Who We Are

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Ilze Brink-Button, Director

Ilze Brink-Button, a native of South Africa, had been a lecturer of Horn at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York for the past 11 years. Prior to that she was the horn professor at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York for 15 years where she also directed the brass ensembles.

Ilze started her first musical instruction at the age of 7 on the piano. She began studying the horn at the age of 11 and soon thereafter won several concerto competitions in South Africa on both French Horn and Piano. Additionally, she won several scholarships to further her musical studies from the Royal College of Music and UNISA (South Africa). At the age of 13 she made her solo debut playing concertos on both horn and piano playing with the Free State Symphony Orchestra and the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra, South Africa. She won several concerto competitions to play with other orchestras, including the CAPAB Symphony Orchestra in Cape Town and the South African Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra where she appeared twice on National Television playing concertos on horn. She also recorded several live television and radio recordings, performing chamber music works including the Brahms Horn Trio, Mozart Horn Quintet, Beethoven Sextet and many more.

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From 1978 to 1982 Ilze was a member of the South African National Youth Orchestra and toured Israel, France and Switzerland in 1978 with the orchestra. In February 1984 she won a fulltime assistant principal horn position with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra (CTSO), Cape Town, South Africa and toured Taiwan and Hong Kong with that organization in November of 1988. Ilze was a Music Performance Major at the University of the Free State in South Africa and furthered her studies with John Covert at Ithaca College of Music during her absence from the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. In 1987, while a student at Ithaca College, she earned the privilege of performing the Franz Strauss Horn Concerto with the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra as a winner of that Institution’s concerto competition.

During summers between 1990 and 2015, Ilze served on the faculty of the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival and Institute in Oneonta, NY as well as the New York Summer Music Festival. Her duties there included French Horn Instructor, Horn Ensembles coach, member of the Faculty Woodwind Quintet and Brass quintet. She currently teaches horn at the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy, as well as the Eastern U.S. Music camp at Colgate University during summers.

Since moving to the United States, she has held positions with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Utica Symphony Orchestra, Catskill Symphony Orchestra and various other regional professional musical organizations. Ilze also performed regularly with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Symphoria, Albany Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic and the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra.

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Heidi Oros, Assistant Director

Heidi Oros is a free-lance hornist in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She earned her BM and MM at Ithaca College. Heidi has played with various regional orchestras and with La Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, but her real passion lies in chamber music. She has played in brass quintets, woodwind quintets, and other chamber groups most of her life. After taking off many years to raise her family, Heidi picked up her horn again and became a founding member of “i venti dementi,” a woodwind octet. In addition, Mrs. Oros performs with the Swamp College Brass Quintet and Kuro Winds. Heidi is a co-author of Keys to Transposition: A Method for the Teaching & Learning of Transposition on the Horn. She teaches private horn lessons in Trumansburg, New York.

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Dr. Andrew Pelletier, Guest Artist Session 1

Andrew Pelletier is a very active and respected horn soloist, Grammy-award winning chamber musician, sought-after teacher/mentor, and President of the International Horn Society. John Henken of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “gleaming, handsome playing. Pelletier is a soloist who seems capable of anything on his instrument.” Fanfare Magazine called him “Phenomenal...undeniably in tune with what he plays” and the American Record Guide has praised his “full sound and playing with authority and imagination.” The First Prize winner of the 1997 and 2001 American Horn Competition (America’s only internationally recognized competition for the horn), he has appeared as a soloist at the International Horn Society Annual Symposia in 1997, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He is in regular demand for artistic residencies and clinics at universities and music schools and his solo tours have taken him to 30 US states, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, England, and Mexico.

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Dedicated to new music and the collaboration between performer and composer, he has commissioned and premiered over 50 new works for the horn as a solo voice, by such noted composers as Samuel Adler, Meredith Brammeier, Carson Cooman, David Crumb, Fernando Deddos, Christopher Dietz, Randall Faust, David Gillingham, Joseph Landers, Anne McGinty, Roger Reynolds, Corey Ryan, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Kerry Turner.

An active chamber musician, he performs with Southwest Chamber Music in California (with whom he won the 2005 Grammy award for Best Classical Recording, Small Ensemble), the Motor City Brass Quintet in Detroit and has performed with the Empire Brass Quintet, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, and with Chamber Music at the Scarab Club, Detroit. As an orchestral performer, he is the principal horn of the Michigan Opera Theatre at the historic Detroit Opera House and has performed as guest principal horn for the Los Angeles Philharmonic (under Music Director Gustavo Dudamel), the Detroit Symphony, the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Opera, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus and the Windsor (Canada) Symphony. He is the former principal horn for the Ann Arbor Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre, Columbus Bach Ensemble, Long Beach Camerata, Maine Chamber Ensemble and Portland (Maine) Ballet. He has also performed with the New West Symphony, Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of the Portland Opera Repertory Theatre. He spent almost a decade as an active free-lance performer in Los Angeles and can be heard on film soundtracks as Battle: Los Angeles, Your Highness, Lethal Weapon 4, The X-Men, Frequency and TV movies for Lifetime TV and the SiFi Channel.

He is a Lifetime member of the International Horn Society and the British Horn Society. He has served the International Horn Society is a variety of ways over the years: Advisory Council member, Coordinator of Scholarship Programs, member of the Digital E-Newsletter committee, and Ohio Regional Coordinator. His pedagogical articles have been published by the International Horn Society, the Norwegian Horn Society, the New England Horn Society, the Texas Bandmaster’s Association and the New York Brass Conference. He holds a B.M. degree, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Southern Maine, and an M.M. and the D.M.A (voted Outstanding Graduate of the Class for both degrees) from the University of Southern California. His primary mentor was James Decker, with additional studies with John Boden, David Jolley, trumpeter Roy Poper, Michael Thompson and Gail Williams. He has recorded for MSR Classics, Cambria Master Classics, Koch International and Delos labels. Since 2004, Pelletier is very proud to serve as the Professor of Horn of the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio.

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Jeff Stockham Guest Artist Session 2

Multi-instrumentalist Jeff Stockham holds a BM in Horn from Syracuse University and a MM in Horn and Performer’s Certificate from Eastman. A veteran of the renowned Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Jeff is one of the few musicians worldwide to play jazz on French horn. One of Upstate NY’s first-call freelancers, he is a charter member of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, and has performed and recorded with many regional musical mainstays, including the Salt City Jazz Collective, the Stan Colella Orchestra, Little Georgie & the Shufflin’ Hungarians, and the Bearcat Jass Band. He has backed up numerous national acts including Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Aretha Franklin, and Harry Connick Jr.; toured with the national company of Les Miserables, Chicago blues guitarist Jimmy Johnson, Thelonius Monk Jr.’s “Monk on Monk” big band and the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band. He is leader and solo E-flat cornetist of the award-winning Excelsior Cornet Band, a recreated Civil War brass band, and is solo E-flat cornetist of the 47th PA Regimental Band, President Lincoln’s Own Band (appearing in the Steven Spielberg lm “Lincoln”), the Federal City Brass Band (appearing in the Emmy-winning Netflix series “House of Cards”), and was an historical consultant on several other films. He is Instructor of Jazz Trumpet at Hamilton College, LeMoyne College, and Colgate University, former Visiting Lecturer of Trumpet at Cornell University, and is Instructor of French Horn and Jazz Trumpet at Syracuse University. He is an avid collector of antique instruments, with over two hundred in his collection.