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ITEA Journal Volume 34:3 (Spring 2007)

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New Materials
Mark Nelson, Associate Editor

Materials Received November 1–February 1 with thanks:
Eight Doodles for Two Tubas by Mary Ann Tilford

Reviewed in this issue:


Beau Soir “Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses” by Claude Debussy arranged for solo euphonium and piano by Barton Cummings
La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin by Claude Debussy arranged for solo euphonium and tuba-euphonium quartet by Barton Cummings


Eight Doodles for Two Tubas by Mary Ann Tilford

Brass Quintet/Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble/Chamber Music

A Leroy Anderson Salute arranged for brass quintet by Barton Cummings
Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella arranged for baritone-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus
Capriccio Italien, Op. 45 by P. I. Tchaikovsky arranged for brass quintet by Craig Garner
Pat-A-Pan arranged for baritone-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus


New York Brass Quintet, Volume 1, Bach and Before CD recording
Heroes–Music for Brass CD recording performed by The Flexible Brass and conducted by Kerry Turner
Echoes CD recording featuring the tuba and euphonium ensemble music of Sy Brandon and Mark Scott
In the Garden of the Clown CD recording featuring Krunoslav Babić (tuba) and Renata Penezić (flute)
Tubhonium Sketches CD recording featuring Jukka Myllys (euphonium) and Petri Keskitalo (tuba)
Stepping Stones for Euphonium, Vol. 1 CD recording featuring Pat Stuckemeyer (euphonium) and Ellen R. Bottorff (piano)


Also Sprach Arnold Jacobs: A Developmental Guide for Brass Wind Musicians compiled by Bruce Nelson



Beau Soir “Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses” by Claude Debussy arranged by Barton Cummings for solo euphonium and piano. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Pkwy, Farmington, N.M. 87401. (505) 860-8122; #BW397. $12.

Barton Cummings has taken the well-known melody Beau Soir, translated Beautiful Evening, by Claude Debussy and successfully arranged it for solo euphonium and piano. Beau Soir is a French art song that was originally written for voice. The songlike and lyrical qualities of the euphonium are necessary to perform this work successfully. The arrangement is one that could be performed by a younger performer, but the musicality and lyricism can be challenging even for the most experienced performer.

Barton Cummings arranged this work for Connie Schulz, owner of Brassworks 4 Publishing and an accomplished euphonium performer. The work is only 41 measures long so endurance should not be an issue. The range of the piece is f 1 to B, very manageable for the younger performer. The beauty of this piece is that it is a timeless piece of music that has the inexperienced performer in mind. Too often inexperienced performers are only given choices of arranged pop music or music that is based on simple melodies. Not often are they given a French art song to perform. Congratulations to Mr. Cummings for his choice of source material.

The solo is typeset and very easy to read. It comes with both a bass clef and treble clef part. This work is a great addition to the young performer's repertoire.
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona

La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin by Claude Debussy arranged for solo euphonium and tuba-euphonium quartet by Barton Cummings. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Pkwy, Farmington, N.M. 87401. (505) 860-8122; #BW404. $12.

La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin is one of Claude Debussy's Préludes. These Préludes were two books of pieces for solo piano, with twelve preludes in each book. This arrangement is for solo euphonium with tuba-euphonium quartet. The range of the solo part is from b 1 to B-flat. The euphoniums in the quartet range from g 1 to F and the tubas range from b to EE-flat. The accompaniment mainly plays sustained chords underneath the moving line in the solo euphonium. Occasionally the quartet will have moving lines underneath the soloist.  

The biggest challenge of this well known work will be for the members of the quartet to play soft enough so that the solo line can be heard. The dynamics are all marked the same throughout the ensemble, which could lead to the quartet covering up the soloist at times. The other challenge is that the rhythmic pulse needs to be brought out at all times to assist the ensemble in staying together.

I would recommend this work for an advanced high school quartet to a college quartet. The accompaniment part appears rather simple but will take mature playing to be musical and successful. The solo part is much more challenging than the quartet parts, but still manageable by the advanced high school performer.
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona


Eight Doodles for Two Tubas by Mary Ann Tilford. Pelican Music Publishing 5952 Moosehorn Lane, Rockford, IL 61109. #PMP1-MAT-20-002. 1996, 2005. $10.

This was an interesting set of duets to play. The range is not overly difficult, and most of the first part may be played on euphonium without, I think, doing too much violence to the compositions. On tuba, the first part would be hard for most high school players, as it stays mostly near the top of the bass clef staff, but for euphonium the difficulty would be a few Ds below the staff.

