I first heard a live alphorn performance while vacationing with my wife in Leavenworth, Washington in 2003. Bob Johnson, owner and builder of the Enzian Inn, played twice each morning to entertain his guests. I was hooked. There really is nothing quite like the natural sound that comes out of the horn. And then each year after that we would try to hear Salzburger Echo perform in St. Mary Church at the Mount Angel Oktoberfest.

Bob Johnson, 2003. Salzburger Echo at Mt. Angel.

I bought my first alphorn on eBay in 2012 for $1,180. It's a beautiful instrument, the work of world-famous alphorn craftsman Josef Stocker with help from his early associate, Martin Christen. The only problem with the instrument is that it's in the key of G, while most alphorn players use instruments in the key of F (North America) or G♭ (Europe).

My first alphorn, purchased in 2012.

In 2017, with the support of my wife Darlynn who ran the camera and trekked along with me, I was able to realize the dream of recording video performances at each location of Oregon Peaks Suite, a work I composed for solo alphorn. The quest involved hiking or driving to five different locations around the state that gave views of the peaks while I played each movement. We experienced some adventures, and really only one mishap - while hiking Hurricane Creek in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. (You can view the Oregon Peaks video at the end of this page.)

Hiking Eagle Cap, and the only casualty from creating Oregon Peaks Suite.

We made a trip back to Leavenworth the following year in 2018 to once again experience the Enzian Inn. Although Bob Johnson had retired, his manager Jordan Brown (also now retired) continued the practice of playing twice each morning for guests. When Jordon was unable to play, we also met Janet Mana, another Leavenworth player who sometimes filled in along with Brad Summers.


Jordan Brown, Janet Mana and Bob Johnson, 2018.

In 2019 I purchased a new alphorn in the key of F from Franz Schüssele (Alphorn Center) in Friesenheim, Germany. It plays great and I am enjoying it very much! Also while in Europe, my wife and I were fortunate to attend a concert by Lisa Stoll in Switzerland. She is truly an amazing player!

Franz Schüssele poses with me. Lisa Stoll in concert, 2019.

In May of 2021 I was finally able to play with other alphornists, since I now had an alphorn in F! Thomas Tilton and the Leavenworth Alphorn Association hosted Alphorn Gathering 2021 in Leavenworth. It was wonderful to reconnect with some players I knew, meet players I had followed like Tony and Rob Brazelton of Salzburger Echo, and make new acquaintances with players from around the Pacific Northwest. One of the special moments was when the Association honored Bob Johnson who had played each day at his Enzian Inn for so many years.

Playing with the Brazeltons and posing with Bob Johnson.

A performance with Frank Geiger.

 Many thanks to the Leavenworth Alphorn Association!

Finally, I recorded a tribute to the University of Oregon, my alma mater and employer for the last 38 years. I retired on September 30, and look forward to much alphorn!

If you are interested in scheduling an alphorn performance for your event, please contact me on this form.


Oregon Peaks Suite: