Horn Students Set a Record While Sweeping International Horn Contest

Horn workshop winners
Winners of the Southeast Horn Workshop are (from left, standing) Martin King, Alex Morris, (from left, seated) Joshua Williams, Kaylene Beal Diaz, and Arthur Diaz.

Five students from the School of Music’s French horn studio made history by sweeping all four competitions at the recent Southeast Horn Workshop, which is a regional workshop of the International Horn Society. This year’s competition was hosted by Tennessee Tech University. It was the first time in the workshop’s more than 30 year history that all four competitions were won by students from the same university.

The winning students are Joshua Williams and Alex Morris, both of Tuscaloosa, Kaylene Beal Diaz of Chico, Calif., Arthur Diaz of Orlando, Fla., and Martin King of Harrisonburg, Va.. All are studying in the College’s School of Music.

Williams, a sophomore music major, won the soloist division. In the final round, he was the only undergraduate student in a field of graduate students and teaching assistants from major regional institutions.

Beal Diaz, a graduating senior music major, won the orchestral high horn division.

Morris, a freshman music major, won the orchestral low horn division. It’s historically been rare for a freshman to win any SEHW competition, noted Skip Snead, director of the UA School of Music and professor of horn at the University.

Beal, Williams, Diaz and King received top honors in the quartet competition. The other quartets in the final round consisted only of graduate students.

The orchestral low horn and quartet competitions were won in 2011 by students from the University of Alabama School of Music as well, making it two years in a row for wins by Alabama students in those categories. Both Williams and Beal were members of last year’s winning quartet also.

“I am extremely proud of what the students accomplished. They represented us well and made history as the first studio from a single university to capture all four competitions in the same year,” Snead said.