The Horn Player

'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'to talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings.'
-- Lewis Carroll, 'The Walrus and the Carpenter'

1995. The Internet - or at least the WWW - is in its infancy; most people have never heard of it, and Al Gore has not thought to take credit for its creation. Yet among techies and college students, the 'net is becoming commonly used, and there is a huge demand for information. No Yahoo! (OK, it was around, but there wasn't much there); no Google; no Wikipedia. Lots of things called 'newsgroups' (rarely seen any more) and mailing lists, one each concerning the horn. As more people started to use the net, the same questions were asked over, and over, and over again - leading to the creation of The Horn Players' FAQ.

Fast forward to 2007. Twelve years and in excess of 500,000 visitors later, the internet, like the world around it, has changed in many ways. When this FAQ was created, it represented the only widely-used reference site for the horn on the WWW. Nowadays, of course, all one has to do is go to Wikipedia or Google to find a wealth of information, and The International Horn Society came along a few years later with a fine site of its own. It is with a sense of sadness, then, that the time has come for me to say the Horn FAQ has served its purpose. Updates became increasingly rare over the years; information has gone stale, and quite frankly there are much better sites out there. And I've gone from being a Unix sys admin type to, of all things, a project portfolio planner, which is why the technology behind the site was never upgraded to take advantage of all of the cool new stuff you see everywhere else these days.

So life moves on, and I with it. A sincere thank you to the many people who were kind enough to offer words of encouragement and suggestions over the years, as well as the silent masses who I hope found the answers to some of their questions here. The FAQ provided me with an opportunity to contribute to the horn world in a way my very modest playing ability could not, and I am also thankful to the folks at the International Horn Society who invited me to speak not once but twice at their annual conferences, and for later allowing me to serve as a contributing editor for The Horn Call. Those memories will stay dear to my heart forever.

It's a big world out there. Make the most of your time in it, and take your horn with you when you do!

Ron Boerger
McKinney, Texas, USA
31 July 2007