French horns: Zorba

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Hey, Zorba, did I already know you are a French horn player and forgot, or is this truly a new revelation? My husband is gradually retiring after playing the French horn for sixty+ years.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I dunno - I played horn for about 25 years or so. Originally wanted to do it professionally, but the amount of "baggage" such a career would entail turned me off to it. No job security, and have to wear hot, uncomfortable clothing (while the women wear light, breathable fabrics) - not for me. I was quite good at it if I say so myself - BUT - not good enough to be in the top of the profession.
The amateur groups I played with were a disappointment in one way or another. One was a well-instrumented, "big brass band" - I got tired of playing marches all the time (Our concerts were often 50% marches), and other un-challenging music. The other was an orchestra - which was totally my preference, and the music was what I wanted to be playing - but it was very sparsely orchestrated. 2 or 3 horns, a trumpet or two, 3 or 4 flutes/clarinets, an oboe, a bassoon, a trombone - and barely enough strings to make the melody. I bounced back and forth between the two groups for several years. After playing in my High School Wind Ensemble which played NOTHING but difficult music AND was fully instrumented, the adult scene was unrewarding.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
What a shame. One of the best things about where we live has been the music opportunities for my husband. The symphony in particular has become a celebrated entity with dozens of applicants for every chair that opens. One musician imports several times a year from Atlanta, GA. Dear Husband retired from the symphony several years ago but has resurrected the old French Horn ensemble he directed for a couple of decades. He not only plays an endangered instrument, but directs and sings tenor, so has always been in demand for vocal groups as well. Triple threat. ;) I had a decent first soprano at one time (age has lowered my range considerably; no more high D's for me) but at my best, I was never in his class.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
...The symphony in particular has become a celebrated entity with dozens of applicants for every chair that opens...
Yep - that *is* indeed "the problem", and most symphonies I'm aware of you have to re-audition every year - no job security whatsoever. Then wear wool coats and neckties under hot stage lites - I decided "not for me". Besides, I was good, but I wasn't Dennis Brain.
But I loved orchestral playing! What kind of horn does your husband play? I had a Farkas Holton and loved it.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
He played a horn owned by the city band for a number of years, then bought his own horn from a retiring member of the band. Played it till the thing was falling apart, then invested in this one. He's seventy and has been playing since he was in grade school. I think he decided to retire when his tuxedo got to the point of falling apart at the seams and looking for another would require him to do the S-Word (shop).
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
🤣 Yeah, well, the long sleeved, floor length black dresses de rigueur for chorale performance aren't much better, especially if one is required to pair them with bra, pantyhose, heels, and stage makeup. 🤪
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I'd take that in a heartbeat over a suit or tux. I want my neck to breathe and not be stuck in a wool jacket. But I can empathize about standing around in heels, BTDT, but I'd still take heels over neckties or suits/tuxes. Makeup at least isn't uncomfortable. Let me find the picture of my "Brolita" costume....
COS-brolita-cropped.jpg
Darn thing is HOT, esp. with the long sleeves and multiple layers of satin (including a corset) - but I'd take it over a tux any day! Takes about 45 minutes to get into it, NOT counting hair which is at least an hour (of somebody else doing it!).

