French Horn

Instructors (Past and Present)

Sam McNally (2022 - )

Sam McNally

Sam has a Bachelor's of Music with distinction from the University of Victoria and a Master's of Music - Orchestral Artistry from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, UK. He began his studies in Calgary with Laurie Matiation at the Mount Royal Conservatory and continued with Kurt Kellan the University of Victoria. In London, Sam studied with David Pyatt, Alec Frank-Gemmill, Sue Dent, and Nico Fleury.

Grateful for the opportunity to return to Victoria, Sam is passionate about making and teaching music. Sam joined the Victoria Symphony as 3rd horn in 2022 and that fall started teaching at the University of Victoria. Prior to Victoria, Sam lived in the Okanagan Valley where he played principal horn with the Kamloops and Okanagan Symphony, positions he is grateful to be maintaining for the 2022-23 season, albeit with a bit more travelling. Additionally, Sam teaches at the Victoria Conservatory of Music both privately and with the Camosun College's post-secondary program. Since 2019, Sam has taught at the Penticton Academy of Music and continues to do so online, from Victoria. Primarily an orchestral player, Sam also gives regular chamber and solo recitals.

Teaching Philosophy

I am passionate about the horn and exploring the many ways in which it can be played and taught. While understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, I am convinced that anyone, given the right tools, can find success. Determining those tools and the goals of my students is central to the way that I teach. I aim to help students uncover the music behind the notes on the page to give authentic and stirring performances. Though learning and improving skills specific to horn playing is an obvious goal, it is my hope that my students also join me in exploring what it means to be a storyteller, communicator, and educator.

Kurt Kellan (2000 - 2022)

Kurt Kellan

Kurt was born and raised in Chicago and attended Indiana University where he studied with Philip Farkas. While at Indiana, Mr. Kellan was Principal Horn with the Indiana University Philharmonic and Wind Ensemble. He was also in the Marching Band, and Basketball Pep Band because he always had a great seat for all the games! After graduating from Indiana, Mr. Kellan performed for the pit orchestras of the Joffrey Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Theatre Ballet and for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 1973 he was awarded the position of Second Horn with the Milwaukee Symphony and in 1976 became Principal Horn with the Regina Symphony. In 1979 Mr. Kellan moved to Calgary where he held the position of Prinicpal Horn with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra until June, 2000. Mr. Kellan has always been in demand as a music teacher, having taught at the University of Calgary from 1982-2000, and at Mount Royal College from 1986-1999. He has also taught at the Saskatchewan School of the Arts and at Music Camrose. Kurt retired as Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Victoria's School of Music in the spring of 2022 and now holds the title of professor emeritus.

These days Kurt can be found living the good life with his wife, Sarah, and their armada of furry friends on Canada's other little island, PEI.

Richard Ely (1972 - 1999)

UVic school of music professor emeritus, Richard (Dick) Ely died Nov. 17, 1999 at the age of 65. Ely was born in Missoula, Montana and studied French horn at the University of Montana, later earning his master's degree from the University of Illinois. He was a member of the Denver and Dallas symphonies before he and his wife, harpist Kathryn Ely, came to Canada in 1970 to join the Victoria Symphony. Soon afterwards, Ely began teaching at UVic, which he continued after his retirement.

Family, colleagues, students and friends filled the school of music's recital hall for the remembrance service. Long-time friend and fellow founding member of the Pacific Wind Quintet, Prof. Lanny Pollet, remarked upon Ely's life, artistry and teaching. "His symphonic playing was luminous. In chamber music, and for that matter in any context, he was known and respected for his artistry and for being the sheer embodiment of musical experience," Pollet said. "[He] had high ideals and was a teacher who looked out for the best interests of his students and of music students as a whole."

Many of the talented students attracted to the school came specifically to study with Ely. He published a rhythm study book for all instruments, Accuracy in Rhythm, and made recordings for CBC Radio, Dutch National Radio, and Radio Suisse Romande. He is survived by Kathryn and daughter Elizabeth.