Published: May 28, 2015 By

maggie rickard

Junior horn student Maggie Rickard will take a year off to play in the horn section of the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia. Photo courtesy Andrew Iannuccillo

A University of Colorado Boulder horn student has landed a gig with the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia. Junior Maggie Rickard will take the next year off to join the orchestra in the Balkan country.

“I am very excited to play next to experienced musicians and get a taste of what full-time orchestra life is like,” says Rickard. “And I know very little about Bosnia, but I'm learning as much as I can!”

Rickard has been playing horn since age 9. She was a member of the Colorado Honor Band Association from 6th through 12th grades, and studied for a time with Alex George, College of Music Executive Assistant to the Dean and a CU-Boulder 2009 DMA graduate.

She says the idea to audition for the Sarajevo Philharmonic came from horn studio alumna Rebecca Fathman, who was a member of the group during the 2012-13 season. “Professor Mike Thornton encouraged me to apply this year and Rebecca was a great source of insight while I was putting the application together,” Rickard says.

Thornton says the horn studio is thrilled to have a representative in the prestigious group. “Maggie will be a great asset to their orchestra. We are so excited for her!”

The stint, which will last September through July, offers Rickard a chance to try out the life of a full-time musician. “I'm a double major in performance and music education, and up until now I've been unsure of which path I want to pursue,” she says. 

“I hope this experience will help me figure out if the full-time performance lifestyle is something I will enjoy, in addition to helping me become a more consistent and confident player.”

Rickard also plans to take in the sights while in Europe. But with five to eight performances every month and rehearsals most days of the week, free time will be precious. “I doubt it will be possible to continue with schoolwork while I’m there, but I certainly plan to come back to CU to finish my studies,” she says.

Rickard is from the Denver suburb of Golden and has lived in Colorado her whole life. 

Maggie will be blogging about her time in Bosnia throughout the year.