Thursday, November 11, 2010

Big Bore Brass Tuba Choir in concert

The Big Bore Brass Tuba Choir will be in concert on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm at the Forestville High School Auditorium (4 Academy - Forestville, NY 14062).

The Big Bore Brass Tuba Choir will be under the direction of special guest conductor: Andre Lousada.

Andre Lousada is the Graduate Assistant of Orchestras @ SUNY Fredonia. He was born and raised in Porto, Portugal. Andre finished his BM in conducting at the Superior Conservatory of Gaia (Portugal) where he studied with Mario Mateus, Manuel Ivo Cruz, Alvaro Salazar; and studied piano with Jairo Grossi and Angel Gonzalez.

Immediately following the Big Bore Brass Tuba Choir performance ... The New Horizons Band of Western New York will begin their concert at 6:30 pm. The New Horizons band is under the direction of Dr. Kate Levy, assistant professor of music at SUNY Fredonia.

Free admission - No tickets required.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dirty Dozen Brass Band ...

Here's the attachment to YouTube to 'The Dirty Dozen Brass Band' performing 'Government Mule' ...

There are some great solos featuring: flugel, guitar, bass, saxes & trombone. I really enjoy this group because it's the 'funkiest' group using a sousaphone.

The 'Dirty Dozen Brass' performed with 'The Dave Mathews Band' at the NFL opening day kickoff this year.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is a New Orleans brass band. The ensemble was established in 1977 by Benny Jones together with members of the Tornado Brass Band. The Dirty Dozen Brass band has been a major influence by incorporating funk and bebop into the traditional New Orleans style.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Howard Johnson ...

Howard is one of the top tuba soloists since the early '60s, Howard Johnson is a very versatile player who not only plays tuba and baritone but other reeds and trumpet. He moved to New York in 1963, where he worked with Charles Mingus (1964-1966), Hank Crawford, and Archie Shepp. In 1966, he started a 20-year off-and-on association with Gil Evans. Johnson's four-tuba group Substructure performed with Taj Mahal, and, in the late '70s, he formed a different tuba band called Gravity that, in 1996, finally had the opportunity to record (plus play at the Monterey Jazz Festival). Howard Johnson has recorded with Crawford (1983-1984), Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, Jimmy Heath, Bob Moses, George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band, and frequently with Evans' orchestra, among others.

Edwards "Alessi" model T396-A trombone

Interesting article by Brad Edwards (trombone instructor at University of South Carolina) ... I've played on trombones w/different lead pipes & it makes your horn feel like 3 different horns, but this is a new one on me...

Whenever I go to a trombone convention showroom, I carry with me a good dose of skepticism. I've seen some pretty ridiculous things.

However, I had a pretty mind-blowing experience at the Edwards booth when I spent some with Christian Griego and their new model, the "Alessi" model T396-A.

Now you might think that, given my last name, I play an Edwards. Wrong, I play a Shires and absolutely love it.

Here's the thing, though....
This new Edwards trombone is what they call an acoustically-tunable fixed instrument. Basically, if I understand correctly, this trombone doesn't have a removable lead pipe (I could be wrong about this, though). What it definitely does have, though, are these three threaded holes near the tuning slide (I think they call it an "harmonic bridge"). The horn comes with a variety of small bolt-like pieces made of different metals which can be screwed into these holes.

At the outset, I felt pretty confident that I was about to have another 'snake oil' experience. However, as Christian began to add or change these metal pieces I was amazed by the difference in the instrument.

He would make the smallest adjustment and it was as if he had handed me a different instrument. One time, the change was the same piece/same hole but he screwed it in from the opposite side. Even this caused a big difference in the way the instrument responded.

Am I ready to leave Shires?
No, but I'll admit that, if my horn were destroyed or stolen, I'd have to look closely at these new Edwards trombones before I automatically go back to Shires.

This time, it isn't snake oil. I think he's really onto something here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Katrina & the sousaphone ...

'I love the horn ... and I want my city to survive'

12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, August 28, 2010
Leigh Munsil
Faced with rising floodwaters, Mark Smith's first thought was to save his tuba.

As Mark Smith headed for the Superdome in 2005, he carried his sousaphone past National Guard vehicles. "I didn't know what to do; I didn't know how to get out of the water. So I grabbed my sack and my tuba," the lifelong jazz musician said. "Let me tell you something – when I'm without this horn, I ain't nothing."

