Say hello to our #hornplayer Katey Halbe


How long have you been with the quintet?: Myself and Daniela are the founding members of Wild Prairie Winds! The group was founded in the fall of 2017 initially as the graduate wind quintet at the University of Iowa, and it grew to become the wonderful organization that we are today.

What’s your favorite animal?: As the parent of five wonderful, furry animals (2 dogs and 3 cats) I am obligated to not answer either cat or dog so I would have to say either llamas or kiwi birds. 

What’s your favorite part of playing chamber music?: Chamber music, in general, makes me feel the most creative and energized as a musician because of the variety of roles I have to play. The wind quintet especially is very rewarding because of the unique timbres I get to blend and contrast with as well as the difficulty of the parts that get put on my stand.

What has been your favorite performance so far with the quintet?: This is a tremendously hard question! This quintet has performed in such a variety of venues and communities that have been really rewarding both musically and personally that it’s hard to pinpoint one particular performance. One performance that I remember fondly is from our Iowa tour last spring (May 2019) in New Hampton, Iowa. We spent the whole day exploring the town and meeting members of the community, and the audience for our performance that evening was so appreciative and complimentary - I remember walking out feeling like a rock star. 

What advice do you have for a young player interested in chamber music? My best advice is to find people that you enjoy spending time with, no matter the instruments, and make music together. What makes our group so great is that we are able to respect and enjoy each other’s talents and personalities, which makes the musical rewards more gratifying.