74; Volume 6 (1994): 269-303; Volume 7 (1995): 36-66; Volume 8 (1996): 69-89; Volume 9 (1997): 30-49. An English translation of the original French tutor.
  • "Performance Resources for Horn," Voice of Washington Music Educators 33, no. 3 (March 1994): 18ff.
  • "The Early Valved Horn and Its Proponents in Paris 1826-1840," The Horn Call Annual 6 (1994): pp. 6-17.
  • "Bringing the Past into Music Classrooms," Music Educators Journal 80/2 (September 1993): pp. 37ff.
  • "Joseph Meifred's Méthode pour le Cor Chromatique ou à Pistons (1840)," Historic Brass Society Journal 4 (1992): pp. 87-105.
  • “Dauverné’s Méthode pour le Trompette,” Historic Brass Society Journal 3 (1991): 179-261. Co-author of English translation of entire method.


Dictionary Entries:

  • “Horn (French Horn),” Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, New York: Continuum, 2003. Volume 2 Performance and Production, 459-461.
  • Articles published in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition. London: Macmillan, 2000: "Brémond, François," “Dauprat, Louis-François," Duvernoy, Frédéric," "Gallay, Jacques-François," "Lebrun, Jean," "Meifred, Joseph Émile," "Vivier, Eugène." See also Grove Music Online.

Book Chapters:

  • “Hand and Valve: Joseph Émile Meifred’s Méthode pour le cor chromatique ou à pistons and early valved horn performance and pedagogy in nineteenth century France.” Jagd- und Waldhörner: Geschichte und musikalische Nutzung. Augsburg, Germany: Michaelstein, 2006. Published conference proceedings for 25th Musical Instrument Symposium, Michaelstein, Germany, held October 2004.
  • "The Horn in Early America," Perspectives in Brass Scholarship: Proceedings of the International Historic Brass Symposium, Pendragon Press, 1997.

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