Frances Leith

Meet Frances

Why did you start playing the french horn?
I started playing the french horn a few terms after starting the tenor horn. I loved the look and the sound of it and knew it was more likely to get me in an orchestra and playing the music I wanted to play. I carried on with both for a few years before focussing on the French horn. 

How often do you play? I play every day, whether it’s for focussed practice, playing along with my favourite things for fun, or in rehearsals and concerts.

How could I get started playing the french horn?
The best way to start is to find a good teacher. You can contact your local music service to find out what they’ve got on offer (including ensembles), or find a private teacher online or through recommendations.

Can you share a favourite video or song with us?
The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra performing the Mambo from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. The performance is so full of energy, both on-stage and off, and just shows how much joy and passion can be had from music.

What is your favourite sound to make?
While there are many great (and some funky) sounds you can make on a French horn, my favourite is playing a big melody in unison with the rest of a horn section. It’s incredibly powerful and uplifting to be part of a team of horn players.

What is your favourite music to play?
Musical Theatre. Whether in a West End pit orchestra, with an amateur production, or on my own with the soundtrack, I love the pace and the range of styles you get to play (as well as singing along in the rests!

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