Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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WAYNE R. BARRINGTON
Wayne R. Barrington passed away on Saturday, July 23, 2011. He was professor of horn in The University of Texas at Austin School of Music for thirty-four years from 1966 to 2000 and principal horn of the Austin Symphony Orchestra from 1966 to 1988. Wayne received the International Horn Society’s Punto Award at its workshop in Denton, Texas, in 1991. The award is given to individuals who have made major contributions at the regional or national level to the art of horn playing. A tribute appeared in the August 2001 issue of the society’s publication, The Horn Call.
Wayne began his formal studies of the horn at the New England Conservatory (NEC) in 1942, but he was drafted into the United States Army the following year. He played in army bands based in Germany and France and returned to the NEC in the fall of 1946. After several summers in the Tanglewood Orchestra, he secured a job with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, but he was again called up to serve in the military—this time in the band at General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Wayne played for the now-famous farewell ceremony for MacArthur.
In 1951, Wayne returned from military service and won a position as second horn in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. After auditioning for Fritz Reiner, the new conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Wayne was invited to be third horn in the orchestra under section leader, Philip Farkas. He also played in the orchestra’s brass ensemble with Adolph Herseth, Renold Schilke, Frank Crisafulli, and Arnold Jacobs. This extraordinary group has been cited for its influential effect on the establishment of the brass quintet as the standard format for brass chamber music. In Chicago, Wayne also taught at DePaul University.
After ten years in Chicago, Wayne spent two years as associate principal horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was also a member of the Los Angeles Brass Quintet. In 1966, he moved to Austin and the University of Texas to serve as teacher of horn. He played in the faculty woodwind quintet, the Solar Winds, and was a founding member of the Faculty Brass Quintet.
Wayne noted that his musical career began with his parents. His mother was a pianist and his father a bassoonist. His mother purchased a horn and started taking lessons. His interest piqued by his mother’s horn playing, Wayne picked up the horn and was immediately successful. Upon graduation from high school, he embarked on a career as a professional musician. Wayne attributed his early success at the NEC to his teacher, Willem Valkenier, whom he thanked at the conclusion of each lesson.
Wayne is remembered at the UT Austin School of Music as a stickler for detail, railing at imperfection, and for his succinct way of getting to the crux of the matter. One of his students reported that Wayne suggested he “play so clearly that a person taking musical dictation in the audience could write down exactly what is on the page!” Acknowledging a certain “good luck” factor in securing an orchestral playing position, he told his students that he couldn’t help them get a job, but he could help them keep one. He also suggested a healthy mind set for auditioning: go to the audition not needing to come out on top, but go knowing that for you to be beaten, someone has to play really well!
All who knew Wayne enjoyed his good humor, appreciated his extraordinary musicianship, and valued his friendship. As one of his former students expressed, “Wayne lived an amazing life, inspired countless players and musicians, and will be dearly remembered.”<signed>
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee from the Butler School of Music consisting of Professors Steven Bryant (chair), Nathaniel Brickens, and Patrick Hughes.