Association News: New Life Member Benefits

At its October 7 meeting, the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors approved a new benefit program for Life Members of the Association. Our Life Members have made a significant financial commitment to our Association that has gone largely unrecognized. Current and new Life Members will receive:

• a 50% discount on registration at ALL ITEA Conferences (both international and regional)

• a 10% discount on all purchases from the Tuba/Euphonium Press

• a lapel pin designed exclusively for Life Members

• a commemorative Life Member coin suitable for display

• continued receipt of the print version of the ITEA Journal each quarter

There will be Life Member receptions at all international and regional ITEA conferences in the future as well. We look forward to seeing our Life Members at these gatherings.

If you have been considering life membership in ITEA, we are also offering a choice of payment plans to make this membership classification more accessible. One may, of course, pay the $1,000 fee in a lump sum, but other options include paying four yearly installments of $250 or twenty monthly installments of $50.

As of October, 2013, there are 111 Life Members of the Association. We are always happy to welcome more Life Members. If you have questions about Life Membership, contact ITEA Executive Director Scott Hanson at

New Hires

Matthew Mireles Dr. Matthew Mireles is currently Temporary Assistant Professor – Director of Bands/Low Brass at Cameron University in Lawton, OK. He is also on faculty at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI. As a euphonium soloist, Dr. Mireles was the winner of the 2008 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Competition, the 2007 Mid-Texas Symphony Young Artist Competition, and the University of Alabama Concerto-Aria Competition. His debut album, entitled Prometheus, will feature premiere euphonium recordings of works composed by John Stevens. As a chamber musician, Dr. Mireles plays first euphonium in the Boreas Quartet, which will soon release its first album entitled The Serpent’s Kiss. The recording will feature music composed by Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Bolcom, Mozart, Bach, and Ewazen, all newly arranged for tuba quartet. Dr. Mireles received his DMA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His major teachers include John Stevens, Demondrae Thurman, Lee Hipp, Mark Hetzler, and Scott Teeple.

Awards and Honors

Andreas Martin Hofmeir Wins ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year Award

In a first in the history of the German ECHO Klassik, as well as for similar competitions, tubist Andreas Martin Hofmeir has won the “Instrumentalist of the Year” category, the most coveted trophy in the German classical music scene. This landmark achievement is all the more astonishing given Hofmeir’s proficiency in multiple genres. The 35-year-old is also the tubist in the Bavarian cult band LaBrassBanda, one of the currently most requested pop bands in the country, along with several other cabaret artists holding multiple awards (including the Passauer Scharfrichterbeil prize). He earned the ECHO Klassik prize with his first solo album Uraufnahmen, which is published under the record label GENUIN, and exclusively contains first recordings of works composed specifically for him. The album was developed in cooperation with the winner of the Deutsches Musikwettbewerb Composition Contest. At the ECHO award ceremony on October 6th, which he attended along with other classical stars such as Martha Argerich, Jonas Kaufmann and Sol Gabetta, Hofmeir performed live with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.

Andreas Martin Hofmeir

Hofmeir was born in Munich and has become arguably among the most eclectic and interesting musicians of his time. With his tuba, the former fellow of the Berlin and Munich Philharmonic not only became one of the youngest professors at the Mozarteum Salzburg, but also scored a victory for his instrument as a soloist as the winner of the 2005 Deutsches Musikwettbewerb, and now this year with the ECHO Klassik Award. In a continuation of his solo appearances with orchestra, he will debut with the Munich Philharmonic in March 2014.

Other pioneering achievements include Hofmeir’s work with solo harpist Andreas Mildner of the Cologne WDR Symphony Orchestra, with whom he established the world’s first tuba-harp duets, which he performed at the Ludwigsburg Castle Festival as well as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Their duet CD Why not? was released under GENUIN in June of this year.

Hofmeir’s career as a pop musician is just as successful: he was named the “Winner of Hearts” with LaBrassBanda, and the band stormed to the top 10 list of the German charts with their third album Europa, which is on the Sony record label. On their Europa 2013 tour, their live concerts were seen by a whopping 30,000 listeners.