There is an interesting mix of keys, meters, and styles here. Nothing is stretched to the breaking point, as many modern composers are wont to do. Some of the mental challenge is to try to determine by the title of the duet just what the composer might be wanting in the way of style: Space Kittens, Frog Mountain Horn Call, Elephants Dancing,and Zen Chop Maintenance certainly bespeak a great deal of imagination. Hillbilly Tubas uses an old Spike Jones ending, and Pixies might not get played much by the more macho tubists, but they will be missing out. Also in this set is a “Bonus Doodle” apparently written specially for this edition— The Silver Tuba. I was not able to do it justice, since mine was in the shop that day. These duets are probably best suited to young high school players. The range of the parts (for your money, you get one copy, in score form) are tuba I D to e-flat 1 and tuba II BB flat to e-flat 1 .
~Michael Short, Drake University

Brass Quintet/Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble/Chamber Music

A Leroy Anderson Salute arranged for brass quintet by Barton Cummings. Northeastern Music Publications, Inc. P.O. Box 517, Glenmoore, Pa. 19343. (866) 385-8446; 2006. 7:30. $12.

Mr. Cummings has assembled a delightful little concert medley of some of the best known works of Leroy Anderson: Serenata,The Syncopated Clock,The Waltzing Cat,Blue Tango, and Bugler's Holiday. He ties the various pieces together with somewhat abrupt but nevertheless effective transitions. The trumpets carry the main lines on Serenata, while the horn and bone are the countermelody. This is reversed at the beginning of The Syncopated Clock, and eventually puts the entire upper quartet trading around the work. The same holds true for The Waltzing Cat and Blue Tango, with the trumpets taking over the obligatory work on Bugler's Holiday.

While he is definitely well known in the tuba-euphonium ensemble market, this is one of the first ventures I have seen into brass quintet writing by Barton Cummings. From the first glance it is obvious that he is equally adept at writing for other brass as for our brethren. The writing is very well balanced, with attention paid to registration and timbre issues. While the work as a whole is marked as a grade 4, the tuba part is quite approachable, with a range from AA to c-flat 1 and minimal technical requirements. The biggest challenges in the work are ensemble and transitional issues. The piece is easily within reach of a good college quintet. My one criticism would be that the tuba is relegated to the “oom-pah” job, while everyone else does the melodic work. That being said, it is an overall nice little light pops concert work.
~Tim Olt, Bowling Green State University

Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella arranged for baritone-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus. Kendor Music, Inc. 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. Grade 3. 2:40. $10.95.

Lennie Niehaus, Emmy winning composer born June 1, 1929, has written and arranged music for many genres and was alto sax soloist for the Stan Kenton Orchestra. His list of publications was so long that my finger fell asleep trying to scroll through it. Any tuba-euphonium ensemble learning swing or jazz waltz style should invest heavily in the music of Lennie Niehaus. He does not try to beat around the bush in his works, which are stamped with his own unique musical touch.

For many years growing up, I thought of “Jeanette Isabella” as one person, and that someone was asking her to bring a torch so they could see. Now I learn that Jeanette and Isabella are being invited to join a torch-lit procession in this traditional carol. The original carol version is written in a distinct lilting triple meter feel, and Mr. Niehaus steps up a 4/4 moderate swing pattern as a stepping off point. That extra beat per measure gives the needed “throw” to the rhythm, and sets up a basis for some signature syncopation. The majority of soli sections are grouped upper voices/lower voices followed by a return to some very satisfying group rhythms and dynamics. There are so many good things that can be taught through performance of this type of writing regarding articulation and “tight” ensemble playing—remarkably all written within a range that any age group could handle. Plan ahead for your 2007 holiday concerts, this arrangement is a keeper. The ranges for each instrument are euphonium 1 c to f 1 , euphonium 2 A to b-flat, tuba 1 E to f, and tuba 2 AA-flat to B-flat.
~Phillip C. Black, Wichita State University, Wichita Symphony

Capriccio Italien, Op. 45 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky arranged for brass quintet by Craig Garner. Dorm 40 Music, 583 Haverstraw Road, Montebello, N.Y. 10901. (845) 368-0895;; . 2005. 7:00. $13.

Veteran arranger Craig Garner has set Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien for brass quintet in this offering from Dorm 40 Music. Published in 2005, this arrangement is for standard brass quintet (two b-flat trumpets, horn, trombone, and tuba) and suitable for college-level players and beyond. Garner has dedicated this arrangement to the Triton Brass Quintet, an ensemble serving as artists-in-residence at Boston College and as faculty for the 2005 Tanglewood Institute.