Smith was walking toward the Superdome carrying his sousaphone, a tuba used by marching bands, as National Guard vehicles drove by – an eerie juxtaposition that was captured on film.

Every morning, Smith is in front of Café Du Monde in the French Quarter with trumpeter Hack Bartholomew. Five years later, Smith, who now has a new horn, is still a familiar sight in New Orleans' Jackson Square. He performs seven days a week in front of popular tourist spots, including Café Du Monde and St. Louis Cathedral.

"I'm 53 years old, and I live for the culture of the music," he said. "New Orleans is a city that never sleeps. It's a city that always parties, because they call it 'The Big Easy.' If you take away this music, New Orleans is not going to be the same."
The French Quarter was one of the few areas of the city unaffected by flooding, so it feels about the same as it did before, Smith said.

"We're really trying to build the city back up and we're trying to get up on our feet," he said. "But we've been having some hard times, because we had the oil spill and we had [Hurricane] Gustav come through here, and we had to leave. We had to leave again."
The people of New Orleans have changed since the hurricane, Smith said.

"When Katrina came, people in this city lost everything," he said. "Half the people in this city don't have any more love and any more morals, and they don't care for each other anymore."
Smith decided to stick to music after another job didn't pan out. He has been living with friends, working on getting his own place.

"It's hard. It's really, really hard," he said. "I'm living a day at a time and I'm putting it in the hands of the Lord."

But as long as he can play the tuba, Smith says he'll be all right.

"This is my life. This is what I do for a living. I love the horn," he said. "I love my music, I want the group to continue on, and I want my city to survive."
Leigh Munsil

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Miraphone Corporation

IN 1948 13 veteran brasswind repairmen from Graslitz, Germany, set out to pool their substantial technical knowledge and expertise to create a new line of exceptional musical instruments. A new manufacturer, Miraphone, was born

Miraphone earned important endorsements from some very popular U.S. tubists. Legendary tubists such as Roger Bobo (born 1938,) a noted American tuba virtuoso and teacher. He retired from active tuba performance in 2001 in order to devote his time to conducting and teaching. He gave what is reputed to be the first solo tuba recital in the history of Carnegie Hall. and Winston Morris further augmented the popularity of Miraphone tubas..

To accommodate growing production demands the factory was expanded in 1983. In more recent upgrades, the factory's research and design lab was equipped with high-tech computers that analyze instruments' intonation, sound production, and tonal character, making each of today's German handcrafted instruments.

The company also offers trumpets, fluegelhorns, tenor horns, baritones, trombones, and French horns. Approximately 25 percent of Miraphone's sales are to the United States, 20 percent to Asia, and 55 percent to Europe and elsewhere.

Miraphone's flagship products have long been its rotary valve a valve acting by continuous or partial rotation, as in the four-way cock.
Miraphone began producing its own pistons onsite 22 years ago, and in 2002 it introduced its acclaimed 1291 "Big Babe" front action piston tuba. Outside of the realm of tubas, Miraphone has made recent improvements in the Miraphone 1258 compensating euphonium or tenor tuba.

Under the direction of President Markus Theinert and Vice-President Josef Lindlmair, tuba design specialist Christian Niedermaier develops each new Miraphone instrument design. Over the years Niedermaier has worked with Gene Pokorny is an American tubist. He has played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since his appointment by Georg Solti in 1988. He has also played with the Israel Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Oystein Baadsvik, Winston Morris, and Alan Baer have contributed to continually improve instruments and develop new ideas. Markus Theinert, himself a professional tuba player who has played a key role in product design and development since he joined Miraphone 16 years ago, performs the final test on each new innovation before the design is sent to Miraphone's 70-person production staff.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Amanda Davidson

Amanda Davidson joined the New York Philharmonic as Associate Principal Trombone in September 2009. Born in Oakland, Maryland, she began playing the trombone at the age of six. Her studies started with Harold Hudnall and continued with Keith Jackson, professor of trombone and euphonium at West Virginia University. She received her bachelor of music degree from The Juilliard School in 2004, studying with New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi.

As a soloist, Ms. Stewart has performed with the San Antonio Symphony and the Deep Creek Symphony in McHenry, Maryland. As a chamber musician, she was the trombonist for five years with the San Antonio Brass Quintet, which performs throughout Southern Texas, presenting educational outreach programs and an annual three-performance concert series. As an orchestral musician, Ms. Stewart has played with the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston and North Carolina Symphonies. She was the principal trombonist of the San Antonio Symphony (2004–09) and assistant principal trombonist of the Lyric Opera of San Antonio (2005–09).

Ms. Stewart has been a guest artist at the International Women’s Brass Conference, the Big XII Trombone Conference held at Texas Tech University, and at Trombone Days held annually at Baylor University. She has also taught master classes at several other universities in Texas. In summer 2007 she toured Germany with the Christian brass group, Eurobrass, and in summer 2006 she taught and performed at the Seoul Trombone Ensemble Summer Music Festival in South Korea. Ms. Stewart has taught privately at several universities, namely Our Lady of the Lake University and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and is a member of the Christian Performing Artists’ Fellowship. She is an Edwards artist, performing on Edwards trombones.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Don Harry...

Currently Associate Professor of Tuba at The Eastman School of Music; formerly taught at The Juilliard School in New York.
BM and Performer's Certificate, Indiana University. Studied with William Rose, William Bell, Joseph Novotony, and Harvey Phillips. Solo performances with West Point Band, U.S. Army Band, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the New Sousa Band. Chamber music performances with the Skaneateles Music Festival. Master classes given in Brazil, Buenos Aires, and throughout the United States. Member, Eastman Brass (1990-). Faculty member, Eastern Music Festival (summers 1983-84); Juilliard (1978-88); Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory (1994-97); Eastman (1998-).
Current member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman Brass.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

No patriotic performance this year...

The Community choruses will not be presenting a patriotic musical this year.

I didn't receive enough positive responses from the chorus members plus I was having difficulty arranging for the necessary equipment for our presentations. Additionally I have been fortunate enough to be performing with a variety of instrumental ensembles this summer (wind ensemble, bands, brass quintets, and symphony). This has kept me busy.

I'm sorry that we won't be performing together but I refuse to present an inferior concert.

Thanks for all your past support...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cheektowaga Symphony Orchestra...

Flag Day Concert in the Park
I'll be playing with the Cheektowaga Symphony...

With guest artist, Leah Hodge, Trumpet
and The Buffalo Choral Arts Society
Sunday,June 13, 2010 7:30 pm
Cheektowaga Town Park

(Harlem Road near Walden, Cheektowaga, NY)

The program -

Haydn - Trumpet Concerto in Eb (Soloist - Leah Hodge)

Gould - Yankee Doodle, Setting for Orchestra

Bagley - National Emblem March

Balmages - Point Lookout (A Fantasy on Civil War Songs)

Cray/Landis - Salute to the Armed Forces

Berlin/Ringwald - God Bless America

Wilhousky (Arr.) - Battle Hymn of the Republic

Christopher/Moss - Let Freedom Ring

Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture

Sousa - Stars and Stripes

and Fireworks!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Big Band Concert (7/17/10)

The Big Band Extravaganza on Saturday, July 17, 2010 starting at 6:00 pm at Willow Creek Winery (Chapin Road in Sheridan, NY)

Includes the David Golando Big Band and Pete Ciraolo All-Star Big Band.
Lots of dancing...lots of great music.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Steven Mead (euphonium)

Steven Mead (born 1962 in Bournemouth, England) is a virtuoso euphonium soloist and teacher who has played an important role in achieving worldwide recognition of the instrument.[1][2][3]

Steven Mead is widely regarded as one of the most successful professional euphonium soloists in the world today, performing over 75 concerts per year with some of the leading orchestras, wind bands and brass bands in the world. In recent years he has played solo concerti with symphony orchestras, including: Germany (Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra) Norway (Trondheim Symphony Orchestra) , Finland (Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Helsinki Philharmonic), Poland (Capella Cracoviensis), USA (Minneapolis Pops Orchestra) and the Japan Chamber Orchestra. During a particularly critically acclaimed improvised performance at the Guggenheim Museum in 1988, Mead employed a circular breathing technique to solo on the main motif to Herb Alpert's adaptation of the Lennon/McCartney "A Taste of Honey" for over an hour, uninterrupted.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Matthew Van Emmerik...

Tubas of Mass Destruction (TMD)
Tuba Quartet featuring heavy metal music.

Matthew Van Emmerik is a great euphoniumist, who is on staff in Melbourne.

Visit his website...

On his website, there are some links to some great recordings of tuba/euphonium ensembles. The section is called: 'Tubas of Mass Destruction. It's worth a visit.

