Ball State University’s horn quartet, The Deaf Cat Quartet, will travel to Belgium at the beginning of July to participate in the 51st International Horn Symposium. During the week-long symposium, they will attend dozens of lectures, master classes, and concerts. They will also perform a lecture recital and participate in a quartet competition.

We interviewed Corinne Edom, a doctoral student pursing a degree in horn performance, to learn more about the upcoming trip.

Congratulations on The Deaf Cat Quartet’s participation at the International Horn Symposium! Firstly, who are the members of The Deaf Cat Quartet and how was the group formed? 

The Deaf Cat Quartet is a horn quartet comprised of myself (Corinne Edom), Emily Schroeder (senior, music education major), Justin Phillips (junior, music education major), and Cory Kirby (sophomore, performance major). We formed the quartet at the beginning of the 2018 Fall semester . It all happened a bit by chance. We wanted a group that we could all play in during the year for fun, and the four of us got together to see how it would work out. We have all gotten to be close friends and we love rehearsing and performing together. 

How was the quartet invited to participate at the symposium? Was it an audition-based decision or something else? 

After Ball State hosted the 50th International Horn Symposium last summer (2018), the studio was excited to try to plan a trip to Belgium for the 51st International Horn Symposium this coming summer. Although a studio trip isn’t likely to happen anymore, Deaf Cat was determined to make it to Belgium to compete in the horn quartet competition. In addition to the competition, the quartet submitted proposals for a 30-minute standalone performance, a lecture-recital on chamber music for young musicians, and I personally submitted a proposal to present my research on the effects of depression and anxiety on musical performance. All of our proposals were accepted so Deaf Cat is going to have a strong presence at this symposium.  

How is the quartet preparing for the symposium and what repertoire will you perform? 

On average the quartet rehearses three to four times a week to prepare for the symposium this summer. We have been preforming locally as often as we can, and we are constantly looking for more opportunities for performance experience! We have already performed our biggest work (Horn Quartet No. 1 by Nathan Pawelek) in two general recital hours. 

Have there been any challenges? 

I think our biggest challenge so far has just been funding our trip. International travel is enormously expensive, especially on a college budget. We have applied for multiple grants through the university and we have started a GoFundMe. We will continue to fundraise as often as we can. If you are interested, here is the link for our GoFundMe. 

Will the quartet stay for the duration of the symposium and will you have time to explore and sightsee? 

We will absolutely be staying for the whole symposium! We are trying to get the most bang for our buck. The goal is to spend our days at the symposium learning as much as we can, and our nights in the town seeing as much as we can! It’s going to be a blast!