Capriccio Italien was composed by Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) in 1880 and reflects his memory of various Italian festivals and vacations he enjoyed while visiting Rome and its surroundings. Tchaikovsky weaved together this melodic and carefree piece from anthologies as well as from music he heard in Italy. Examples include the opening fanfare of the capriccio and the closing tarantella. The resulting piece is light in character with lively rhythms and tuneful melodies. Tchaikovsky was uncharacteristically happy with this work and predicted its success. The work was premiered to great acclaim in Moscow later that year.

Including a variety of time signature and tempo changes, this piece presents some ensemble and musical challenges for the players. Despite these factors, the players' primary concern should be realizing the spirit of the capriccio intended by Tchaikovsky. While there may be some technical issues, most of the parts in this arrangement are not overly taxing for college-level players. The tuba part in particular is less challenging than the other parts. Except during a few melodic sections, the tuba part is largely harmonic and rhythmic. In addition, the range of the tuba part is modest from BB-flat to f.

The printed music is computer-generated and very legible. Although there are no rehearsal letters, measure numbers are included at the beginning of each staff system for the performers' convenience. Both the score and parts are transposed. The page layout and expressive markings are clear and well spaced on the page. Also, the page layout is functional with parts printed on both sides of the page.

With attention to the expressive elements and ensemble challenges of this piece, performers will value Garner's arrangement of Capriccio Italien for concert programming.
~Daniel C. Johnson, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Pat-A-Pan arranged for baritone-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus. Kendor Music, Inc. 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278 Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. Grade 3. 1:50. $9.50.

As always with Kendor Music publications, the arrangement is well laid out and nicely printed. The rhythmic notation is easy on the eye, with good spacing and no “bad” page turns.

Set as a moderate jazz waltz, this version of the seasonal favorite Pat-A-Pan could prove perplexing to a younger player looking for the melody in its traditional 4/4 time. Mr. Niehaus skillfully stretches the melody over a 3/4 framework, which has after beats skipping like stones across water—hopefully not sinking at the end. After a rousing eight-measure introduction, the first statement of the melody is in the first euphonium, with unison rhythmic harmony below. Great care must be taken to observe all the carefully marked articulations for length and style, for that is where the learning and music making takes place. There are several sections of upper/lower voice groupings in tertian harmony, and a drive to the finish, which is “oh so Niehaus” (which I mean in a most positive way). After reading a work with this melodic treatment, one is inspired to “read some Rochut” in the same style! This would be an excellent addition to a holiday setting for any age level group. The ranges are euphonium 1 f to f 1 , euphonium 2 B-flat to d 1 , tuba 1 F-sharp to f, and tuba 2 AA to f.
~Phillip C. Black, Wichita State University, Wichita Symphony


New York Brass Quintet, Volume 1, Bach and Before CD recording. The Music Mart, 3301 Carlisle Blvd., Albuquerque, N.M. 87110. (800) 545-6204; 55:06. $15.99.

Little introduction is needed when discussing the New York Brass Quintet. This legendary ensemble was the progenitor of the brass quintet movement and set the bar for all brass chamber ensembles. The CD consists of some of the most standard transcriptions of Renaissance and Baroque literature for the quintet medium. The concerts were recorded at various venues between 1971 and 1984. The members of the ensemble at the time were Robert Nagel and Allan Dean, trumpets, Paul Ingraham, horn, John Swallow, trombone, and Thompson “Toby” Hanks, tuba.

I have to say that I was delighted to be given the opportunity to review this recording for the ITEA Journal. In our modern age of electronic wizardry it is not overly difficult to produce a “perfect” recording, with flawless articulation, even tone and balance, and immaculate intonation. Often in my teaching, I come across students who have been raised on these types of recordings. While they are striving for an amazing high level of playing, all too often they miss the inherent musical expression in favor of precision. In addition, they become defeated at not being able to attain the level of perfection they hear on such recordings and have a false sense of their own abilities within the musical world.

