The Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse treated Huntsville citizens and Sam Houston State University students to a wonderful performance, as well as a few good laughs.
The quirky attitude of the performance quickly started when the group walked out leaving, Audrey Good to hobble along after injuring her ankle that evening at dinner.
The first piece the group played, titled “FOURward Motion,” was a fast and technical piece that immediately highlighted their playing abilities.
The audience was moved by a later piece, “Earth Song.” Member Tony Licata stated that the piece, composed by Frank Ticheli, was based on a poem regarding the image of war from the perspective of Earth.
Licata, a member of the U.S. Army stationed at Ft. Hood, read the poem prior to the performance to preview the images the piece would instill in the audience’s imagination.
The group then shifted to the talent of member Audrey Good, who is known for her ability in the lower register of the French horn. The quartet performed a piece arranged specifically for her that was characterized by melodies in the horn’s low range.
After several serious pieces, the group changed the mood by adding some laughter to their music.
Member Paul Blackstone went to reach for his music and quickly realized he had forgotten his music in the group’s tour van. Blackstone then paused and smirked at fellow member Gerry Wood.
The group quickly came back together and played a few more pieces before a brief intermission.
When the group returned to stage, the show took on an even more comical tone than the first half.
Licata put the French horn aside and grabbed the microphone to sing a song with the other three members playing backup. The theatrical song was about Licata losing his French horn and trying to find his instrument. The bit had the audience laughing from the first line.
The following segment was called “Arrangement Fails,” where they would play excerpts of arrangements and leave the audience to decide if they worked or not. The Hornsmen performed arrangements of “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas and “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, which both received positive feedback from the audience.
Next, the group did a segment similar to Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank You Notes.”
Good would write the thank you notes as Blackstone and Wood played the infamous background music and Licata narrated what Good was writing. This segment really got the audience laughing as some funny jokes were written in the thank you notes.
The night was all about four French horn players coming together and bringing a program that broke the stereotype of standard French horn recitals. The audience got all the perks of a classical concert with the laughs of a comedy show.
The group has been performing for over 15 years and is currently on tour across the country. For more information, visit 4Hornsmen.