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. DeMers 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 is organized and managed by John and Christine Griffith from Kalamazoo, MI. Spouses are welcome to join in the event, space available, and two public performances are held during each retreat.
It is truly a unique experience.
Our leader and instructor, Dr. Peggy DeMers is 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.
Dr. DeMers is assisted by
Vicki Wheeler during the retreat.
Vicki Wheeler, a graduate of Luther College, is a founding member of Victory Park Brass, Valley Chamber Players, and Ruby Trio. She also founded Dolce Wind Quintet in 1996. She performs occasionally with Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra and has performed with other professional groups, including Rochester Symphony Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and the Minnesota Opera. She has performed on three European tours with the Lake Wobegon® Brass Band. Vicki performs as an alphorn soloist and in the Edelweiss Alphorn Duo and Matterhorn Alphorn Trio.