Wednesday, December 30, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


ANSWER TO LAST QUIZ (#45)-T...
Xavier was working his way through college in 1977 and designed a kids toy in an attempt to earn extra money. In 1983, low inventory in some stores led to riots. $2 billion worth of these toys were sold in 1984 at about $40/each.
THIS FAMOUS TOY IS 'CABBAGE PATCH' DOLLS...

TODAY'S QUIZ (#46-T)...
In 1993, toy inventor H. Ty Warner began to market a toy designed to be inexpensive so that a child could purchase them. He began with 9 separate designs and they were not an instant success. Ty decided to stop making them in 1999. The line became a phenomenon in the late 90s when these toys became both a fad and a collectible. However, consumer demand made Ty Warner change his mind. He continues to run Ty Inc. and design new models to this day.
NAME THIS TOY...

Monday, December 28, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


TODAY'S QUIZ #34-T...
In 1959, Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr begin to market a toy, after getting the idea from schoolchildren in Australia playing with a bamboo toy for exercise. This was a toy that was probably used as long ago as 1000 B.C. in Egypt, and, later, in ancient Greece and Rome.
In the first 6 months of sales, 20 million of these toys were sold for $1.98/each. Japan once banned the use of this toy in public for being "indecent."
THE ANSWER...THE 'HULA HOOP'

TODAY'S TOY QUIZ #45-T...
Xavier was working his way through college in 1977 and designed a kids toy in an attempt to earn extra money. These toys were made by hand as opposed to most mass-marketed toys. Although more than 3 million of the toys were first produced, supply could not keep up with the demand. This toy became one of the biggest fads in kids toy history. In 1983, low inventory in some stores led to riots. $2 billion worth of these toys were sold in 1984 at about $40/each.
NAME THIS KIDS TOY...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


LAST QUIZ...#33-T
Ruth Handler watched her kids play with many of their toys and noticed that most were based on little babies. During a trip to Europe with her son, Kenneth, and her daughter, Barbara, she came across an exciting German toy based on a popular comic strip character appearing in a German newspaper. She bought 3 of these toys and brought them back to the U.S.
Today, these toys are sold in over 150 countries at the rate of 1 every second!
ANSWER...THE BARBIE DOLL (Yes, 'Barbie' and 'Ken' were named after her kids)

TODAY'S QUIZ...
In 1959, Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr begin to market a toy, after getting the idea from a friend who saw schoolchildren in Australia playing with a bamboo toy for exercise. This was a toy that was probably used as long ago as 1000 B.C. in Egypt, and, later, in ancient Greece and Rome.
In the first 6 months of sales, 20 million of these toys were sold for $1.98/each. Japan once banned the use of this toy in public for being "indecent."
NAME TODAY'S TOY...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


ANSWER TO LAST QUIZ... #32-T
In 1947, a group of Minnesota teachers realized their attempt to make and sell garden tools was failing. They decided to use their extra materials to make toys in a small schoolhouse basement. Over a half-century and 250 million toys later, this company uses more than 119,000 pounds of yellow paint and 5.1 million pounds of sheet metal to make these toys.
NAME THIS TOY COMPANY... TONKA TOYS

TODAY'S QUIZ...#33-T
Ruth Handler watched her kids play with many of their toys and noticed that most were based on little babies. During a trip to Europe with her son, Kenneth, and her daughter, Barbara she came across an exciting German toy based on a popular comic strip character appearing in a German newspaper. She bought 3 of these toys and brought them back to the U.S.
Handler re-designed the toy (with the help of engineer Jack Ryan) and exhibited her toy at the American International Toy Fair in New York City on March 9, 1959. The sales of her new toy hit 350,000 in its first year.
Today, these toys are sold in over 150 countries at the rate of 1 every second!
NAME THIS INCREDIBLY POPULAR CHRISTMAS TOY...

Monday, December 21, 2009

History of Chritmas Toys...


