School of Music > Academics > Studios & Areas of Study > Horn


The horn studio at DePaul is a complete experience for the aspiring horn player, offering top flight symphonic and wind programs, chamber music, private lessons and a weekly studio class. Horn faculty members Neil Kimel, James Smelser and Oto Carrillo, with nearly 35 years combined performing experience in symphonic, operatic, solo and chamber literature, provide students with enormous resources. Our goal is to bring each career-minded horn player to a nationally competitive level in all areas of musicianship, with the ultimate achievement of performing at the level of a professional player.


Oto Carrillo
Oto Carrillo
Neil Kimel
Neil Kimel
James Smelser
James Smelser

The Horn Studio

Horn Studio Master Class

The weekly horn studio master class is overseen by all the horn faculty. The class provides an opportunity for students to practice performing in front of their peers, receive feedback from the horn faculty and apply skills that are being developed in private lessons. In addition to individual presentation, students learn how to function in an ensemble, addressing the issues of tone production, balance, blend, intonation and rhythm. Studio class also includes orchestral and operatic audition preparation with mock auditions.

Wagner Tuba Class

A class in Wagner Tuba technique and repertoire is offered every spring quarter. This opportunity gives the serious student exposure to this most challenging instrument. Repertoire includes Wagner's "Ring Cycle" operas and Bruckner Symphonies.

Chicago Music Opportunities

It is essential for the development of student musicians to hear music performed live, at the highest professional level. Chicago offers many opportunities with esteemed ensembles such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, Grant Park Orchestra and Music of the Baroque. Student tickets are often available for a discounted price.

Recent Student Performances

Graduate Recital
Elegie - Francis Poulenc
Suite - Alec Wilder
Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat Major - Richard Strauss

Student and Alumni Accomplishments

DePaul horn graduates currently hold positions in the following organizations:

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • New Mexico Symphony
  • Sacramento Symphony
  • Orquesta Sinfonia Universidad EAFIT (Columbia)
  • Orquesta Sinfonica de la Guanajuato (Mexico)
  • Genghis Barbie (horn quartet)
  • Air Force Band
  • Quad City Symphony
  • Civic Orchestra of Chicago

DePaul Horn Graduates have performed with the following groups:

  • Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Grant Park Orchestra
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • San Francisco Ballet
  • San Francisco Opera
  • Colorado Springs Symphony
  • Carnegie Hall Academy
  • Chicago Sinfonietta
  • New World Symphony
  • Philharmonia der Nationer (Germany)

Students have participated in the following music festivals:

  • Aspen Music Festival
  • Tanglewood
  • Blossom Music Festival
  • Music Academy of the West
  • National Orchestral Institute
  • National Repertoire ORchestra
  • Pacific Music Festival
  • Sarasota Music Festival
  • Spoleto
  • Verbier Festival