Kendall Betts, Former Principal Horn of MSO, Dies

Kendall bettsSome sad news in the horn world today, as it was just announced the Kendall Betts – former principal horn of the Minnesota Orchestra (1979-2004), founder and director the Kendall Betts Horn Camp, and the current owner of Lawson horns – passed away on August 16 at the age of 68.

In addition to a long career as a professional horn player that started in 1965, Kendall was probably best known for his sense of humor. One of his most famous recurring characters on Horn email lists and the Horn People Facebook page was “Professor Gestopftmitscheist”.

For those of you a bit rusty on German, “Gestopft” means “plugged” and is commonly used in horn music to indicate stopped horn. “Mit” is German for “with” – “mit Dampfer” means “with mute”, for example. “Scheist” is German for feces, although it more accurately translates to “shit”.

Professer Gestopftmitscheist, or more simply, Der Professor, was a great demonstration of Kendall’s somewhat twisted sense of humor. JG Miller has several videos of Der Professor at the IHS 40th convention, which took place in 2008 in Denver, Colorado.

In the video below, Der Professor gives a presentation called the “Lexicon of Clamology”. Clams, if you’re not familiar with the term, refer to missed notes. If you thought that there was only one way to miss a note – you’re in for an education!

I really should try to incorporate these in my teaching more.

If you like this, make sure to check out more of Der Professor’s presentation. There are 7 parts in total.

About Colin Dorman

Colin is a freelance horn player and teacher, as well as a fan of tech of all sorts, aviation, and increasingly complex flight simulators. He also enjoys beer, bourbon and fitness - but not at the same time. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, as well as right here at!