ITEA Notes: The Presdient’s Corner Skip Gray, President
Super people doing great things!
Being a member of ITEA isn’t just “joining another club or organization.” It is the conscious effort to connect with other people who care about the tuba and euphonium and, collectively, work together to make a difference. This past May at the 2002 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina four people were honored with ITEA Lifetime Achievement Awards because of their significant lifetime contributions to the tuba-euphonium world. The ITEA Lifetime Award is the highest honor that the organization confers, and the recipients were Roger Bobo, Rex Conner, John Williams, and Willy Kurath. You can read the award citations in this issue of the Journal. It was a great evening and I am certain that the accomplishments of these four great men will be remembered for years to come. Through their achievements each has made an extremely significant impact in advancing the tuba and euphonium.
As 1 read through the citations again I carmot help but think about all of the people who are presently devoting a great deal of time to help the International Tuba-Euphonium Association and its primary goal of promoting our instruments. This is an important time for the association. There are a number of super people doing great things. The projects underway will undoubtedly bring about great things for you, the members of ITEA. I would like to mention a few of those endeavors and acknowledge the effort and time being given to move things forward.
A new program endorsed last year by the ITEA Executive Committee is the “Tuba-Euphonium Legacy Project.” This is an effort to document the achievements of an outstanding euphoniumist or tubist from the past on a compact disc and distribute the disc to each member of the association. The first volume of the project is forthcoming with the Spring Journal and the topic is Rich Matteson. As a jazz artist and educator Rich did things never before accomplished on the euphonium and tuba. Over the past summer, Marcus Dickman has worked closely with Rich’s widow, Mikki, to assemble a chronology of performances that portray his artistic legacy. I am sure that you will appreciate Marc’s work to “bring Rich back to life” for all of us.
A very important milestone that will take place in 2003 is the thirtieth anniversary of the First International Tuba Conference and Symposium hosted by Harvey Phillips in Bloomington, Indiana. Scott Watson and Dan Perantoni have organized a day of tribute to this event as well as the incredible substance of Harvey’s work and accomplishment that will take place on Saturday, May 31. Further details about this may be found on the next page.
Over the years, TUBA/ITEA lost track of one of its central themes for helping as many tuba and euphonium players as possible at the local level – Regional Conferences. Bob Spevacek has organized an excellent schedule of Regional Conferences taking place throughout 2003 that will be affordable and give many who have the desire to be involved with ITEA the opportunity to do so.
If you have taken a cybertrip to “www.iteaonline.org” lately, you have encountered big changes to the organization’s web site with even more to come. Site Coordinator, David Werden, has done a great job in bringing the site up to date. A key, immediate goal also has been to establish a strong pedagogical resource on the site for members and Michael Fischer has made substantial progress at beginning to build the new “ITEA Teaching and Learning Center.” Overseeing the entire effort is ITEA Publications Coordinator, Jim Shearer, who has provided a continual source of energy, inspiration, and vision.
ITEA is coming out of an unprecedented period in its history with three consecutive years of International Conferences. The hosts, John Griffiths in Regina, Harri Lidsle in Finland, and Dennis Askew and Bart Collins in Greensboro all made large personal sacrifices in order to organize and realize ITECs that were very successful. They truly gave up a piece of their lives for the betterment of tuba and euphonium players and we all owe them much gratitude. Dennis Askew is continuing to assist with planning in the role of Conference Coordinator, and he is presently working closely with Janos Mazura in Budapest laying the groundwork for ITEC 2004.
Euphonium Coordinator Gail Robertson is making the transition into her newly appointed position of Membership Coordinator where she is working with the Executive Committee to develop new programs that reach out to new members as well as those who have been members in the past. Mark Nelson has been assisting with membership recruitment and, over the past few months, he has sent out hundreds of letters and membership forms to college and university professors throughout North America citing the growing benefits of joining ITEA. There is also a new high school director membership incentive drive that was initiated this past December. In this new program, high school directors who join ITEA will receive an added bonus of the new “Tuba-Euphonium Quartet Starter Kit (Grade 3-4).”
I would also like to give my thanks to all the members of the ITEA Executive Committee and new Journal Editor, Jason Smith, for their continuing hard work, guidance, and selfless dedication to promoting the players and instruments of the tuba and euphonium family.