A beeping good time with the taxi horns in Gershwin's 'An American in Paris'
Interlochen Arts Academy student percussionist Hannah Stone plays the taxi horns in Gershwin's "An American in Paris" this weekend.
If you’ve ever listened to George Gershwin’s orchestral piece "An American in Paris," then you know the most iconic part of it: the taxi horns that honk and beep along with the music.
Gershwin included taxi horns in the piece because he wanted to evoke the sights and sounds of Paris in the 1920s.
Those horns might look easy to play, but they’re actually quite challenging for the percussionist who gets to take them on.
The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra is performing "An American in Paris" Friday night.
Hannah Stone is the student percussionist who's playing the taxi horns in the piece, and she brought them to IPR to give us a demonstration.
She told us they're a lot harder to play than they look and that they require a lot of practice.
The trick, Hannah explained, is to use the entire hand to squeeze them - not just a couple of fingers.
This is actually the second time Hannah has gotten to play the taxi horns in a performance of "An American in Paris."
She did it for the first time last summer at Interlochen Arts Camp, when she was a member of the Interlochen Philharmonic.
Friday night's Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra concert features Gershwin's "An American in Paris" plus three concertos performed by this year's student concerto competition winners.
IPR listeners are eligible for up to four free tickets to this Community Connection Concert. Learn more HERE.
Kacie Brown is IPR's digital content manager.
Keith Aleo and Ed Ronco provided additional support.