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As an Artist Teacher of Horn at The Hartt School, orchestral musician, soloist, and recording artist, I strive to nurture the development of every student’s musicianship no matter the music degree they choose to pursue. I hope to inspire students on their musical journey as they seek to master their artistry on this awesome (and at times even treacherous!) instrument. In addition, my focus is to meet students at their current level both in terms of their technique and musicianship, and then through the work we do together, help them move to the next level in a positive and supportive way.


As a member of the Horn studio at Hartt, students have the opportunity to participate and be involved in many studio classes, solo and ensemble performances, and sessions with top-notch guest clinicians from the ‘Horn World’.


We hope you’ll join us and receive the support you need as you pursue your own musical journey!

2021-2022 Horn Studio

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Cassandra Cardarelli is a Second Year Masters Student at The Hartt School of Music and has been playing the horn since age 13. Cassandra attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for her undergraduate studies in Horn performance where she studied with Dr. Patrick Smith. In addition to her BMus in Performance, she received a certificate for Global Education as well as a TESOL certificate. Cassandra has been a member of numerous brass quintets and other chamber ensembles, and is currently the horn player in Talcott Brass - a Hartt Alumni brass quintet.

Logan Espardinez is originally from Wayne, New Jersey, Logan is a sophomore majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. He has been playing horn since 6th grade and participated in area and regional bands while in middle and high school. When not focusing on school, he enjoys rock climbing and works at his local climbing gym.

Joey Hayes is in his fourth year of pursuing a double major in Composition and Music Production Technology at The Hartt School. Previously a student at The Hartt School Community Division, Joey has been playing horn for over 10 years.

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Taylor Hestvik is a Junior at The Hartt School, double majoring in Music Education and French horn Performance. A very active member of the Hartt community, Taylor holds positions as President of the Music Education division - CNAfME chapter, and manages multiple ensembles within the Hartt Community Division. Outside of school, Taylor enjoys hiking, plant shopping, and finding the best cheese quesadilla! She also really enjoys watching Adult Swims’ Rick and Morty and most late-night comedy specials.

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Jon F. Howe is a Masters student at the Hartt School where he is currently pursuing a Masters in Music in Composition alongside continuing his studies on the horn. A Rhode Island native, Jon has been an active performer/composer across Southern New England for the past seven years, often subbing with the Providence-based brass quintet, the Renaissance V. As a living composer himself, Jon frequently performs works by other living composers. Jon has also been an active educator, teaching both theory/composition and horn lessons at More Than Music in North Kingstown for the past two years. Jon is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where he received his Bachelors of Music in Composition in 2020 and his past horn teachers include Elizabeth Gates, Jaime Thorne, and Cathryn Cummings.

Emily Liao is from Taichung, Taiwan. She began playing horn at the age of 12, and attended Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan for three years beginning in 10th grade. Emily is a freshman majoring in Music Education at the University of Hartford. 

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Parker Main is a sophomore Music Management major and has been playing the french horn since 6th grade. When he’s not playing the horn he enjoys sailing, running, and skiing. Parker is currently on the cross country and track teams at The University of Hartford and looks forward to competing soon!

Michael Scardigno is a senior in the Acoustical Engineering with Music major from Long Pond, Pennsylvania. As an Acoustical Engineering major, he plays French Horn at the Hartt school alongside taking engineering classes at CETA. Outside of academics, he likes to be active in clubs across campus. After school, he hopes to work as an Acoustical Consultant.

Jason Smith is a Senior in the Acoustical Engineering and Music program at UHart, and is originally from Massachusetts. While the majority of his classes are in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, enjoys the many opportunities to perform and study horn, as well as the different perspectives offered between the two disciplines. He is currently President of the University of Hartford’s student chapter for the Acoustical Society of America, where industry leaders in acoustics are invited to give presentations for our members.

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(September 25th, 2021 Hartt Orchestra Performance)

Studio Recital Photos


Guest Clinicians


Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelsen (Canadian Brass, Fearless Performance) helping Hartt School and Hartt Prep Academy students embrace performing fearlessly!

(April 2021)


Derek Conrod

Derek Conrod (Tafelmusik, Apollo's Fire) demontstrating Natural horn and discussing the use of horn in Baroque and Classical era music.

(March 2021)


Bruce Heim

The Hartt Horn Studio welcomed Bruce Heim (University of Louisville, retired) in February 2020 where his teaching and performing skills were on full display.


Julie Landsman

Julie Landsman (Principal Horn, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra - retired) came to Hartt in April 2019 and shared her love of The Caruso Method.


James Sommerville

James Sommerville (Principal Horn, Boston Symphony Orchestra) performing a recital as part of the Northeast Horn Workshop in March 2017 - proudly hosted by The Hartt School.

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