What We're About
The purpose of the Midwest Alphorn Retreat (MAR) is to provide an opportunity for alphorn enthusiasts from all over the United States to gather for five days of "total immersion" in the alphorn. Attendees have private and group lessons with Dr. Peggy DeMers or William Rose and play in several large and small ensembles. Players share music and fellowship as well as learn about the alphorn, its history, playing techniques and available music.
The annual event was founded in 2009 and is organized and managed by John and Christine Griffith from Kalamazoo, MI. Spouses are welcome to join in the event, space available, and a public performance is held during each retreat.
It is truly a unique experience!
Our artistic director and educator, Dr. Peggy DeMers, is retired Professor of Horn at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Peggy's musical and horn studies were at the Cincinnati Conservatory (M.M.) and the University of Wisconsin at Madison (B.M., D.M.A), with Douglas Hill and Michael Hatfield. Her extensive teaching, orchestral, and other ensemble experience includes principal horn with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and with orchestras in Wisconsin, Minnesota and New York. Currently she is principal horn of the Lake Charles, Louisiana Symphony.
Congratulations to Peggy who in 2023 won second place in solo at the Valais Drink Pure Festival Cor des Alpes in Nendaz, Switzerland while performing Searching and Finding by Doug Hill. This is the first time this honor has been awarded to an American. We're so proud of her!
Dr. DeMers will be assisted by William Rose during the retreat and you can read about Bill below.
Blow the alphorn again for me!
The Little Alphorn Book
Introducing the 110-page English edition of A. L. Gassmann’s "s’Alphornbüechli: Blast mir das Alphorn noch einmal!" op. 106—the highly-revered bible of Alphorn playing. Dr. Peggy DeMers has meticulously translated 28 pages of Alphorn history and each Swiss–German title and musical term for 100 pieces of Alphorn music.
What's New Inside: • A Biography of A. L. Gassmann • Additional information about cities and places referenced in the titles
• A detailed Index of Swiss–German Titles • An Index of English Titles • An Index of People, Places, and Other Topics
Published in a convenient spiral-bound, letter-size format for easy reading.
Don't miss the chance to explore the rich heritage of Alphorn playing through this comprehensive English edition!
To order, visit https://www.treblecmusic.com/music-for-alphorn
William G. Rose is Associate Professor of Music (low brass and music theory) at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. He is principal trombonist with the Lake Charles Symphony (Lake Charles, LA) and Rapids Symphony Orchestra (Alexandria, LA), and was principal trombonist of the Milwaukee Civic Orchestra, the Concordia Chamber Orchestra, Music Under the Stars, Shreveport Symphony and Acadiana Symphony Orchestra.
In 2017 began the alphorn and competed at the Festival International des cor de alps in Nendaz, Switzerland. In 2018 he the founder the McNeese State University Alphorn Ensemble, a unique, one-of-a-kind university ensemble, which maintains an active performing schedule in Southwest Louisiana. Three of his original alphorn works have been performed at International Horn Society symposiums in 2013 (Memphis, TN) and at Ball State in 2019 by the Midwest Alphorn retreat members.
We are so very sorry that our sweet Vicki lost her long standing battle with cancer last summer. Vicki assisted Peggy at all past retreats and she is so very greatly missed.