LAST QUIZ...#31-T
This hugely successful kid's toy entered the U.S. market in 1956 as a wallpaper cleaner. After seeing nursery school children using it as a toy, it was marketed to the toy market. This innovative product made Joe McVicker a millionaire before his 27th birthday. Between 1955 - 2005 it sold over 2 billion units. It's 1970's TV commercial was voted one of the 'top 100 best commercials' by 'Advertising Age.' It is sold in over 75 countries and sells over 95 million units/year.
THE ANSWER IS ... Play-doh

TODAY'S QUIZ... #32-T
In 1947, a group of Minnesota teachers realized their attempt to make and sell garden tools was failing. They decided to use their extra materials to make toys in a small schoolhouse basement. With a staff of just a half dozen people, they turned out a total of 37,000 toys in two designs in their first year. They name their company after a nearby lake, which means "great" in Sioux.
The company was founded on the premise that a toy should be durable and provide the child with as much play value as possible. Over a half-century and 250 million toys later, this company uses more than 119,000 pounds of yellow paint and 5.1 million pounds of sheet metal to make these toys.
NAME THIS TOY COMPANY...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


ANSWER TO LAST QUIZ...
This toy was invented and developed by Brooklyn-born George Lerner in 1949 and was marketed with its main part missing for .98 cents each. This famous toy was the first toy ever advertised on TV ... has starred in the movie 'Toy Story 2' ... has starred in its own comic strip ... and has been inducted into 'The Toy Hall of Fame.'
NAME THIS FAMOUS KIDS TOY...THE 'PEZ DISPENSER'

TODAY'S QUIZ...#31-T
This hugely successful kid's toy entered the U.S. market in 1956 as a wallpaper cleaner. After seeing nursery school children using it as a toy, it was marketed to the toy market. This innovative product made Joe McVicker a millionaire before his 27th birthday. Between 1955 - 2005 it sold over 2 billion units. It's 1970's TV commercial was voted one of the 'top 100 best commercials' by 'Advertising Age.' It is sold in over 75 countries and sells over 95 million units/year.
NAME THIS FAMOUS TOY...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


ANSWER TO LAST QUIZ...In 1952, Edward Haas brought his product from Vienna, Austria to the U.S. Today, it sells over 3 billion/year and is sold in over 60 countries. A whole Seinfeld episode was based on this product.
THE ANSWER IS THE PEZ DISPENSER

TODAY'S QUIZ...
This toy was invented and developed by Brooklyn-born George Lerner in 1949. The Hasbro Company bought the rights to the toy in 1952 for $7,000.00.
The toy was marketed with its main part missing for .98 cents each. This famous toy was the first toy ever advertised on TV ... has starred in the movie 'Toy Story 2' ... has starred in its own comic strip ... and has been inducted into The Toy Hall of Fame.
NAME THIS FAMOUS KIDS TOY

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


The answer from last quiz...What famous toy was invented during World War II when navy engineer Richard James discovers that a torsion spring will "walk" end over end when knocked over. The toys are still made in Hollidaysburg, Pa. on the same eight machines that James began with over 60 years ago.
The answer is 'The Slinky!'

The new toy quiz...

In 1952, Edward Haas brought his product from Vienna, Austria to the U.S. It was originally unsuccessful but after he made a few design changes to his toy (including adding the characters of Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse), his sales really took off. Today, it sells over 3 billion/year and is sold in over 60 countries. A whole Seinfeld episode was based on this product.

Name this famous product...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


PREVIOUS CHRISTMAS TOY QUIZ...What toy did Donald Duncan popularize after he saw it demonstrated in Los Angeles and then bought the toy company?...
ANSWER...
THE DUNCAN YO-YO


NEW CHRISTMAS TOY QUIZ...
During World War II while searching for a suspension device to ease rough sailing on battleships, navy engineer Richard James discovers that a torsion spring will "walk" end over end when knocked over. James brought the discovery home to his wife, who named the new toy. If the toys sold since 1945 were stretched end to end would wrap around the world 128 times. The toys are still made in Hollidaysburg, Pa. on the same eight machines that James began with over 60 years ago.

NAME THIS VERY POPULAR TOY...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mean bunny

History of Christmas toys...


In 1929 Donald Duncan sees a toy being demonstrated in Los Angeles. He was so impressed by this toy that he bought the rights to the toy company for $25,000, and 30 years later, sales of his toys reach $25 million. At its peak, his company produced 3,600 toys/hour. In 1968, Abbie Hoffman was cited for contempt of Congress for using this toy in an effort to entertain the 'House Subcommittee on Un-American Activities' that was investigating Hoffman. Richard Nixon made headlines when he used this toy on stage at the opening of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1974.

Duncan had to declared bankruptcy after losing a supreme court case over the patent on the name of his toy. He died in an automobile accident in 1971.

Can you name the famous toy?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas card (P.C. version)...


After consultation with my attorney, I have decided that if I wanted to remain 'politically correct,' this would be the Christmas message I would have to send out this year...

