© 2010 Aaron

Alphorn Audition

Yesterday, we decided it was a good day to do something Zach has been asking us to do for several weeks – audition an alphorn.

Zach’s trombone teacher, Roland Dahinden, recommended Stocker alphorns after Zach expressed interest in not only improving his trombone skills, but also learning the Swiss instrument. Mr. Dahinden is an energetic, passionate teacher that Zach has really enjoyed studying under.

So, we found the location of the Stocker workshop, took a train to Luzern, then hopped a few buses around and above Luzern to arrive at Kriens. Once there, we met a very nice lady on the street who, with a smile, instructed us on the way to Herr Stocker’s workshop.

As we hiked up to the workshop we took in the sites, the beautiful mountains in the distance, the sound of whips and bells in the valley and more.

When we arrived we weren’t certain how to get into the building, so we walked up a path behind the building where Herr Stocker noticed us, gazing out his shop window. We promptly introduced ourselves, tried a little German to indicate that we desired to order an alphorn, then he walked us down to his storefront.

We conveyed that Zach was interested in an ‘F’ alphorn and asked if he could try playing one. So, our host assembled a horn, showing us how they go together from separate pieces and how his name was stamped in the foot stand of the horn. Up to that point, we didn’t realize that he was the famous Herr Stocker (a superlative craftsman and one of two men who, unce upon a time, competed to produce the longest alphorns ever created – around 14 meters).

Zach stepped right up and played very well for his first attempt. He was all smiles on the way down the hill back to Kriens for our bus ride home, and Katelyn was pretty giddy too!

It was great to see Zach have such a fantastic first experience. This was the real deal.

We look forward to seeing Zach’s skills grow under the direction of Mr. Dahinden (once we save up enough cash to purchase the alphorn in the next month or two) and thank God for this wonderful experience.

Video of the Audition with Herr Stocker

Photos from the trip


  1. Gail Brown
    Posted November 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm | #

    Wendy and I are now all caught up on your pictures and story. Wow! We had lunch with Tera and Rich today and suggested they do the same. When do you get home for Christmas? Wish we could see you then. Love you lots.

  2. Janalee
    Posted November 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm | #

    Ahhh! Zach – this is SO cool! I can’t believe you can just pick it up and play like that! 🙂 Thank you for sharing these awesome videos. I can hardly believe you will be getting an alphorn from the renowned Herr Stocker! James and I will need to call you soon to work out some details of our visit! Maybe you will play us some Swiss Christmas carols on the alphorn? hahaha We can’t wait!
    It’s been crazy at school and the Christmas rehearsals have already started. Conferences are finally over, but they sure made for a LONG week as well as the additional excitement of the book fair! Not to mention the baptism of my newest niece the weekend prior and 5 guests staying with us! Now it’s time for massive re-straightening of the house and loads of laundry for the Thanksgiving batch of guests who will arrive soon! 😛 Will you make a turkey dinner over there and invite the neighbors to your traditional feast? 🙂
    God’s continued blessings!
    Christmas will be here soon!!!

  3. G & G Cooper
    Posted November 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm | #

    Hello Zach,
    We’re sure your Dad has told you about his first experience with the Alphorn when our family visited Luzern,Switzerland in 1990. “Like father, like son”.
    Love to all, G & G Cooper

  4. Janalee
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 5:19 am | #

    I want to hear that story! 🙂

  5. Zach
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:29 am | #

    Thanks. I sure had an awesome time in Luzern, trying it out.


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