KMEA Kentucky All-State Horn Etudes 2017-2018


Here are the two excerpts for French horn All-State and All-District auditions for the 2017-2018 school year!

KMEA All-State Horn Excerpt #1

This excerpt is from the ever-popular Kopprasch book – Kopprasch 18, to be precise.

Here’s a recording of the All-State excerpt at approximately quarter = 65 (the tempo recommendation is between 65 and 75).

Excerpt #1 Practice Tips

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  • Tempo – Note the (relatively) slow tempo, and make sure that you don’t try to go too fast! The key is making sure the very first note is a full 8th note, rather than a 16th note. It should go without saying, but a metronome is highly recommended to keep the tempo steady.
  • Articulation – Note the sempre staccato (and make sure you know what it means). Note that staccato doesn’t mean that you stop the air, only that the notes have space.
  • Accuracy – Since this etude has a nice mix of big and small melodic skips, knowing the number of notes between the written notes is very useful. Practicing these articulated skips as slurs can help focus in on the different intervals.
  • Dynamics – There aren’t many written, but make sure that there is a clear difference between the ones that are given.
  • Misprint – The edition I used is not the “official” edition, and contains at least one difference. Measure 12 should contain 6 16th notes and an 8th rest (not 4 16ths, 2 8th notes, and an 8th rest).
  • Further Help – I have a recording of the complete Kopprasch 18 etude, that has some additional tips and things to watch out for. Check it out if you’re still having trouble!

KMEA All-State Horn Excerpt #2

This is from the John Shoemaker 'Legato Etudes for French Horn' book – a book that’s been pretty popular for auditions in Kentucky for the past few years. If you don’t have this book, it’s recently become a favorite of mine for all intermediate (and advanced) players.

Like the title suggests, this etude focuses on legato playing, so keep that in mind while you are working on it! Here’s a recording of this excerpt played at the given tempo marking of quarter = 120.

Excerpt #2 Practice Tips

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  • Tempo – Although this is the lyrical etude, note that it is indicated to be played quite a bit faster than the technical etude.
  • Articulation – There are lots of slurs in this etude, but make sure you notice which notes are not slurred. These are as important as the slurred notes! Also, notice the accents (both those under slurs (air accents) and those that are tongued), and the staccato markings that are under slurs.
  • Grace Notes – These grace notes are quite quick, and are played before the beat. Since both the F# and E have the same fingering, make sure to practice your harmonic series exercises to accurately play these two notes in time.
  • Accuracy – There are lots of chromatic moments in this etude, so make sure that you’re aware of the tonal center in each measure. Some of the most important notes are the F-naturals, D-sharps, and E-sharps.
  • Dynamics – Once again, although this is the more lyrical etude of the two, it’s almost all played at a relatively strong dynamic. There are quite a few crescendos and decrescendos, but the overall volume should be relatively strong.

Need Some Additional Help?

I am available for additional help, either for individuals or for small groups of horn players.

For details, please see my French horn lessons page. Note that I can do in-person lessons if you’re near Louisville, or online lessons (via Skype) if you’re farther away.

You can also email me or leave a comment below if you have any questions on these etudes that can be answered via text, and I’ll be happy to help!