THE MODERN DAY HOLIDAY GREETING CARD

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious low carbon footprint, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, low saturated fat, smoke free, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of all other faiths and minorities or those who choose not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms - This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual applications of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of any subsequent holiday greetings, whichever comes first, and the warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Merry Christmas from me and my attorney.

PS. I have decided against it. I'll just say...

MAY YOU HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Toys of Christmas...


John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright invented a very popular Christmas toy in 1916. He was inspired by the way that his father designed the earthquake-proof 'Imperial Hotel' in Tokyo, Japan.

These toys were long a favorite of proponents of educational toys and were among the first toys to be promoted on a television show, 1953’s 'Pioneer Playhouse'. The ads targeted affluent parents, who were most likely to own a television set and to buy educational toys.

Name the very popular toy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

History of Christmas Toys...


Alfred Carlton Gilbert was possibly the most talented man of the 20th Century. Born in Oregon in 1884, he won an Olympic Gold Medal in the pole vault and married in 1908, then graduated from Yale Medical School the following year. Rather than practice medicine, he co-founded Mysto Corporation in Connecticut to build and sell magic kits. With a $5,000 loan, he began selling a brand of kids toys. In 1918, he was known as "The man who saved Christmas!" His highly successful toy has sold over 35 million.
What toy did he invent?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tuba Christmas...






Here are the locations/dates/times I pulled off the 'Tuba Christmas' website For Buffalo, NY, Rochester, NY and Erie, Pennsylvania...

BUFFALO-NIAGARA - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 - TIME: 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Kleinhans Music Hall, Mary Seaton Room
REGISTRATION: 4:30 pm same as concert
REHEARSAL: 5:30 pm same as registration
PARKING: Music Hall parking or surrounding streets
NOTE: Please bring music stand, wear festive clothing
CONDUCTOR: Scott Bean
COORDINATOR: Craig Hodnett 716-553-0368

ROCHESTER, 27TH ANNIVERSARY - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19 - TIME: 3:00 pm
LOCATION: Hochstein Music School, 50 N. Plymouth Ave., near intersection of W. Main & N. Plymouth
REGISTRATION: 12:30 pm same as concert
REHEARSAL: 1:00 pm same as registration
PARKING: Various lots or garages nearby (some free on weekends). Enter nearest lot from Main St.
NOTE: Directions: From expressway I-490 take Plymouth exit 13 or 14. Unloading/temporary stopping on N. Plymouth, center door (with ramp). Bring instrument, mouthpiece, folding music stand or lyre, music, hats, scarves from last year if you have them. Dress colorfully. If convenient, bring a folding chair in case we run out, but leave in car until needed. Also use gig bag, leave cases in car. Sponsored by MCC Music Department and the City of Rochester.
CONDUCTOR: Glenn Call
COORDINATOR: Joe Baker 585-244-4015
WEB SITE: www.rochestertubachristmas.com

ERIE - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 - TIME: 12:30 pm
LOCATION: McGarvey Commons, Reed Union Building at Penn State - Erie
REGISTRATION: 8:30 am Reed Union Building, Wintergarden
REHEARSAL: 9:30 am McGarvey Commons
PARKING: In adjacent visitor lot
NOTE: Registration $5.00, lunch $4.00
CONDUCTOR: Gary Viebranz
GUEST CONDUCTOR: Daniel Burdick, Ron Stitt, Lowell Hepler
COORDINATOR: Gary Viebranz 814-898-6289
WEB SITE: www.tubchristmaserie.com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

History of Christmas Carols...


'Angels We Have Heard On High'
According to the beloved traditions of the first Christmas, it was the shepherds tending their flocks near Bethlehem to whom the angels first gave the news of the baby Jesus' birth. And so, in medieval times shepherds who found themseles minding their little herds in the wintry mountains of southern France on Christmas Eve remembered the story of that first birth and the angels who sang of it.

They called one to the other, each from his own peak, singing the good news as the angels had sung so long ago, until finally the mountaintops themselves rang with a glorious patchwork of echoing voices.

In this favorite carol, the music probably comes from a 17th or 18th century French noel, as does the text. But the back-and-forth 'Alleluia' refrain is probably based on a much older phrase of music, perhaps a bit of plainsong chant from the Church's earlier days.

The combination of tune and text was not published, so far as we know, until it appeared in a carol colelction in 1855.