OTOH, being a guy, no need to deal with a bra, and I "cheated" and didn't wear hosiery, although I probably should have done at least fishnets.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
It's an adorable costume, with or without pantyhose. I love the way the skirt swings and swirls. Interesting how we perceive things as individuals. I hate makeup, find it incredibly uncomfortable to wear, like having my skin smothered. Heels are instruments of torture; each increment in height increases the agony. I wore my last pair of heels to trial about 2005, and would rather eat Brussels sprouts than ever wear another pair. If you are bothered by things around your neck, I can certainly see how you'd loathe neckties and the clothes that go along with them.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Heels hurt - no question! My calves were singing soprano, and we won't talk about the balls of my feet! These are 3 inchers - it was a complete comedy learning how to walk in them. Its easier for me to dance in them than it is to walk. The corset is "interesting". I got it from a custom corset maker, and its an underbust type made for my male physique (overbust wouldn't make much sense on a male). I think there's a difference in how/where it cinches in for a male too - in any event, the corset maker has "male" and "female" versions. Its actually quite comfortable. I wouldn't want to wear it on a regular basis, but for occasional use its fine. The skirt is bustled - and this costume actually got me into the business of making and selling bustle pillows! I've sold a bunch of them! The petticoat is ginourmous too.
Yea, I don't like tight things around my neck - necklaces are fine, chokers are not. I also don't like long sleeves clamping my wrists - much like this costume has, but I "deal". The male stupidity of adding a wool jacket over the top of a long sleeve shirt is just insane.
I've either won or at least placed in every costume contest I've ever been in with this. I wore it to work one day for our annual Halloween contest. I normally didn't participate, just watched - but when my coworkers found out I was going to enter that year, several of them dropped out! I felt kind of bad, really. I got into it (My wife was out of town and wasn't there to help with the corset), drove to work (in a corset and bustle skirt - always interesting, but it was only a 4 mile drive), then spent the next hour and 15 minutes having a co-worker do my hair.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
A couple of my reenactment presentations require costumes with a corset base. Roy helps me get into the thing at home, then I drive to the college and finish getting dressed there. The corset is a little too long, I think, and by the time I arrive at the college, my poor boobs are shoved clear to the base of my throat. It's not too bad just to stand around in, but driving in a corset presents a problem. I sure found out how much I tend to slump while driving without a corset.

I never understood the jacket all times of the year thing. I think guys do it because built up shoulders and concealing lines make them look buffer than they actually are, and to sit in a board meeting in a plain cotton shirt might reveal their physical shortcomings. The thing that always irritated me about business wear was the power tie. Anybody walking into my office wearing a red tie immediately lost fifteen brownie points and put me on "ostentatious person" high alert.

Pooh on folks who drop out of a contest just because they think someone else might win. No reason for you to feel bad just because someone else decides to go off and partake of sour grapes. The fun at Halloween is in dressing up and seeing what other people wear.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
A couple of my reenactment presentations require costumes with a corset base. Roy helps me get into the thing at home, then I drive to the college and finish getting dressed there. The corset is a little too long, I think, and by the time I arrive at the college, my poor boobs are shoved clear to the base of my throat. It's not too bad just to stand around in, but driving in a corset presents a problem. I sure found out how much I tend to slump while driving without a corset.

I never understood the jacket all times of the year thing. I think guys do it because built up shoulders and concealing lines make them look buffer than they actually are, and to sit in a board meeting in a plain cotton shirt might reveal their physical shortcomings. The thing that always irritated me about business wear was the power tie. Anybody walking into my office wearing a red tie immediately lost fifteen brownie points and put me on "ostentatious person" high alert.

Pooh on folks who drop out of a contest just because they think someone else might win. No reason for you to feel bad just because someone else decides to go off and partake of sour grapes. The fun at Halloween is in dressing up and seeing what other people wear.
Yep - and try driving in a corset with a bustled skirt. Can't sit back in the seat!

Anybody wearing any kind of tie puts me on "ostentatious person high alert"! But the jacket nonsense is "because its required" - men are forced into the role of interchangeable drones. I'm getting to the point of not even liking collared shirts - "collars are for BDSM games and dogs", and I haven't worn a long sleeve shirt (other than the one above) in 40 years.

I'm reminded of the time I wore the Brolita costume to a dance sister's Birthday party - and had to stop at a CVS on the way to pick up a card. I didn't think that I'd EVER get out of there, it was like a sticky pastry in a beehive! Every woman in the place wanted to know the what/why/when/where of it all, especially the shoes. *shrug*
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
Love the photo Zorba, even more then the one you posted before that shows off the parasol better.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I knew I'd posted pix of that costume before a while back - but couldn't remember which one. I like this one as its more dynamic, but yea - the parasol doesn't show off as well.
 
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