Air Horn Orchestra

Air Horn Orchestra


After the passage of North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2, I organized an “air horn orchestra” at the Governor's Mansion to protest the discriminatory legislation. The orchestra performed—loudly—for seven consecutive months, attracting players from age 5 to 95, from the city center and as far abroad as Australia. Even the Governor himself came out to wave hello. 

Grayson and Tina Currin were in front of the governor's mansion, directing protestors who were blowing air horns to object to the new law. The Currins called it their "Air Horn Orchestra" — a piercing clamor of defiance that doubled, they said, as a homage to the avant-garde composers they love. —New York Times

The seven-month-long performance culminated in a Guinness World Record attempt for Most Air Horns Sounded Simultaneously, which was achieved on November 2, 2016. It was named "Best Group Protest" by INDYweek at the end of 2016. 

The media took notice. According to international media monitoring company TVeyes, the Air Horn Orchestra attracted more than 6 million views on broadcast television alone, resulting in an equivalent advertising spend of $317,980.

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The Orchestra also received coverage in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, NPR, New York Times, BBC, and dozens of North Carolina outlets. The band even received an honest-to-goodness music review on Flavorwire. Online, the #AirHornOrchestra hashtag averaged 30,000 impressions per week. 

In November of 2016, Pat McCrory lost the election by 4772 votes out of nearly 5 million votes cast.