~R.D.M./Bud

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving...


'Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
But I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep
The leftovers beckoned
The dark meat and white,
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation!
So I raced to the kitchen,
Flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground!!

I crashed through the ceiling, floated into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie,
But I managed to yell
as I soared past the trees ...

HAPPY EATING TO ALL,
PASS THE CRANBERRIES PLEASE!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Did you know?...


Turkeys can have heart attacks. Groups of turkeys, sometimes known as a "rafter" of turkeys would drop dead when the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier nearby.

We have noticed dead turkeys outside the house after I've finished practicing the tuba. [I say it's just a coincidence]

Friday, November 20, 2009

Broken down clarinetist...


The cute blonde clarinetist had a flat tire on the interstate, so she eased her car over to the shoulder of the road, carefully got out of the car and opened the trunk. She took out two cardboard men, unfolded them and stood them at the rear of her car facing on-coming traffic. They look so life like you wouldn't believe it! They are in trench coats exposing their nude bodies to the approaching drivers.

To her surprise, cars started slowing down to look at her life-like men, which made it safer for her to work at the side of the road.

And, of course, traffic started backing up. Everybody was tooting their horns and waving like crazy. It wasn't long before a state trooper pulled up behind her. He gets out of his car and starts walking towards our gifted clarinetist. Sher could tell he was not a happy camper!

“What's going on here lady?!!!!!”

“My car has a flat tire,” She said calmly.

“Well, what the h---- are those obscene cardboard men doing here by the road?”

She couldn't believe that he didn't know. So the clarinetist told him, “Helloooooo, those are my Emergency Flashers.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And you thought your director was tough...

















“Play the gayest tunes in your books, play them loud and keep on playing them, and never mind if a bullet goes through a trombone, or even a trombonist, now and then.”
~By General Phillip Sheridan during the Civil War upon ordering his band to go to the front of the battle line to play

My job History...


My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned - couldn't concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the ax.

After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it, mainly because it was a so-so job.

Next I tried working in a muffler factory but that was too exhausting.

I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.

My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work way just too draining.

I got a job at a zoo feeding giraffes, but I was fired because I wasn't up to it.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian until I realized there was no future in it.

My last job was working at Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

So, then I retired ... and found out I was perfect for the job!

Thought for the day...

Where am I going and why am I carrying this tuba?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Band Terminology


Cut Time: The sudden realization that everyone else is playing twice as fast as you are.

Accelerando: What happens when drummers have to keep a steady beat.

Accidentals: The wrong notes.

Fermata: A chance for the conductor to catch their breath while attempting to make the tuba player pass out.

Key Change: A change in the tonal center of a piece that takes place 3-5 measures after it is written in the music.

Tempo Change: Signal for musicians to ignore the conductor.

Trumpet Player: A person who thinks that every note has 8va written above it.

Trombone: A device that has the same pitch as the baritone, except that it is played with a slide, so it is easier to forget the positions.

Tuba: A compound word; "Hey woman, fetch me another tuba Preparation-H!"

Woodwinds: Proof that God has a sense of humor.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare brass instrument that combines elements of both the horn and the tuba. It was originally created for Richard Wagner's operatic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. Since then, other composers have written for it, most notably Anton Bruckner, in whose Symphony No. 7 a quartet of them is first heard in the slow movement in memory of Wagner. The euphonium is sometimes used as a substitute when a Wagner tuba cannot be obtained.

The instrument is built with rotary valves which, like those on the horn, are played with the left hand.

The Wagner tuba nominally exists in two sizes, tenor in B-flat and bass in F, with ranges comparable to those of horns in the same pitches while being less adept at the highest notes. Several 20th-century and later manufacturers have, however, combined the two instruments into a double Wagner tuba in B-flat and F. Wagner tubas are normally written as transposing instruments, but the notation used varies considerably and is a common source of confusion—Wagner himself used three different and incompatible notations in the course of the Ring, and all three of these systems (plus some others) have been used by subsequent composers. An additional source of confusion is the fact that the instruments are invariably designated in orchestral scores simply as "tubas", leaving it sometimes unclear as to whether true tubas or Wagner tubas are intended (for example, the two tenor tubas in Janáček's Sinfonietta are sometimes wrongly assumed to be Wagner tubas).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The annoying neighbor...

video

Here's a Nissan commercial for all of you who have that annoying neighbor who always gets a better deal than you did!

