About the UC Santa Barbara Horn Studio

The UC Santa Barbara Horn Studio, with a typical enrollment of 8 to 10 students, provides a challenging, yet encouraging and supportive environment for horn players. The studio is dedicated not only to mastering the technical nuance of the horn, but in the learning of orchestral repertoire and in finding and communicating your unique solo voice.

If you, as a horn player and student, are looking to win an orchestral position, pursue graduate school, or simply want to perform and teach the horn better, then the UCSB Horn Studio is the place for you. Please, feel free to peruse this page, and if you have any questions or would like more information, don't hesitate to contact us.

More information on applying to the Horn Program at UC Santa Barbara is available below.

Degrees Offered


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) with an emphasis in Music Studies
  • Bachelor of Music (BM)

Learn more about the BA with an emphasis in Music Studies and the BM degrees in the Music Department, Undergraduate Program section of UC Santa Barbara's General Catalog. Find more information on applying to the undergraduate program on the Undergraduate Degrees page.


  • Master of Music (MM)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

The MM-only time-to-degree is two years. The DMA-only time-to-degree is four to five years (for applicants who have already completed a master's degree at an accredited university). If accepted into the MM and DMA program, the time to complete both degrees is five years. Learn more about the MM and the DMA Horn emphases in the Music Department, Graduate Program section of UCSB's General Catalog. Find more information on applying to the graduate program on the Graduate Degrees page.


Steven Gross | Professor, Horn

Related Ensembles

Chamber Music Ensembles

Chamber Orchestra

Wind Ensemble

Suzanne Faulkner Horn Ensemble

Maurice Faulkner Brass Quintet

Ensemble for Contemporary Music

Jazz Ensemble and Combos

Recent Masterclasses and Residencies

1M1: Hollywood Horns of the Golden Years

A documentary film directed and produced by Annie Bosler that takes you through the history of Hollywood studio musicians via film music's most prominent orchestral instrument - the French horn. Featuring numerous interviews with Los Angeles music legends, the film follows the development of the motion picture industry. 


The Czech-America Horn Duo

Concert, Masterclass, and Lecture on “The Czech Horn Tradition”

The Czech-American Horn duo (Steven Gross & Jirí Havlik) is dedicated to performing horn repertoire for the US and Czechoslovakia, and premiering new, as well as previously undiscovered horn gems from Bohemia.


Genghis Barbie Horn Workshop

Concert, Masterclass, and Lecture on “Making a Career in Music: Options from Freelance to the Symphony Orchestra”

Alana Vegter – Assistant Principal, New York Philharmonic (2014 – 2015)

Wei-Ping Chou – Washington DC hornist

Danielle Kuhlman – New York City hornist

Rachel Drehmann – New York City hornist


Knights Chamber Orchestra

Horn Masterclass, Brass Masterclass, and Career Panel

Michael Atkinson and Wei-Ping Chou / Horns

Josh Frank and David Nelson / Brass

Eric Jacobsen, Alex Sapp, Zach Cohen / Career Panel


Daniel Wood of the QUADRE, The Voice of Four Horns

Daniel Wood, founder of the ensemble, presented a seminar on artistic entrepreneurship, illustrated through the origins and development of Quadre. The ensemble has performed over 1000 concerts, lectures and workshops throughout the United States.

Recent Guest Artists and Clinicians

Sarah Bach, LA Performer and Teacher

Andrew Bain, Principal horn, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Steve Durnin, LA Studio Artist

Alan Fogle, LA Studio Artist

Warren Gref, San Diego Symphony

Tom Hiebert, Fresno State University

Ron Janezic, Principal horn, Vienna Philharmonic (Austria)

Louise MacGillivray, LA Performer and Teacher

Dan Nebel, U.S. Air Force Band of Flight

Brian O’Conner, LA Studio Artist

Laszlo Seeman, University of Miskolc (Hungary)

Student Achievements and Alumni

Former UCSB hornists play in major cities such as New York (Emily Whitecotton), San Francisco Bay area (Kelli Reynolds, Alicia Mastromonaco, George Gelles), Portland, Oregon (Kelly Elliott), Seattle (Nick Walls), and Gronigen, Holland (James Riehl). A number of students have gone on to prestigious doctoral programs (Eric Morin, Jonathan Snyder). 

UCSB’s versatile curricula permits hornists with additional interests to play the horn, and work in related fields. Examples are Utah Symphony librarian (Maureen Conroy), Orchestral Conducting (Brian O’Donnell), and Music Therapy (Allison Heinrich).

Some hornists double major, in such fields as Economics (Anne Cotin), and Biological Sciences (Kyla Vinson). Bethany Stevens majored in Horn, with minors in German and Business. 

(Dr. Gross adds that this list is not exhaustive, and hopes that no one is offended if their name is not listed here. Persons, locales, and positions are available upon request.)

Application and Audition Information 

Applications Now Open

Undergraduate (Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts)

Applicants must apply to the UC system, and then to the Santa Barbara campus. The deadline for written undergraduate applications to UC is November 30. 

Audition Information 

Audition information for students applying for Fall 2021 is tentative and will be available from the Department of Music website. Audition repertoire for all degrees is also available at ucsbhorns.net.

Bachelor of Music (BM) in Performance applicants are required to successfully perform an entrance audition. These should be done by the first week of February 2021. Earlier times are preferred. Please see above for information regarding auditions.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music Studies applicants and/or students seeking to take lessons are also welcome to audition to see if they will qualify.

Talent and academically based scholarship sources include the Regents Scholarship, Rappleye and Faulkner awards, and the John Schmidhauser Scholarship and Fellowship Fund for Horn. No additional application is needed.

Current application information may be found on the Undergraduate Degrees page. For further material and an audition list, please visit ucsbhorns.net.

Graduate (MM and DMA)

The deadline for all applications, supplemental materials, and an audition is January 10, 2021. Financial aid is provided through Central Campus Fellowships, International Doctoral Recruitment Fellowships, and departmental support. An overview of all sources of aid is listed on the Graduate Degrees page.

Central Campus Fellowship funds provide payment of any of the following: tuition and fees, health insurance, non-resident supplemental tuition, and stipend. No work duties are attached. Details can be found on the Graduate Division website.

The International Doctoral Recruitment Fellowship (IDRF) is automatically awarded to all new international doctoral students. It pays non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST) in full, commencing in the student's fourth quarter of enrollment - typically the start of their second year. More information is available on the Graduate Division website.

Audition Information 

For the DMA, a live video audition may be scheduled by contacting Dr. Gross directly at gross@music.ucsb.edu. When health conditions permit, campus visits are encouraged to meet faculty and administrators, see the Santa Barbara area, and experience our beach-side campus. Travel funding may be available for selected applicants. Audition repertoire is available at ucsbhorns.net.