Tim Jackson – principal horn with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and a tutor with the Royal Northern College of Music - bought four JP161 French Horns in 2018 to establish a quartet of new young hornists.
The appeal of the JP161 was the reduced size of the horns; easily accessible to younger beginners, and the affordability of the instruments.
Tim was blown away by the “incredible value for money”. He said: “The immediate impression on opening the case was really good. The horns are solidly built and feel like ‘proper’ instruments, with none of the slightly flimsy structure I’ve experienced with other Kinderhorns, especially in the valve linkage. The case itself is also built to last, but is surprisingly light - and the rucksack shoulder straps are a helpful touch. Nice to see little details like a bottle of valve oil included too!
“The built-in flip-up duck’s foot is a great idea, (no more fishing around in the case to try to find it!) and it is easily adjustable, as is the little finger hook. I had no problem fitting the size of all four students’ hands.
“The horn itself blows very freely, with a nice warm sound. The smaller wrap doesn’t seem to cause any extra resistance, so there’s no difficulty producing a full dynamic range. Equally, the intonation is secure right across the instrument, with no problems at either the top or bottom.”
Tim gave a demonstration in an Assembly at the school where his project is based, playing the JP161 alongside his own Alex 1103.
“I had great fun belting through the Star Wars theme at full volume on both horns, and felt just as secure on both - a lovely way of helping the students understand the quality of the instruments they would be getting!”
His pupils are progressing well on the horns. “The students themselves have clearly enjoyed getting to grips with their new instruments. The size is perfect for allowing them to lift the horn properly, and especially to help them get a good right-hand position right from Day 1: a particular bug-bear of mine with young players!
“I’ve been genuinely impressed with these instruments, and would have no hesitation in recommending them for any beginner player. And once it’s time to move my new quartet onto full-size instruments, there’s no doubt that JP will be the first place I look.
For more information about Tim’s school project read this article
Tim Jackson studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University. He was a member of both the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Philharmonia Orchestra before joining the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Horn in 2011. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the Philharmonia and the RLPO, and in addition to his orchestral work he has performed on numerous film soundtracks, including the “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” series.