Applied Music: Horn
James Rester is a native of Monroeville, Alabama where he began playing horn at the age of 12. During grade school he began attending honor bands, orchestra, band, and chamber music camps, and All-State bands. Mr. Rester received a full scholarship to attend the University of Alabama to study music performance and quickly began performing with Tuscaloosa Symphony in Alabama and Macon Symphony in Georgia.
In 2004, Mr. Rester left Alabama to accept a position with the Army Field Band in Fort Meade, Maryland. During the next four years, he served as Principal Horn with the concert band receiving the Army Achievement Medal for “outstanding performance” and the Army Good Conduct Medal. He performed and taught masterclasses spanning the entire country with several chamber ensembles including brass and woodwind quintets and a horn quartet. In 2005, the Field Band’s Horn Quartet received accolades performing a Guest Artist Recital at the International Horn Workshop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They also performed an arranged version of Richard Strauss’ First Horn Concerto on several Field Band tours.
Mr. Rester left the Army Field Band in 2008 to pursue an orchestral career and has won many regional positions as well as being called to regularly substitute in nearby major orchestras including an appointment to season substitute Third horn in the Baltimore Symphony for the 2013-2014 season. Mr. Rester is Principal Horn in Annapolis where the Capitol Gazette has described his playing as “magnificent” and Reading Symphony Orchestra where the Reading Eagle has lauded his “fine horn solos.” He is also Third Horn in the Delaware Symphony and is frequently called to perform with Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, The Philly Pops, Pennsylvania Ballet, Richmond Symphony, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra most notably. He can be heard playing Assistant Principal Horn on Philadelphia Orchestra’s recent recording of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and playing Principal Horn on Delaware Symphony’s Grammy nominated album recorded with the L.A. Guitar Quartet entitled “Interchange.”
Outside of his orchestral career, Mr. Rester is establishing himself as a national soloist and master class clinician teaching students about musicianship, professionalism, the fundamentals of brass playing, audition preparation, and how to use psychology to empower music making and performance. When he is not performing or teaching music, he enjoys a private shop that allows him to conduct routine maintenance, customization, and repair work on horns for his colleagues and students.