This recording is a true gem, as it is recorded live with minimal engineering. In a letter from Robert Nagel enclosed with the recording, he states that due to limited recording capabilities the balance and tonal quality are not quite adequately realized. To this I have to say—wow! You mean it gets better than this? The ensemble demonstrates outstanding pitch, blend, and balance at all times along with wonderful musical lines. Does it sound like a modern engineered recording?   Of course it doesn't. But when one listens to the exquisite display of musicianship (And yes, gasp! There are a few minor flaws.), they get a very real sense of what a quintet should sound like. This is a recording that I will willingly stick in the hands of my students, as it gives them a real concept of what the true ensemble sound and approach is about. My biggest hope is that the marking of “Volume 1” means there are many more to follow. Bravo!
~Tim Olt, Bowling Green State University

Heroes–Music for Brass CD recording performed by The Flexible Brass and conducted by Kerry Turner. Phoenix Music. 15.90 euros.

If you enjoy brass ensemble music (as well you should), it would behoove you to make a visit to this website and check out the sound samples offered from this CD. On the case cover “program” there is also a helpful key to publisher information for all the works performed. From the cover artwork, to the picture on the CD itself, to the brochure insert, the whole package is beautifully presented.

Kerry Turner, composer/conductor/vocalist, is a native Texan and has gained international fame both as a composer and as a member of the American Horn Quartet. The Flexible Brass, founded in 1995, consists of professionals from Dutch, German, and Belgian orchestras and ensembles.

The compositions on this CD date from 1984 to 1997 and all are extremely diverse and programmatic. The namesake track,Heroes , is a three-movement, large ensemble work, which portrays Sir Ernest Shackleton, St. Stephen, and Amelia Earhart. You can almost hear them saying, “brr,” “ouch,” and “I thought you had the compass” respectively.

Seriously, with the breadth and diversity of a large ensemble and added effects from three capable percussionists, Mr. Turner is able to achieve a huge success on this CD. Performing groups range from traditional brass quintet through octet, past double quintet to thirteen brass plus percussion. Kudos can go to the recording engineers and players for the fact that balance is never an “issue.” From top to bottom there is truly excellent balance and interplay between voices throughout. Articulations and tone are so well matched that melodies and “pointillistic” accompaniment figures flow seamlessly throughout the group.

The works themselves take us on a whirling travelogue from the ice floes of Antarctica, to Morocco, Scotland, the plains of Texas, to the Erie Canal, and more. Each is successful in its own way of portraying a scene or message intended, and, in the future, you'll probably be able to hear a piece and say, “ahh, sounds like Kerry Turner,” for the gentleman has a distinct, uplifting, and satisfying signature sound. A most excellent CD addition to anyone's collection!
~Phillip C. Black, Wichita State University, Wichita Symphony

Echoes CD recording featuring the tuba and euphonium ensemble music of Sy Brandon and Mark Scott. Emeritus Recordings, P.O. Box 204, Wrightsville, Pa. 17368-0204, USA. (717) 252-3385; ; 2006. 54:42. $15.

This Emeritus recording of tuba and euphonium ensemble music features the compositions of Sy Brandon (professor emeritus from Millersville University) with one piece by composer Mark Scott (trombone and composition student at the University of North Texas). In general, the six works on this CD are well played and offer a variety of tonal and tonally ambiguous music for tuba and euphonium ensemble.

Brandon's Echoes is the title track of the CD and is performed by the Crimson Ensemble. The instrumentation is eight-part double euphonium (or trombone) choir. In this piece, Brandon makes use of antiphonal writing, a contrasting adagio section, and echoes while using tonal harmonies. In Remembrance, September 11, 2001 Brandon takes advantage of programmatic themes and includes both meditative and rhythmic themes to create a well-rounded and thoughtful composition, here performed very well by the Euphoria Quartet. 

The Suite Francaise Moderne is an interesting four-movement work for four euphoniums and two tubas. Throughout this suite, there are technical challenges for both the euphonium and tuba players; this work is performed well by the University of Arkansas Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble.

Mark Scott's Delights and Dangers for euphonium quartet was inspired by a Bernstein lecture titled “The Delights and Dangers of Ambiguity” and emphasizes tonal and harmonic ambiguity in mind. Performed very well by the University of North Texas Euphonium Quartet, this piece begins with a slower movement highlighting captivating harmonies followed by a lively section featuring driving rhythms. Brandon's Recital Duets is a set of seven short pieces for two tubas ranging in both tempo and mood. Good sight-reading material for college students or recital literature, these pieces are not overly demanding but allow the performers to demonstrate their musicality. In this recording, Dr. Benjamin Pierce performs both parts with a mellow tone and expressive musicality.

