Brett Hodge, horn
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Brett Hodge grew up attending Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra concerts with his parents. He started his musical training on the piano at age seven and picked up the horn in fifth grade.
Hodge played piano and horn throughout grade school, but it wasn’t until high school that playing horn developed into a serious musical pursuit. Hodge auditioned for the All-District and All-State Bands, ensembles into which he was accepted. Later, his experiences performing with the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Saint Louis Philharmonic Orchestra ushered him into the lush world of orchestral music. With the guidance of his parents and teachers, he decided to major in music in college. He majored in music performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he studied with Ellen Campbell.
His freshman year, Hodge was one of two first place winners in the Kansas City Symphony’s Young Artist Competition. The competition presented him the distinct honor of performing the Gordon Jacob Concerto under the baton of Michael Stern.
A few weeks before his sophomore year, Hodge received news that Campbell passed way. He spent the next year studying with a few interim teachers and was accepted into Music Academy of the West, where he studied with Julie Landsman.
Junior year saw Hodge studying with Martin Hackleman, who guided Hodge through the myriad challenges of orchestral auditioning. Under Hackleman’s instruction Hodge earned an award in the Yamaha Young Artist Competition and won his first audition as third horn with Orchestra Iowa of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
While in Kansas City, Hodge performed new works as soloist-in-residence with the Midwest Chamber Ensemble. He also participated in the internationally renowned Banff Centre’s Orchestral Session and performed with the All-Star Brass on a few recording sessions.
Hodge later went on to win the Principal Horn position with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, where he performed with the orchestra and its Resident Wind Quintet, The Dakota Winds. He is currently Principal Horn of the Omaha Symphony and Third Horn of the Grant Park Music Festival.