Alumni Showcase Spotlight: #CCMstars in Horn Quartet

CCM highlights alumni guest artists who will return to campus for the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase in a series of alumni spotlight stories.

Nearly a dozen CCM alumni return to the college on April 21 to perform with current students in a special concert, including four horn soloists who enjoy successful careers as orchestra musicians and as players in U.S. Military bands. Allene Hackleman (BM, 2002), Julie Beckel Yager (att. 2004), Nathaniel Willson (MM, 2005) and Jennifer Paul (MM, 2003) reunite to play Robert Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns, Op. 86, in CCM’s Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase.

Learn more about these four CCM alums in their bios below:

Allene HacklemanAllene Hackleman has been principal horn of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since 2004. A native of Vancouver, Hackleman began studying the horn under the tutelage of her father, Martin Hackleman. She later attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, from which she graduated with honors. Hackleman earned her bachelor of music degree summa cum laude from CCM, as a student of Randy Gardner. Hackleman has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), the Montréal Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Evansville Philharmonic. She has also performed concerti with the Edmonton Symphony and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, as well as the Red Deer Symphony and the Victoria Symphony.

In 2004, she completed a long-term career development residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Since 2007, Hackleman has been a member of the prestigious Summit Brass ensemble, and as such has recorded, taught and performed as a faculty member at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Denver. She has performed at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, Ontario and at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. She was also a featured guest artist at the International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto in 2010. Hackleman is privileged to be a member of the Canadian National Brass Project, a large brass ensemble made up of some of the finest brass players from across Canada. She pursues an avid interest in chamber music and has performed for the Edmonton Recital Society and the University of Alberta’s Music at Convocation Hall series, as well as in British Columbia for the Pender Harbour Music Festival. Hackleman is instructor of horn at the University of Alberta

Julie Beckel YagerJulie Beckel Yager, horn player with the Indianapolis Symphony, is a native of Indianapolis and the daughter of Indianapolis Symphony principal trombone James Beckel. Before attending CCM under the instruction of Randy Gardner, Beckel Yager studied with ISO members Jerry Montgomery and Richard Graef.

She was a member of the Honolulu Symphony prior to returning to Indianapolis in 2006. She also performed for three summers with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, touring throughout Europe, Asia and South America. At the festival, Beckel Yager performed in a piano quintet with conductor and pianist James Levine. Her horn was made locally by Darin Sorley.

Nathaniel WillsonMusician 1st Class Nathaniel Willson joined the Navy Band as a French hornist in 2014, after serving more than four years with the U.S. Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland. Willson was born in Bowling Green, Ohio, but was raised overseas in Japan and India, graduating high school in 1998 from the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India. He holds a bachelor of music from the Juilliard School and a master of music from CCM. His primary teachers include Randy Gardner, Duane Dugger, Jerome Ashby, Julie Landsman and Bryan Kennedy.

Prior to joining the Navy, Willson was a member of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra and the Sarasota Orchestra. He has also performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Opera and the Washington National Opera. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, studying history and spending time
with his family.

Jennifer PaulFrench horn player Gunnery Sergeant Jennifer Paul joined “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band in August 2004. She was appointed assistant section leader in January 2016. Paul began her musical training at age 10. Upon graduating in 1996 from Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Illinois, she attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where in 2000 she earned a bachelor’s degree in music education. In 2003, she earned a master’s degree in music from CCM. Paul also received a professional study certificate in 2004 from Temple University in Philadelphia. Her notable horn instructors include Kazimierz Machala of the University of Illinois, Randy Gardner of CCM and Adam Unsworth of Temple University.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Paul was the CCM graduate teaching assistant for the horn studio from 2001-03 and a freelance musician in Philadelphia.

Learn more about the Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase concert and view a complete list of guest artists at


STRAUSS: Overture to Die Fledermaus (1874); featuring the CCM Philharmonia led by Christopher Allen
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 82 “Emperor” (1811); featuring Anton Nel, piano
WALLER: Ain’t Misbehavin’; featuring Janelle Reichman, saxophone
WARREN: There Will Never Be Another You; featuring Janelle Reichman, saxophone
WAGNER: “Mild und leise,” from Tristan und Isolde (1859); featuring Tamara Wilson, soprano
ROSSINI: “Cruda sorte,” from L’Italiana in Algeri (1813); featuring Helene Schneiderman, mezzo-soprano
SCHUMANN: Konzertstück for Four Horns, Op. 86 (1849); featuring Allene Hackleman, Julie Beckel Yager, Nathaniel Willson, Jennifer Paul, soloists
BROWN: “A Summer in Ohio,” from The Last Five Years; featuring Betsy Wolfe, vocalist, with Roger Grodsky, conductor
BAREILLES: “She Used to Be Mine,” from Waitress; featuring Betsy Wolfe, vocalist, with Roger Grodsky, conductor
SCHWARTZ: “Meadowlark,” from The Baker’s Wife; featuring Betsy Wolfe, vocalist, with Roger Grodsky, conductor
SAINT-SAENS: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 61; featuring Yang Liu, violin
STRAUSS: Champagne Song from Die Fledermaus; featuring Tamara Wilson, soprano, and Helene Schneiderman, mezzo-soprano

8 p.m. Saturday, April 21

Please note: UC’s Nippert Stadium will also host an FC Cincinnati game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The full FC Cincinnati Soccer game schedule can be found at

Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Tickets for CCM’s Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase Concert are $20 general, $15 non-UC students, and FREE for UC students with a valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online through our e-Box Office! Visit for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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Graphic welcoming Denise Tryon to CCM's faculty.