Quartet for Tubas concludes this recording. In this one-movement piece, Brandon writes a lyrical andante followed by a rhythmic allegro, a return to the initial musical material in a lively tempo, a fugue in the next section, and a concluding recapitulation and coda. The modal character of the melodies and harmonies is enchanting as is Brandon's use of voicings for this ensemble (two euphoniums and two tubas). On this recording, the University of Arkansas Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble provides a nice performance with both technical accuracy and musical expressiveness.

This recording collects music written during a twenty-three year time span and seems like an archival recording based on Brandon's compositions. Although the recording quality is inconsistent and not all performers are credited on this CD,Echoes captures the energy of these live performances. In general,Echoes provides a variety of music in a variety of tuba-euphonium ensembles for both study and general listening.
~Daniel C. Johnson, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

In the Garden of the Clown CD recording featuring Krunoslav Babić (tuba) and Renata Penezić (flute). Cantus Baruna Trenka 5, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. +385 1 48 25 360; 2006. 1:01:49. $18.33.

This CD recording featuring Krunoslav Babić , tuba, and Renata Penezić, flute, is an aural adventure through a variety of duets depicting a tour through the garden of the clown. As the title indicates,In the Garden of the Clown has light-hearted overtones throughout and, although musically performed, does not take itself too seriously. The cartoon-like illustrations on the CD jacket actually belie the excellent performances of many demanding works by both Babić and Penezić with the able assistance of pianist Andrea Feitl.

Composer Igor Kuljerić wrote, “When the flute and the tuba play together, there's always a clown. I've had a peek into his garden....”

This adventure begins with Three Clownesques in three movements by Alfi Kabiljo (b. 1935). These lively movements have a dance-like quality and introduce listeners with tonal and rhythmic melodies throughout, including a light-hearted ending. Hartley's (b. 1927) three-movement Duo follows with lyrical melodies before a dance-like ending in triple time. Babić and Penezić are joined by pianist Andrea Feitl for the title track of this CD by Igor Kuljerić (b. 1938). In this single-movement piece, the tuba and flute trade melodic lines and depict both lyrical melodic lines as well as contrasting angular melodies. This piece suggests both humor and conflict before its abrupt ending.

Tomislav Uhlik's (b. 1956) three-movement The Little Girl and the Clown has a playful-sounding effect created by melodies set in a rhythmic setting. Alfred Schust's (1915—1988) four-movement Duo is a more serous-sounding piece alternating between lively allegro rhythms and lyrical andante melodies before ending with playful-sounding dotted rhythms. Renata.krunov by Mladen Tarbuk (b. 1962) is a thought-provoking duet containing dream-like ethereal as well as rhythmically driving sections. The Giraffe and the Bear by David Uber (b. 1921) is a three-movement duet featuring a playful exchange between the tuba and flute. Largely tonal and rhythmic, this duet is more accessible to listeners and evokes a carefree mood with its dance-like melodies.

Robert Jager's (b. 1939) Fantasy-Variations for tuba, flute/piccolo, and piano, concludes this CD with a series of melodic and rhythmic variations on an initial meditative theme. Although not as accessible as most of the other selections in this recording, the Fantasy-Variations offers a variety of musical settings of a recurring theme.

Croatian performers Babić and Penezić selected music by mostly Croatian composers, and introducing many American listeners to these works for tuba and flute. After graduating from the Musikhochschule in Munich, tubist Krunoslav Babić collaborated with the Bavarian Radio Symphony and is currently a member of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and the Croatian Brass Quintet. Flutist Renata Penezić is an active soloist and chamber musician is a founding member of the baroque ensemble Musica Viva.
~ Daniel C. Johnson, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Tubhonium Sketches CD recording featuring Jukka Myllys (euphonium) and Petri Keskitalo (tuba). #PMKCD-1. Recording available through the Lieksa Brass Festival. For information, email

Jukka Myllys and Petri Keskitalo have combined to create a knockout recording of tuba and euphonium duet literature. As it states in the linear notes, the first duet written for this group by Mr. Keskitalo was Tubhonium Sketch #2 in 1998. The piece was so well received that Petri began composing other works for this duet. In 2004, they decided to record many of the essential works of this duo's repertoire.

The playing on this recording is the highest quality. Both of these performers are well known for their solo careers, when they combine forces the music that they produce takes them to the next level. The energy in their playing and ensemble work has been captured beautifully. They enjoy playing this music, and it comes through in the recording.

My favorite work on the recording is Tubhonium Sketch #2 ½. It is very similar to the work that started this all,Tubhonium Sketch #2, but the rhythmic drive throughout and the tightness of the playing are virtuosic.

