Horn Faculty

Jeffrey Agrell

Associate Professor
University of Iowa Bio Page 

With his broad range of interests and abilities, Associate Professor of Horn Jeffrey Agrell is a “hornist for all seasons.” As a performer/educator he has performed and taught the full gamut of horn literature, including the repertoire for symphony orchestra, opera, musicals, ballet, operetta, solo and chamber music, while stretching personal artistic boundaries beyond the orchestra as a composer, writer, clinician, recording artist, and solo performer.

He joined The University of Iowa School of Music faculty as horn professor a decade ago after a first career as a symphony musician, and has been very active as a guest artist and clinician, performing, giving workshops, masterclasses, and presentations at state, regional, national, and international workshops, festivals, and conferences. He recently finished a second term as a member of the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society, and has been a member of the faculty of the Asian Youth Orchestra (Hong Kong). In the summer he teaches at the UI Band Camp and is on the faculty of the prestigious Kendall Betts Horn Camp in New Hampshire. His CD recordings include “Repercussions” (horn and piano), “Side Show Tim” [Dane Records] with Cerberus (horn, tuba, trumpet), and “Mosaic” [MSR Classics] with Duende (horn, cello, piano), which garnered rave reviews for its new interpretations of medieval and Renaissance music. His most recent CD is “Soundings”, which is an unusual mix of horn, electronica, and percussion (MSR Classics). He is a longtime member of the UI faculty brass quintet, the Iowa Brass Quintet.

Besides performing, Jeffrey Agrell has won awards as both a writer and composer. He was on the editorial staffs of The Horn Call and the Brass Bulletin for many years and has over one hundred published articles to his credit. He is the series editor for two regular columns in The Horn Call, the journal of the International Horn Society. He also maintains several blogs: horninsights.com, improvinsights.com, and compositioninsights.com. As a composer he has written many commissions for professional chamber music ensembles and soloists, and many of his works have been published, performed at festivals and competitions, and appeared on CDs.

The UI Horn Studio has a full and lively palette of musical activities and opportunities, including lessons, seminar, horn choir, large and small ensemble playing, and thorough study of standard solo, orchestral, and chamber music repertoire. The Horn Studio regularly enjoys additional enrichment offered by guest artists. The atmosphere in the studio is very friendly, and there is seamless integration of undergraduate and graduate students.

Prospective students should be aware of the many possibilities for a horn major, including horn performance, music education, music therapy, theory/composition, music history, musicology. Those wishing a professional degree (for employment and/or grad school in music) should pursue the Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree. Those who wish to major in another subject but still enjoy horn and music study may select the B.A., a nonprofessional degree with fewer requirements than the B.M., but still offering study with the major professor and the opportunity for music scholarships. Nonmajor horn players may still get in on the fun and play (pending audition) in bands, orchestra, chamber music, and horn choir, as well as taking private lessons. See the Horn Studio web site for more information.

Prospective students should contact Jeffrey Agrell and arrange a visit and sample lesson, or just chat by phone or email. The Horn Studio Web Site is an excellent place to have a first look at horn study at UI.

Interested high school students may arrange to come by for a free lesson, and are invited to ask questions by visit, phone, or email at any time about anything relating to the horn. High school players and band directors are encouraged to request Prof. Agrell’s 18 page booklet, “High School Player’s Guide to Playing the Horn” – hardcopy or email pdf file. Prof. Agrell accepts a limited number of high school students for private lessons, and would also be glad to connect any interested middle school or high school players seeking lessons with UI horn graduate students.

High school band directors are encouraged to contact Jeffrey Agrell to schedule visits (masterclasses, lessons, performances, workshops, horn ensemble) to their schools.

All horn players are encouraged to pay regular visits to the UI Horn Studio web site (www.uiowa.edu/horn), which, besides information on music at UI, also contains the most comprehensive set of (annotated) links on everything related to horn on the web, plus a lot more (see Resources>Links).