Nancy Halliday has been playing the horn for more than 35 years and started her tenure with the OKC PHIL as 2nd horn in 1992, although she’d been holding the assistant horn position for some years prior. Halliday began her musical training on the clarinet during her junior high years. She changed her mind at the Interlochen Arts Camp one summer when she was mesmerized by the glorious horn parts in Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2. During the summer of her sophomore and junior years of high school, Halliday’s parents then rented a horn and she taught herself how to play.
Halliday takes a quote from Sir Isaac Newton to describe her musical influences, “If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” She believes she’s had a number of giants in her life including Lowell Greer during her high school years, Frank Brouk and Verne Reynolds during college, and Dan Meier in her professional career. She names Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms as some of the composers who inspire her because she is partial to the classical and early romantic periods of music.
Each season with the OKC PHIL, Halliday looks forward to helping make the music magical and other-worldly. For her, playing in a professional orchestra is a privilege that not many get to experience. She considers an orchestra as something so much greater than the sum of its parts. It’s transporting. As well as playing for the OKC PHIL, Halliday has also performed with the Erl Festival Orchestra in Austria and the Lawton Philharmonic.
Halliday has two bachelor’s degrees; the first in Horn Performance from the Eastman School of Music, and the second in Biology from Southern Nazarene University. She also holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. In addition to her positon with the Philharmonic, Halliday is an Associate Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, teaching courses including Clinical Anatomy, Human Structure, and Human Embryology.
In her spare time, Halliday and her husband (fellow OKC PHIL musician Frank Goforth) enjoy raising Shelties and currently have two. Halliday also lived in Japan with her family from 1967-1973.