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, as well as 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.
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 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 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, Finland, Taiwan, South Africa, and Australia. 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 Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico,Washington, Oregon, Utah (including the Utah Symphony Orchestra), 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 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, Musiquede 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. Both recordings have received very favorable reviews, and are available at CWU’s Wildcat Shop as well as on Amazon.com 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.
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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.
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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)
The designation of Distinguished Professor is the highest award attainable at Central Washington UniCWU, Yakima Orchestras And Choruses To Perform Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony
Gustav Mahler’s epic masterpiece, Symphony No. 2, the “Resurrection,” will be celebrated in aMozart’s Marriage Of Figaro Opens May 2 At CWU
The Marriage of Figaro, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is one of the most performed operas in the world