By Cassie Archer,
Senior Hannah Richter auditioned for three prestigious honor bands on the French horn. She got into all of them.
Richter has already played in the Capitol Section honor band, and is looking forward to participating in the Northern California honor band and the All State honor band.
“I like [playing in honor bands] a lot more because the students are more focused and the balance is always right,” Richer said. “And it’s really fun working with new conductors.”
Richter started out playing trumpet, but “wasn’t very good at it.” Because her uncle played French horn, she had a chance to give it a try, and has been playing it ever since.
Besides being accepted into competitive honor bands, Richter’s greatest personal accomplishment with her French horn was overcoming the challenge of playing with braces.
“I was still able to play well, which is something I did not expect to be able to do,” Richter said.
Richter also recently participated in a concerto competition, in which she had to play a memorized solo in front of judges and an audience. Although she did not win the competition, Richter felt proud of her performance.
“I cracked a few notes, [but] that’s the nature of the horn,” Richter said. “I didn’t mess up at all majorly and I didn’t forget anything.”
Band director Thomas Slabaugh has taught Richter for three years and says that she had shown “tremendous growth” as a musician.
“I’ve really seen her take playing much more seriously in the last two years,” Slabaugh said. “She’s just a real delightful person to work with [and] she’s super hard working.”
Richter enjoys playing the music parts that French horn players usually get–melodic, fun and “very big and heroic.”
Richter also likes that the French horn is sometimes a difficult instrument to play.
“It can be really fun when you get it right,” she said.
Richter plans to continue playing her French horn in college, but not as a music major.
“I want to play in pit orchestras in college, probably symphonies or bands too, but I think [I] just [want] to continue as an amateur,” Richter said.