1 Ecstasy of Gold (Ennio Morricone) 1:00

4 Bondi (Cog) track 4 3:46

8 46&2 (Tool) 6:04

9 Call of Ktulu (Metallica) 7:53

Other tracks on TMD:

2 Resurrection (Fear Factory) 6:02

3 Timelessness (Fear Factory) track 3 2:29

5-7 Hypnotonize/Mesmerize Mvt 1,2,3 (System of a Down) Track 5, 3:11 Track 6, 1:29 Track 7 3:17

Deanna Swoboda...

DEANNA SWOBODA is Assistant Professor of Music at Western Michigan University where she teaches tuba and euphonium and performs with the Western Brass Quintet, a resident faculty ensemble. Swoboda holds degrees from the University of Idaho and Northwestern University, and is completing studies for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. From 2000-2005, Swoboda performed as a member of the Dallas Brass. Prior to her appointment at WMU, Swoboda taught at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Las Vegas Arts Academy. She has also taught at the University of Northern Iowa, University of Denver, University of Idaho, National Conservatory of Madrid (Spain), and Deutschen Tubaforum–Hammelberg (Germany). As a clinician, Swoboda has appeared at the national and northwest regional conventions of Music Educators National Conference (MENC), Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, International Women’s Brass Conference, International Tuba-Euphonium Conference.
In addition to being a video artist for Silver Burdette-Ginn, Swoboda wrote, produced, organized, and performed on the band recruitment DVD “Band Blast Off!”. Her solo CD, “Deanna’s Wonderland,” was released on Summit Records in 1999.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What do valves do?

valve 1 lowers the pitch 1 whole tone
valve 2 lowers the pitch ½ tone
valve 3 lowers the pitch 1½ tones

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

U.S. Olympian plays trombone...

2010 Winter Olympics: Bree Schaaf , bobsled
By Rachel Bachman, The Oregonian
February 09, 2010, 10:45 AM

Bree Schaaf
Hometown: Bremerton, Wash.
Age: 29
Main event: Bobsled
How she got here: Schaaf has reached higher levels in three sports than most people do in one. She played volleyball at Portland State and was on the World Cup skeleton team in 2003-07. After missing out on the 2006 Games, she switched to bobsled and made the Olympic team.
What are her chances: Schaaf and her USA III sled partner, Emily Azevedo of Chico, Calif., won the U.S. championships a year ago and Schaaf is 9th in World Cup points this season. The U.S., along with Germany, was one of only two nations to secure spots for three sleds in the Olympics.
What makes her different: A multi-skilled performer in music as well; Schaaf played trombone in Portland State's jazz ensemble and wind symphony and also plays guitar, harmonica, accordion, and bass.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Did you know?

The ancestor of the tuba was called the Serpent. First made in the late 16th century, they were often painted to look like fat snakes and were used as the bass line in European churches before they were supplanted by organs. The tuba arrived in the 1830s.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Benjamin Pierce...

Dr. Benjamin Pierce is a member of the music faculty at the University of Arkansas, where he teaches applied tuba and euphonium and directs the tuba/euphonium ensemble. Ben holds a bachelors degree in euphonium performance from Bowling Green State University, a masters degree in euphonium performance from the University of Michigan, and a DMA in Tuba Performance from Michigan. Ben has performed with several major ensembles including the Detroit Symphony, the Detroit Chamber Brass, the Brass Band of Battle Creek, the Toledo Symphony, and the Flint Symphony. He has frequently been a featured soloist with the Toledo Concert Band. He has served as principal tubist of the Ann Arbor Symphony and the Ann Arbor Brass Quintet and is currently principal tubist of the Northwest Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. He is also a founding member of Boston Mountain Brassworks, and the University of Arkansas faculty brass quintet. Ben has performed several guest recitals and master classes in the United States and abroad. He has also performed concerti with numerous international ensembles, including the Tokyo Symphony, the Oulu Symphony of Finland, and the Friuli Veneziano Giulia Symphony Orchestra of northern Italy. Benjamin Pierce is an amazing player on both tuba and euphonium.