Monday, November 9, 2009


A professional musician is facing a mugger with a gun. "Your money or your life!" says the mugger.

"I'm sorry,"
the poor guy answers, "I am a professional musician, so I have no money and no life."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

SWINE FLU PRECAUTIONS...


Because of the SWINE FLU, we're taking special precautions at our house.

We encourage you do the same.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stairway to better fitness...

video


A musical incentive to use the stairs. Even I would use the stairs, even though it might be a "glissando!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Change you must believe in...





As you get older, things change... especially after a beef burrito.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great rehearsal last night...








I thoroughly enjoyed the Erie County Wind Ensemble rehearsal last night at the Kenmore West High School.

Good attendance, good music, surrounded by powerful musicians and a very talented conductor. We're rehearsing for our concert on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at Niagara Wheatfield High School in Wheatfield (Saunders Settlement Road).

These late-night rehearsals with a long ride home call for many cups of coffee the next day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tuba - Euphonium Conference...


This is a heads up for 27th Annual Tuba-Euphonium Conference

January 27-30, 2010. The location is at Brucker Hall on Fort Meyer in Arlington, VA. Its run by the Army and is free. You just need to find a place to stay and cover your own meals. The 2010 Brochure is not posted yet but as soon as I see it, I'll notify you.

[Thanks to Ken Foster for the heads-up]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hard-working politicians...
















Connecticut House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, pictured standing, far right, speaks while colleagues, Rep. Barbara Lambert, D-Milford and Rep. Jack F. Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, play solitaire Monday night as the House convened to vote on a new budget. (AP)

The guy sitting in the row in front of these two... he's on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores. These are the folks that couldn't get the budget out by Oct. 1, Seriously!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tapping in the cemetery...


My brother and I were walking home after a Halloween party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for laughs. Right in the middle of the cemetery, we were startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Trembling with fear, we found an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones.

"Holy cow, Mister," I said, after catching my breath, "You scared us half to death! We thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?"

"Those fools!" the old man grumbled. "They misspelled my name!"

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Try being a tuba player...


By Andrew McGinn, Staff Writer
5:00 PM Friday, October 16, 2009
SPRINGFIELD — If you think being blue collar during a recession is tough, try wearing a starched white collar.

Even during good times, classical musicians are about as crazy-desperate for work as Berlioz looking for an opium fix.

“We had 31 applicants and we had inquiries from Spain and Japan,” said Peter Stafford Wilson, music director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

Make that 31 applicants for one lonely tuba opening.

The symphony opened its 2009-10 season on Oct. 3 with a new principal tuba player (plus a new principal trombonist), but how it got there is one for the story books.

“There’s only one tuba in an orchestra,” Wilson explained recently, “and when those chairs come open, it’s a rarity.”

So musicians go where the work is — apparently even if it means crossing an ocean.

“They train all their lives to play this classical music, and they don’t get the opportunity to do it nearly enough,” said David Deitrick, the symphony’s executive director.

Still, that’s one heck of a commute for a part-time job.

The SSO isn’t a full-time job — and if it was, Mozart would need to make room in his pauper’s grave for the musicians.

“If they played every service,” Wilson said, “they’d still make less than $3,000.”

Even after the SSO explained that to them, plus informed the overseas applicants that it wouldn’t help with securing visas, they were still interested in auditioning.

“Are these people for real?” Wilson said. “Do they know what they’re getting into?

“You’re flattered to a point, then you think, ‘Wait a minute.’ ”

The SSO ended up auditioning only five regional candidates in September.

Out of those, Thomas Ricer, a Cincinnati native who’s finishing his doctorate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., was selected as the new principal (well, only) tubist.

What’s even more bizarre about the whole thing is that the SSO only mentioned the opening on its own Web site and on a tuba blog.

“It’s a testimony to the way the Internet is getting the word out,” Wilson said.

It’s also a testimony to the growing reputation of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

“Sometimes we don’t always appreciate fully what a great thing we have,” Deitrick said. “It’s nice to see that people around the country do appreciate it.”

Two years ago, the SSO advertised nationally for the first time when it had several principal chair openings.

For the principal flute opening alone, 18 flute players from all over (California, Florida, Boston) showed up to audition.

“They were all saying, ‘This orchestra has a good reputation. It’s worth it for me to come here and lose money for a couple of years,’ ” Wilson said. “I’d like to build a little more stability here.”

Still ...

“It’s quite humbling for us,” he said.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Bombardon...


