The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Horn Choir is one of the most active and visible ensembles of its kind in the eastern United States. All of the participants in the horn choir are either undergraduate music majors or minors, or in some cases, graduate students pursuing non-music degrees who wish to further their experiences on horn, all in a challenging, yet supportive environment. Recent performances include the 7th Annual Julius Watkins Jazz Horn Festival, the 2012 International Horn Symposium, the 2009 and 2011 Southeast Horn Workshops, and the 2010 Northeast Horn Workshop. The VCU Horn studio also served as the host ensemble for the 2013 Southeast Horn Workshop.
The VCU horn studio is led by Associate Professor of Horn and Music History, Dr. Patrick Smith, who actively challenges the students and introduces them to all types of music for the horn, including classical, jazz, 3rd stream, chamber, and music for horn and electronic media. Numerous guest artists have presented master classes to the VCU Horn Studio, including Paul Basler, David Jolley, Annamia Larsson, Greta Richard, Jeff Nelsen, Mary Burroughs, Tom Varner, John Clark, Alex Brofsky, Vincent Chancey, and Marshall Sealy.
Former students of Dr. Smith include members of the US Marine Band and US Air Force Band programs. Other students have gone forward to seek graduate degrees in music from some of the finest programs in the country including the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and The University of California at Los Angeles. The VCU Horn Studio: Making It Real.