Professor of Horn
Jeffrey Snedeker has taught in the Music Department of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, since 1991. His duties include teaching horn, music history, and brass literature and pedagogy, performing with the CWU Faculty Wind 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, 30th, 33rd and 40th international workshops of the International Horn Society. He has served as Associate Chair of the Music Department and Chair of CWU’s Faculty Senate, and was named CWU’s Faculty Member of the Year in 2006 and Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year for 2008.
Jeff is active in several national and international organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the Historic Brass Society, and the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society. He was elected President of IHS in 2006, re-elected in 2008, and has served the society in many other capacities, including as Publications Editor (1998-2003) and Book and Music Reviews Editor (2003-present).
As a performer, Jeff has receiveda number of honors, most notably First Place in the Natural Horn Division ofthe 1991 American Horn Competition. Jeff currently serves as Principal Hornwith the Yakima Symphony. Jeff has been a featured artist, clinician,lecturer, conductor, and host of regional, national, and internationalconferences for the International Horn Society, Historic Brass Society,Northwest Horn Society, Washington Music Educators Association, among others,and given concerto appearances, traditional recitals, natural hornperformances, and jazz gigs all over the US, and in Canada, Germany, France,Switzerland, Finland, Taiwan, South Africa, and Australia. He has alsoorganized and hosted a wide range of events, including early music, brass, andhorn workshops. He has held positions and played extra horn with regional,metropolitan, and festival orchestras in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico,Washington, Oregon, Utah (including the Utah Symphony Orchestra), Virginia, andMichigan. He has also performed with Early Music Vancouver and the PacificBaroque Orchestra of Vancouver, BC, and the Seattle Classical Players, amongother period-instrument groups.
Jeff has published over 50 articles on avariety of musical topics in scholarly and popular journals, including sevenentries in the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary. Withpianist Marilyn Wilbanks, Jeff released his first solo recording in 1996, Musiquede Salon: 19th-Century French Music for horn and piano, which includesmusic for natural and early valved horns with fortepiano, and has received muchcritical acclaim. A second successful recording devoted to jazz, FirstTimes, was released in 1998, and features the horn in settings rangingfrom horn/bass duo to fronting a big band. His third and fourth solorecordings were released in 2010—The Contemporary Natural Horn, the first ever CD devoted to this literature, and asecond jazz CD Minor Returns: Tributes to the Horn in Jazz. Bothrecordings have received very favorable reviews, and are available at CWU’sWildcat Shop as well as on Amazon.com and iTunes. Jeff has also been featured on recordings of the works ofDouglas 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.
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.
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.
Available on CD from The Hornists Nest http://hornistsnest.net/
...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.
Available on CD from The Hornists Nest http://hornistsnest.net/
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.
Available at Amazon.com
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.
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"
Available at Birdalone Books: http://www.birdalone.com/
Published Editions and Arrangements
Sevilla (from Suite Espagnol), by Isaac Albeniz, arranged for four horns by Jeffrey Snedeker
Available for purchase at The Hornists Nest
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.
Available from Birdalone Books
“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. http://www.citedelamusique.fr/anglais/musee/recherche/facture-cuivre.aspx
“The Natural Horn Today” A look at the natural horn and its relevance to composers today. (2005)
Other publications (selected)
Ring in the holidays with legendary violinist Geoffrey Castle’s Celtic Christmas Celebration, a cCWU Musical, Theatre Offerings Light Up The Holidays
Central Washington University offers a wealth of wonderful performances that will delight you and yCWU Orchestra Welcomes The Yakima Symphony Orchestra For Music Of Fantasia
ELLENSBURG, Wash. — The Central Washington University Orchestra and Yakima Symphony Orchestra (YSO