The bombardon was the very first bass wind instrument fitted with valves, and it was at first known as the corno basso, clavicor or bass horn (not to be confounded with the bass horn with keys, which on being perfected became the ophicleide). The name was attached more to the position of the wind instruments as bass than to the individual instrument. The original corno basso was a brass instrument of narrow bore with the pistons set horizontally. The valve-ophicleide in F of German make had a wider bore and three vertical pistons, but it was only a "half instrument," measuring about 12 ft. A. Kalkbrenner, in his life of W. Wieprecht (1882), states that in the Jager military bands of Prussia the corno basso (keyed bass horn) was introduced as bass in 1829, and the bombardon (or valve-ophicleide) in 1831; in the Guards these instruments were superseded in 1835 by the bass tuba invented by Wieprecht and J. G. Moritz.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

T.U.B.A.


History of the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association
by Carter I. Leeka

Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association, though relatively new as a named organization, had its beginnings in New York City in the 1930s, when William Bell joined the NBC Symphony. In an interview with Harvey Phillips, he traced these early years for the author. Phillips stated that with such a great tubist and teacher in their presence, it was only natural for other tubists, both professional and student, to be attracted to Mr. Bell. They met informally at McSorley's Old Ale House, in Manhattan, for beer, food and friendship. Because Mr. Bell was not always available, these meetings were very irregular; sometimes twice a week or more, sometimes not for several weeks at a time.

Seated at a large, round table, the discussions concerned the tuba and how to improve its playing. At the table everyone was an equal, a part of the group. A sense of camaraderie prevailed, where all were no longer teacher or student, but people who had an interest in the tuba.

It was suggested by some members that the group should devise an official name. After much discussion around the table, Mr. Bell rumbled that they should call it the “Royal Order of ----pots” [expletive deleted]. And thus it became, complete with membership cards.1

From the ale house meetings, until his death in August of 1971, Mr. Bell is considered by Mr. Phillips to have been a major force in the organizing of tubists. His death created a tremendous void in the tuba world.2

In 1966, Robert Ryker, principal tubist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Brass Quintet, and editor of the Montreal Brass Quintet Series, sent notice to several music publications announcing an attempt to organize an official organization of tubists. He called it the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association or T.U.B.A. for short. The Conn and Mirafone companies contributed money towards the expenses that would be incurred in mailings and printings. Three tubists were made honorary members of T.U.B.A.: William Bell, Arnold Jacobs and Harvey Phillips.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ophicleide


The immediate ancestor of the modern-day tuba...the "ophicleide." [Gr.,=serpent with keys], brass wind musical instrument of relatively wide conical bore, largest of the keyed bugles ; invented in 1817 by Jean-Hilaire Asté of Paris. It had from 8 to 11 keys and a full, loud tone; since its intonation was deficient, however, it was soon displaced in the orchestra by the bass tuba. Many composers scored for it before the tuba was available.






[Now you can see why they called it the 'serpent.']

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

History of the tuba...


The 'TUBA' is one of the most recent additions to the modern day brass family.
Prussian Patent No. 19 was granted to Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Carl Moritz on September 12, 1835 for a "basstuba."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

About the tuba...


Did you know...

Tubas are found in various pitches, most commonly in F, Eb, CC, or BBb in "brass band" pitching. I play the BBb Miraphone tuba. The main bore of BBb tubas is approximately 18 feet long, while CC tubas are 16 feet, Eb tubas 13 feet, and F tubas 12 feet in tubing length without adding any valve branches. Tubas are considered to be conical in shape as from their tapered bores, they steadily increase in diameter along their lengths.

*from the 'more than you ever wanted to know' division of Bud's World

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Community Chorus Blog site...




THE SHERIDAN/CATTARAUGUS COMMUNITY CHORUS HAS ITS OWN BLOG.



IT'S WWW.COMMUNITYCHORUS.BLOGSPOT.COM

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Benefit Concert...


I must thank all my friends for working so hard to make last Sunday's Benefit Concert a huge success! We had a good turn out, all the special speakers did an outstanding job, all the behind-the-scenes volunteers worked tirelessly, many supporters supplied gift baskets for the Chinese Auction, all the musicians sounded great...

PLUS we collected over $3,500.00 for the victims of the flooding in Silver Creek and Gowanda.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

As County Executive Greg Edwards said to me after the concert: 'It was like attending 3 outstanding concerts at one sitting!'

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!