Alex Shuhan’s first signs of musical prowess revealed themselves at the tender age of 18 months, when his parents first noted that he would accurately announce “All gone!” just moments before the final chords of the Edyie Gormé hit single, “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.” Decades later, he’s still trying to find a way to capitalize on that particularly prodigious talent…but fortunately he found other avenues for success through the horn and piano.
Alex knew fairly early on, certainly by middle school, that he was interested in a career in music. He was the "go-to-piano-accompanist" if you wanted to sing in the Talent Show, an enthusiastic rehearsal pianist for numerous musical productions, and was playing horn in at least four different youth orchestras by his senior year. He attended the Interlochen Arts Camp and then the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, where he was featured in a CBS “Thirty Minutes” television show that focused on the life of a young musician (him!). Alex headed off to the Eastman School of Music and Southern Methodist University, where he received degrees in Music Education and Performance, studying along the way with Henry Babcock, Marvin Howe, John Jacobsen, Harry Berv, Verne Reynolds and Gregory Hustis.
From 1985-1993 he performed and recorded with the Dallas Brass while touring throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and Italy. In 1993, he and several of his colleagues started their own new venture, Rhythm & Brass, a group in which 20+ years later he still performs, records and presents master classes at colleges and universities all across the country.
Alex began teaching at Ithaca College in 1998, where he is presently Associate Professor of Horn. In addition to his duties there, including teaching a full studio, coaching chamber music and performing with faculty colleagues, he is an active free-lance player, performing frequently with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also principal horn of the Binghamton Philharmonic (NY) and the Fort Smith Symphony (AR), the latter of which frequently provides entertaining & noteworthy travel-related sagas/adventures as he and his wife, Elizabeth (who plays principal flute in Fort Smith), navigate planes, trains and automobiles back and forth between New York and Arkansas.
Alex and Elizabeth are also two-thirds of the Shuhan-Luk Trio, a flute, horn and piano ensemble that has plans for recordings and concertizing as they pursue their passion for chamber music. Since that trio combination does not enjoy a rich repertoire history, Alex has actively sought out repertoire suitable for transcription and the group has actively sought out composers to write new music for them.
- Yamaha 891 Triple, with five JoyKeys
- Yamaha 668ND-II, with three JoyKeys
- Woodstop Mute and Stopping Mute
- TrumCor #45
- Yamaha Silent Brass
- Hetman Synthetic Oils
- Wiseman Carbon Fiber Case
- Cardo Case
- Wedge Mouthpiece version of a Laskey 85GW
- Laskey 85G and 85E
- Incentive Spirometer
- Volyne 5000
- METRONOME (loud enough to be heard!) or any of the numerous Metronome Apps that are now available. I use FrozenApe Tempo and Drum Beats+ most often.
- TUNER or Tuner App. I use TE Tuner, Cleartune and iStroboSoft. A “drone” recording or tuner that’s capable of producing a drone, plus a way of amplifying it loudly enough so that you can play along with it.
- RECORDING DEVICE: A smart phone or computer with recording capability. VoiceMemo on the iPhone provides excellent recordings for study purposes.
- SmartMusic Application. Great tool for learning accompaniments to much of our repertoire.