The only concern that I have with this recording is it will be difficult for people to find the self-produced recording, other than contacting the Lieksa Brass Festival. Hopefully a distributor will find this recording and aid in the distribution. If you can find this recording, you will not be disappointed.   
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona

Stepping Stones for Euphonium vol. 1 CD Recording featuring Pat Stuckemeyer (euphonium) and Ellen R. Bottorff (piano). Potenza Music #PM1002. ; $15.

Pat Stuckemeyer has seen a need in the recording literature of the euphonium and has begun to fill the need with his second recording, Stepping Stones for Euphonium vol. 1. One of the teaching tools frequently utilized with inexperienced performers involves giving them recordings of the pieces they are studying. This can serve as a reference for interpretation as well as exposure to a characteristic sound of the instrument. Mr. Stuckemeyer's interpretation and sound are both good examples on this recording. A recording also provides an excellent opportunity to discover how the accompaniment coordinates with the solo.

Many of the standard works in the tuba/euphonium literature are available in commercial recordings; however, the introductory pieces that a young musician prepares are not typically found in recorded repertoire. Recordings of student pieces occasionally exist but are not readily available. Any of these introductory works that have been recorded are generally on vinyl, which is quickly becoming outdated. Young musicians need recordings of these works to study while developing a quality sound and an understanding of musical concepts. Mr. Stuckemeyer has chosen works that are commonly performed by the younger musician. There are fifteen solos included on this disc for all talent levels.

It should be mentioned that not only is Mr. Stuckemeyer an accomplished euphonium performer, but he is also a very successful composer/arranger. I think the statement by Paul Droste in the linear notes sums up this great recording best:

“What a wonderful teaching tool this is for studio teachers who are always looking for good literature, along with good-recorded examples. Like the Arban book, this recording will be in the euphonium players' library for many years.”
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona


Also Sprach Arnold Jacobs: A Developmental Guide for Brass Wind Musicians compiled by Bruce Nelson. Polymnia Press. Wind Song Press Limited P.O. Box 146, Gurnee, IL 60031-0146. (847) 223-4586; 2006. 104 pages. $22.95.

When M. Dee Stewart's book Arnold Jacobs: The Legacy of a Master came out twenty years ago, there was much excitement over the publication of a book concerning the greatest brass teacher this country has ever seen. The excitement was somewhat tempered when we realized that, valuable though the book is, it was primarily reminiscences of Mr. Jacobs rather than an explication of his methods and his teaching. Brian Frederiksen's Song and Wind took a big step in that direction, but now with Bruce Nelson's book, we finally have, mostly in Mr. Jacob's own words, a printed version of Mr. Jacobs' teaching.

This is not a book to read curled up in front of the fireplace. It is not narrative in style. Mr. Nelson, formerly the bass trombonist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Grant Park Symphony, has scoured tapes of Mr. Jacobs' master classes and his own lessons with Mr. Jacobs to lay out the master's philosophy and application of teaching brass playing in his own words. Finishing a paragraph, you find yourself thinking about earlier statements, and trying to synthesize them in your mind. At times, it's like some of those “business stores” in the mall, selling framed versions of platitudes like “Whether you think you can, or think you can't—you're right.” These are more than platitudes, though, and some are in boldface, such as my favorite: “Breathe to expand: don't expand to breathe.” I was lucky enough in the 1970s and 80s to spend ten years studying with Mr. Jacobs, and with every sentence in this book, I could actually hear his voice intoning these words.

There are six chapters, with headings of “Concepts Fundamental to Development,”“Mental Controls,” “The Vibrating Embouchure,” “Breathing,” “Articulating,” and “Practicing and Performing.” There is, of course, overlap in materials, but that is hardly a problem. A salient feature of Mr. Jacobs' teaching was to repeat concepts in slightly different ways, knowing that surely one of those ways would get through even the thickest of skulls (yours truly). There are also two appendices, one a reprint of part of Mr. Frederiksen's Song and Wind dealing with the use of breathing devices and the other a reprint of the exercises that Mr. Jacobs wrote for publication in the Hal Leonard Advanced Band Method for Tuba. This is one of the very few items that Mr. Jacobs published, and its inclusion here, although the method book is still available, adds to the value of this volume.

All in all, Mr. Nelson is to be thanked for his achievement. Mr. Jacobs' thoughts are finally accessible in printed reference form, and, whether you are a teacher or a student, you must own this book. It is one that you will rely on for years to come.
~Michael Short, Drake University

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