The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

66° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    He gives a toot

    James Saunders, 21, is a music senior. He will be playing the French horn with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Crowder Hall. Admission is free.

    Wildcat: Have you always played the French horn?

    Saunders: I was influenced by my mom. Back when I was about five, she had me start playing the piano. So I was kind of self-taught on the piano, and in time – once again, her idea – I started on the horn, and I have been doing that pretty much since then. And, after about two or three years of playing the horn, I decided I was interested in doing that professionally.

    W: At that age, was there an instrument you would have rather played?

    S: I guess like a lot of kids I wanted to play the instrument everyone else was playing. Not too many people were saying, “”I want to play horn.”” So I was kind of like, “”You know, maybe I could play trumpet or something else that the other kids are playing.”” But, all I know is that it’s working out for me.

    W: What kinds of opportunities are there for the French horn professionally?

    S: There are quite a few opportunities: orchestras, wind ensembles, brass groups and wind groups.

    W: How long have you been studying at the UA?

    S: This is my fourth year. I am a senior. So I am almost done.

    W: Are you graduating this year?

    S: Yes …hopefully.

    W: What are your big plans right out of college?

    S: To financially support myself in music. I would like to play in a professional ensemble that supports me full-time. But, something that makes me financially free. I am thinking of one of the military bands as a possibility. And, I would like to do a mix of things from playing in a major orchestra to recording movie soundtracks.

    W: So, then you’re not planning on staying in Tucson?

    S: It is always possible. But, I am thinking that my best chance is going to be outside of the Southwest.

    W: What’s the most random CD you own?

    S: I am trying to think of what you might call really weird in my collection since it is all classical. I have a CD single of a hit by Scarecrow and Tinman.

    W: Like from the “”Wizard of Oz?””

    S: No. It’s an actual rock band called Scarecrow and Tinman.

    W: Well, now I feel silly. How long have you had the CD?

    S: I must have gotten it about six years ago. It was one of those giveaways. It is a Christian group, I think, yeah. I am certainly not into rock music or Christian. But, I just have it around. It is kind of interesting to listen to.

    W: How many hours a day do you have to practice?

    S: Well, they always say the more, the better. Typically, if I can do two hours of good work, then I’m done. That’s not really what most people would expect, but there is a limit to what the lips can take.

    W: What do you find most rewarding about music?

    S: I think it would be the performance aspect, being able to get up onstage or wherever it is and playing and getting that thrill. That’s really what it is, the thrill. Some people have anxiety, but I feel exhilaration to get out there and do it.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search