CCM Welcomes Denise Tryon as Associate Professor of Horn

Graphic welcoming Denise Tryon to CCM's faculty.

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the addition of acclaimed hornist Denise Tryon to the college’s roster of distinguished performance faculty members. Tryon’s appointment as Associate Professor of Horn begins on Aug. 15, 2018.

An accomplished performer and educator, Tryon is a native of Roseville, MN, and has served as Horn Professor at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore since 2007. Previously, Tryon was fourth horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra (2009-17). She has also held positions with the Detroit (2003-09), Baltimore (2000-03), Columbus (1998-2000) and New World (1995-98) Symphonies as well as participated in the Colorado Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival. A celebrated solo performer, Tryon has performed recitals in Sweden, Norway, Poland, Japan, Canada and the United States.

In 1989 Tryon graduated from the famed Interlochen Arts Academy and in 1993 received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) in Boston. She received the Presidential Scholarship while in the Artist Diploma Program at NEC with the Taiyo Wind Quintet, which won the Coleman Chamber Competition and worked with renowned composers such as Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, John Harbison and György Ligeti.

An active and esteemed educator, Tryon is sought out for her master classes. She has taught extensively in the United States, Scandinavia, Europe, Asia and South America. Beth Graham of the Warsaw Philharmonic and founder of the Warsaw Horn Workshops explains, “In just a few seconds of listening to a student she can diagnose deep-seated problems and give immediate fixes, often with a healthy dose of humor as well. The transformations she can accomplish in just a short time are truly remarkable.”

Tryon released her debut solo album, SO•LOW, in 2015. As a part of this album, she commissioned four new pieces for low horn and piano. A review by Gramophone Magazine observed, “Tryon plays these works with sonorous fluidity and dexterity, ending with a bit of captivating acrobatics.” SO•LOW received a Global Music Award, Bronze Medal.

In 2009 Tryon founded yearly horn seminar Audition Mode with Karl Pituch. In 2010 she was an International Horn Society (IHS) Northeast Workshop Featured Artist. She was a contributing artist at the IHS Symposium in San Francisco in 2011, as well as one of the Solo Artists at the Nordic Hornfest in Norway in 2012. Tryon was on the horn faculty at BIBA (Blekinge International Brass Academy) in Sweden in 2013. She has been the Featured Artist at the Warsaw Horn Workshops in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Tryon was a Featured Artist at the IHS MidNorth Horn Workshop in 2014 and 2016, and in 2015 she was a Featured Artist at the IHS Symposium in LA. In 2016, Tryon was on faculty during the brass weeks at Domaine Forget. Tryon was the Featured Artist at the IHS NorthWest Horn Workshop in 2017.

On the announcement of her appointment, mcclung commented, “Tryon is a superb addition to our faculty and a most appropriate successor to Professor Randy Gardner, who retires this spring after a distinguished 22-year tenure at CCM. Tryon’s expertise as a performing artist, orchestral musician and pedagogue will help us continue to prepare future generations of performing artists for positions with leading orchestras and on the world’s stage. I am grateful to Horn Search Committee Chair James Bunte and committee members Timothy Anderson, Timothy Northcut, Sandra Rivers and Alan Siebert for their work and dedication to find CCM’s next great horn professor.”

You can learn  more about Tryon by visiting

Please join us in welcoming Professor Tryon to the CCM family!

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Colorado Symphony.

CCM Alumnus Austin Larson Joins the Colorado Symphony

CCM alumnus Austin Larson. Photography by Pete Checchia.

CCM alumnus Austin Larson. Photography by Pete Checchia.

We are delighted to report that CCM alumnus Austin Larson (BM French Horn, 2012) has joined the Colorado Symphony as Assistant Principal Horn.

Larson has previously held the Second Horn position with New Jersey’s Symphony in C (formerly the Haddonfield Symphony) in addition to summer positions with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland.

Larson has been highly successful in many competitions, including First Prize wins in both the International Horn Competition of America and the International Horn Society’s Premier Soloist Competition. Larson has also appeared as a soloist at the Music for All Symposium, International Horn Symposium and twice on Wisconsin Public Radio. You can learn more about some of Larson’s competition wins here.

A native of Neenah, Wisconsin, Larson holds degrees from both CCM and the Curtis Institute of Music. While at CCM, he studied with Professor of Horn Randy Gardner.

A strong believer in music advocacy, Larson has also been involved with numerous charitable organizations, including Horns a Plenty Christmas and Classical Revolution, and has raised funds for music scholarships both at UC and in the Northeast Wisconsin area.

For more information, visit

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CCM Holds Concert in Memory of Student Andrew Howell

CCM honors the memory of student Andrew Howell with a Memorial Concert on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011.

CCM honors the memory of student Andrew Howell with a Memorial Concert on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011.

The CCM community honors the memory of Andrew Howell on October 23, 2011. A CCM junior from Charlotte, N.C., Howell was a member of the French horn studio and a student of Randy Gardner’s at the time of his death last October.

CCM News