Hofmeir has also enjoyed a career on stage as a cabaret artist for 15 years. He’s written and directed thirteen programs, all of them winning awards such as the coveted Passauer Scharfrichterbeil award. He’s currently touring Germany with the cabaret reading “Kein Aufwand!”


Humboldt Brass Chamber Music Workshop: Composition Contest

Humboldt State University is holding a composition contest which complements its annual Brass Chamber Music Workshop. The contest, in its eleventh year, has received entries from dozens of composers from different backgrounds, experience levels, and countries. Winners receive cash prizes. This year’s top cash prize is US$2000. Contest particulars, including submission directions and guidelines are available at This year’s contest seeks compositions for brass sextet ( – 2 trumpets (cornets, flugelhorns), horn (in F), trombone, euphonium, and tuba. Submission deadline is February 1, 2014.

Upcoming Events

Jon Sass Leads Low Brass Courses in Austria

In October and November, Jon Sass will be holding three and five-day seminars for tuba, euphonium, trombone, and bass trombone at the GEA AKADEMIE in Schrem, Austria. Participants will focus on fundamental techniques and solo and ensemble playing through group and private instruction. There will be great diversity in the low brass literature that is utilized, including classical, jazz, and other popular music styles and some of Sass’ own music. At the end of the seminar, there will be a short closing concert performed by the participants. All the courses in the past years have been serious fun and internationally well attended. The expansion of the resources at the GEA AKADEMIE has made for a great musical experience in a great environment. More week-long courses will be available in 2014. For more information, visit

Jon Sass

VALVE.BRASS.MUSIC Exhibition in Musikinstrumenten-Museum Berlin

When, in a letter to the Prussian king Frederick William III dated December 1814, the military musician Heinrich Stölzel described his invention, the world of music could not yet foresee the revolution valves in brass instruments would bring about in the next 200 years of music history. It was not just a technical refinement but also a tonal and sociocultural development in brass instruments, which continues to the present day.

VALVE.BRASS.MUSIC Exhibition in Musikinstrumenten-Museum Berlin Opening with examples of Stölzel’s design with a piston valve from the early 19th century, the VALVE.BRASS.MUSIC Exhibition presents the many different styles in over 150 precious and rare instruments. One highlight is the bass tuba in F by Johann Gottfried Moritz from 1838/1840, which, with its five Berlin piston valves, is the oldest surviving tuba.

The opening on Dec 6th, 7 p.m., will present a concert of Phil Blech, the brass ensemble of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Anton Mittermayr. The program includes compositions of Mozart, Verdi, Mussorgsky, Strauss, and Wagner. The exhibition runs from December 6, 2013 to April 27, 2014.

For further information and images please contact Bettina Rippert ( or Christian Breternitz (, who is curator of the exhibition.

Just for Fun

Elizabeth Eshelman will be writing a regular column entitled “I Like Big Brass and I Cannot Lie: Confessions from the Tuba World” for the blog McSweeney’s Internet Tendency ( as a result of receiving an honorable mention in McSweeney’s annual column contest. The first installment appeared on September 26. Check for new installments every three to four weeks, or follow her on Twitter (@eaeshelman) for links to the column.

“Flight of the Bumblebee” World Record

For many years, the world record for the fastest performance of Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” remained unchallenged. Jörg Wachsmuth, solo tubist with the Dresden Philharmonic, recently played the piece on a giant tuba in less than 54 seconds. The previous record for the fastest performance stood at 54.24 seconds, achieved by British violinist Ben Lee. Originally the piece was intended to last three minutes. Wachsmuth played the piece in 53.82 seconds. The particular challenge for Wachsmuth was that he wanted to break the record on a gigantic tuba. With a weight of 50 kilograms and a height of 2.05 meters, it’s quite an epic instrument. With 20 meters of tubing, the tube length on it is twice as long as that of a normal tuba. The instrument is a custom design from makers in the Vogtland region. It was built in 2010 and is on display in the Museum of Music in Markneukirchen, Germany.

Jörg Wachsmuth