Mike Nelson joined the Chinook Winds and the Great Falls Symphony as principal horn in 2012. After five wonderful years we are sad that he is moving away from Great Falls and but we are incredibly excited for the amazing teaching opportunity he is pursuing at Montana State University in Bozeman. As a full-time professor at MSU our friend and colleague will be teaching lessons, running the horn studio, conducting the horn ensemble, and coaching a student wind quintet. Mike says "I'm also teaching music appreciation, which will allow me to continue to serve as a musical ambassador much like my time in the Chinook Winds."
Mike will continue performing in orchestras in various cities in Montana and he will join us from time to time as a section horn player with the Great Falls Symphony.
We thank Mike for the friendship, dedication, creativity, that he has given to the Chinook Winds and the Great Falls music community over the years! We wish you the best on your next adventure!
Mike Nelson is the Horn Instructor at Montana State University in Bozeman and Principal Horn of the Great Falls Symphony. He also serves as Third Horn for the Billings Symphony and regularly performs with other orchestras across Montana and solo and chamber concerts across Montana and the Northwest. In addition to his modern horn, Mike also performs on a historical, valveless natural horn that he built with world-renowned horn soloist and historical performance expert Lowell Greer. Mike has performed with this horn as part of the Oregon Bach Festival, and he especially enjoys giving short talks and demonstrations to new audiences as they experience a different world of sound closer to what composers like Mozart and Beethoven imagined as they wrote their masterpieces. As part of the Chinook Winds, Mike was honored to present about natural horn and the evolving role of horn in the wind quintet at the 2015 International Horn Symposium. Mike holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Florida.