Benjamin Pierce on tuba:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

William J. Bell

William Bell (December 25, 1902 – 1971) was the premier tuba player and teacher of tuba in America during the first half of the 20th century. From 1924 to 1937, William Bell served as Principal Tuba with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In 1921, he joined the band of John Philip Sousa. In 1937, General Electric's David Sarnoff invited conductor Arturo Toscanini to select personnel for The NBC Symphony Orchestra. William Bell was the third musician selected by Toscanini, after his concertmaster Mischa Mischakoff and principal oboe Philip Ghignatti. In 1943 he became principal tubist for the New York Philharmonic. Leopold Stokowski invited Bell to perform and narrate George Kleinsinger's "Tubby the Tuba", and to perform and sing a special arrangement of 'When Yuba Plays The Rhumba on the Tuba.' In 1955 Bell performed the American premiere of Ralph Vaughan Williams' 'Concerto for Bass Tuba and Orchestra.' He was professor of tuba at the Manhattan School of Music until 1961, and Indiana University from 1961 to 1971. Students included Harvey Phillips and R. Winston Morris.

Under the auspices of the Harvey Phillips Foundation, thousands of tubists worldwide join together each December at local Tubachristmas events in honor of not only the season, but of the life and teaching of Bill Bell. Usually played at these events is an arrangement of the Bach chorale 'Komm, süßer Tod' (Come Sweet Death), Bell's favorite chorale.

Roger Bobo...

Roger Bobo, a legendary tuba virtuoso, was born in 1938 in Los Angeles, where he started his tuba studies at the age of 12, later going to study at the Eastman School of Music. He was simultaneously appointed tubist with the Rochester Philharmonic, a post he maintained for six years until his graduation from Eastman with B.M. and M.M. degrees. In 1961 Bobo played the first-ever tuba recital at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall to critical acclaim, firmly establishing the tuba as a solo instrument in its own right. In 1962 Bobo joined the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. In 1964 he returned to the U.S. to assume the position of tubist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a position he held for 25 years. A founding member of the Los Angeles Brass Quintet, Bobo toured and recorded extensively with that ensemble. In 1990 he moved to Italy where he taught at the Fiesole Scuola di Musica. He also taught at the Lausanne Conservatory in Switzerland and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. He currently resides in Japan and teaches at the Musashino School of Music in Tokyo. He retired from active tuba performance in 2001 in order to devote his time to conducting and teaching.

Here's a video from YouTube of Roger Bobo playing 'Carnival of Venice' on Johnny Carson's 'Tonight Show.'

His solo and ensemble discography is extensive. He is the author of "Mastering the Tuba" published by Editions Bim (CH). While living in the USA, he was the resident conductor of the Topanga Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been a guest conductor with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles in North America, Europe and Asia. Orchestras around the world have seen Roger Bobo as soloist, conductor and coach for brass sections preparing major symphonic repertoire. His students currently occupy positions in major symphony orchestras and universities throughout the world, and several have gone on to develop successful solo careers of their own.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Harvey Phillips

Harvey Phillips (b. December 2, 1929) is a distinguished professor emeritus of the Department of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington (appointed professor 1971 - retired May 1994). He has performed as tuba soloist throughout the world. He was a professional freelance musician from 1950 to 1971. His first professional musicianship was with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band as a teenager. He served as personnel manager for Symphony of the Air, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, and Gunther Schuller.

He is founder and president of the Harvey Phillips Foundation, Inc. which administers Octubafest, Tubachristmas, Tubasantas, Tubacompany, Tubajazz, etc.

Mr. Phillips is highly-regarded in the musician and tuba communities because his efforts have brought the tuba to a much wider audience and helped to free it from its unfortunate popular image of a slow, oafish instrument. He played many different forms of music in his career, showing many new possibilities for the tuba, and encouraging many younger players to become soloists and take the instrument in new directions. His creation of TubaChristmas has inspired others to create festivals for the tuba, and he has helped to build a brother/sisterhood among tuba players. Along with William Bell and Arnold Jacobs, Mr. Phillips is considered legendary among tubists.

In 2007, Mr Phillips was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame, the only wind instrument player to receive the prestigious honor.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Arnold Jacobs...

“When I play, I’m telling a musical story.”

~ Arnold Jacobs

Arnold Jacobs (June 11, 1915 - October 7, 1998) was an American orchestral tuba player who was most known as the principal tubist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1944 until his retirement in 1988.

Jacobs was considered one of the foremost brass pedagogues of his time and was considered an expert on breathing as it related to brasswind, woodwind, and vocal performance. Due to childhood illness and adult onset asthma, his lung capacity was significantly impaired. He is best remembered for his playing philosophy which he referred to as "song and wind".