March 23, 2012

Bret Seebeck

Bret Seebeck is serving in his twelfth year as Principal Horn with the Des Moines Symphony and has been a member for over twenty years. He also performs in Eastern Iowa with the Cedar Rapids Symphony as a ten-year member playing third horn. Additional professional activities include the DSM Symphony Wind and Brass Quintets and Polaris Wind Quintet.

Formerly, Mr. Seebeck has been a member of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony, Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony and The Southeastern Iowa Orchestra. During his tenure in The Des Moines Symphony, he has also played with many Civic Center productions including Beauty and the Beast, State Fair, Titanic, Evita, Ragtime, 42nd Street, The Lion King, Spamalot, Camelot, Wicked, South Pacific, Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein and West Side Story.  Mr. Seebeck also educated Central Iowa Horn Students for twenty years, both privately and at educational institutions such as Drake University, Iowa State University, Central College, Grinnell College and Simpson College.

Mr. Seebeck is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.  While working on his bachelor of music degree, studied with Eldon Matlick, William Scharnberg, and received master class instruction from renowned professional Hornists such as Greg Hustis, Charles Kavalovsky and Barry Tuckwell.

When not performing, Bret manages 80 acres of family crop ground and produces eight varieties of wine grapes with a twelve-acre vineyard.   Bret lives near Colfax, Iowa with his wife and two children.

February 21, 2012

Charles Harris

Charles Harris (Andy) joined the Des Moines Symphony in 1997, serving as Assistant Principal Horn until winning the third horn position in 1999. This is actually the second time he has been a member of this organisation. He and Des Moines Symphony Orchestra Principal Hornist, Bret Seebeck won positions at the same audition in 1989!

Mr. Harris moved to Iowa in 1995 to join Orchestra Iowa, as second horn. In 1996 he moved to the third horn position, and has served as principal horn since 1998. He also performs with the Orchestra Iowa brass and woodwind quintets, as well as the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band. In 2011 he coe-founded the Coe College Faculty Brass.

Andy has performed as a soloist throughout his career, including 1979 as featured soloist with the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra, 1984 as winner of the Liberty Symphony Young Artists Competition, 1988 with the University of Missouri Symphony Orchestra, and a 1992 subscription concert with the Monterrey (Mexico) Symphony.  He has also held positions in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra (including their tour of Europe in 1983), the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, the Albany (GA) Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Smith Symphony, and the Missouri Symphony (formerly MOSSPAC). He feels incredibly blessed to have had opportunities to perform with some of the most distinguished and interesting artists in recent memory, including Ray Charles, Marilyn Horne, Roberto Clemente, Montserrat Caballé, Paul Robeson, Simon Estes, Yo Yo Ma, Izhak Perlman, and Manheim Steamroller.

Originally from Fulton, Missouri, Andy has spent the majority of his career here in the Midwest. Music has subsequently allowed him to travel, live, and perform many places around the country and world, even living in Mexico for a year as a performer/teacher.  He teaches horn at Coe, Wartburg, and Kirkwood Colleges, and the Orchestra Iowa Symphony School. Filling out his “free time” he also works for a local Target store. He says, “I have a hard time answering people when they ask me what I do for my ‘Real Job.’ I have such fun doing all of it, that I sometimes don’t believe that I have a typical ‘Real Job.’ I like my work, and I love my music!”