Volume 35:2 Winter 2007
Tubonium Celebrates Five Years
Paul Budde, Chairperson
This past March, Gustavus Adolphus College hosted the fifth annual Tubonium workshop. It has been a fantastic five years of inspiration, learning, camaraderie, and music making! Upon reaching the five-year milestone, I thought it would be interesting to go back to our featured guest artists and ask them to reflect on their Tubonium memories. I hope that you enjoy reading the testimonials from these fantastic musicians. I am proud to list each of them as friends of Tubonium!
Alan Baer Master Class (Tubonium5)
I hope you can join us for Tubonium6 at Gustavus Adolphus College on March 13–15, 2008. This year’s workshop will feature Brian Bowman on euphonium, Dan Perantoni on tuba, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble under the direction of John Stevens. It should be a great show!
Past Tubonium Guest Artists:
Tubonium March 2003
Euphonium Artists: Tom Ashworth and David Werden
Tuba Artists: Marty Erickson and Jerry Young
Tubonium2 March 2004
Euphonium Artist: Lance LaDuke
Tuba Artist: Patrick Sheridan
Tubonium3 April 2005
Euphonium Artists: Steven Mead, David Werden
Tuba Artists: Michael Forbes, John Manning, Scott Watson
Tubonium4 March 2006
Euphonium Artist: Mark Jenkins
Tuba Artist: Jim Self
Tubonium5 March 2007
Euphonium Artist: Benjamin Pierce
Tuba Artist: Alan Baer
Jerry Young, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire:
I have been fortunate enough to be part of four of the five Tubonium events held at Apple Valley High School and Gustavus Adolphus College. As I have participated in tuba/euphonium conferences across the U.S. and around the world for more than twenty-five years, I’m well acquainted with the things that make a successful conference. The thing that makes Tubonium stand out as a superb annual event, that keeps bringing people back each year from around the country, and that attracts top guest artists is, I think, the “up-close” / “participants matter” approach to the event. The conference is about the folks who are attending it, and the guest artists are more “facilitators” than “stars.” The youngest middle school participant can easily walk right up to Steven Mead or Marty Erickson and interact with them. The “group master class” concept (started at the fourth Tubonium) wherein EVERYONE gets to try the techniques that the masters use in their daily playing is going to be a continuing draw and one of the (several) things that really set this annual event apart. And the music industry folks who come with their wares are always friendly and informative, as they are at all such events. Paul Budde’s vision for a great annual event hearkens back to the days of the great Don Stanley days at Mansfield State University and his terrific annual events that some of the readers of this article recall. The spirit of those days is still indeed alive. Come up to Minnesota next March and experience fun, learning, and continuing innovation at Tubonium6.
Barbara Young, David Werden, and Jerry Young (Tubonium1)
Jim Self, L.A. Recording Artist
My participation at Tubonium in 2006 was a very special experience. I have done many clinic/concert engagements over the years but few have been as positive as Tubonium. When conference organizer Paul Budde asked me to be the featured tuba artist he made me feel very special by agreeing to allow me to present my compositions. He provided several excellent professional musicians to accompany me and even altered the schedule to allow me to make a flight to Europe. It allowed me to “do my thing” if you will. Paul was so well organized that I had no doubts that things would happen as planned. I was also impressed by the great acoustics in the recital hall, the high level of students and teachers who attended and general good feeling I got from everyone. For someone from California I even enjoyed the cold (but sunny) weather. Tubonium has become a “must do” experience for those in the Midwest. I wish Paul many more years of success.
Jim Self (Tubonium4)
Lance LaDuke, Duquesne University
The thing that impressed me most about Tubonium (other than the fact that the name sounds like something you should get scolded for saying) was the hands-on approach and inclusive atmosphere. It seemed to me that everyone attending and everyone involved with organizing and hosting the event was there to work and to learn. That made it very easy for me as a clinician and performer. I hope I get a chance to go back again sometime. Great job Paul!
Lance LaDuke Master Class (Tubonium2)
David Werden, University of Minnesota
I was privileged to perform at two Tuboniums, and I attended another one. I have helped to promote all 5 of the Tuboniums so far because I believe they are an amazing resource for those of us in or near the Twin Cities. In a wider sense, the thing that excites me most is that the tuba-euphonium world now has another regular event covering a region that has a ready audience. There have been a few events in the Twin Cities in the past, but now we have a recurring event we can look forward to each year. It is hard to get a new festival off to a good start, but I was pleased by what I saw from the first year. Attendance seemed healthy. Vendors were good, with several booths of interest. From a performer’s perspective, it seemed as though things ran pretty smoothly. Audience response was very good, and the venues were also quite good. There is also a “communications factor” I mentally log at events like this. It’s based on how many attendees approach performers with comments or questions. Some events seems to have a “spectator” mood—people want to listen, but don’t seem to have questions to ask or thoughts to communicate. Other events seem to have a more interactive mood – people want to get some face time with the artists. At the various Tuboniums I have attended as performer or audience member, I would rate Tubonium around a 4 on a scale of 5. That is, folks were much more active than average at talking to the various soloists and groups who performed. This speaks well for the musical interest in the Upper Midwest, I think.
David Werden in recital (Tubonium3)
Mark Jenkins, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band
My memories of Tubonium4 in 2006 are that of meeting and making a lot of good friends. Of course the music was the reason we were there but a large part of my experience with Paul Budde and the other faculty of Gustavus Adolphus College was simply visiting and enjoying each other’s company. I was very impressed with how organized the conference was and how much the students were able to participate and perform on their instruments. It was great meeting Jim Self and hearing him play. I don’t think students realize that the teachers at these conferences get as much out of performing and listening as they do. One of the main successes of Tubonium is that it brings students and professionals together from many rural and semi-rural areas of the Northern Midwest. Through my interactions with the conference attendees I found that they were all enthusiastic and willing to learn (always a big plus for teachers!). Also, in judging the Tubonium solo competition I was impressed at the high level of musicianship and technique that was exhibited by all of the competitors. Overall, Tubonium4 was a very enriching experience for me both on a musical and personal level. I had a wonderful time performing and teaching at the conference but also in meeting and working with Paul and the faculty at Gustavus Adolphus.
Mark Jenkins, Jim Self, and Paul Budde (Tubonium4)
Patrick Sheridan, UCLA and ASU
“Minnesota is where I got older. (I haven’t grown up, yet!) So, Tubonium was most special because I was home, even though I haven’t lived there for over 20 years. Paul made this event a great hang! The vibe of the conference was wonderfully friendly and informal. Minnesota is where I met Harvey Phillips, Chuck Daellenbach, Sam Pilafian and many other luminaries in the late 1970s as they passed through the Twin Cities on concert and clinic tours. Those early musical influences shaped my life. It is fantastic to see that Paul has created an annual event that brings the same kind of musical talent I experienced then to young musicians in the Upper Midwest today. Thank you so much, Mr. Budde!”
Lance LaDuke, Paul Budde, and Pat Sheridan (Tubonium2)
Ben Pierce, University of Arkansas
Tubonium is a unique and special event due to the intimacy of the events and the accessibility to the guest artists. I had a great time at Tubonium because in addition to getting to know Alan Baer, I also got to know many students. The schedule is well put-together with ample time built in for chatting with the artists and other students. The ability level of the participants ranges from beginner to professional, which makes for an experience quite different from the usual professional-geared festival. It was fun to see the younger students watch and hear the performances, wide-eyed and genuinely excited. Congrats to Paul on a great workshop. I hope to be there again in the future.”
Ben Pierce in recital (Tubonium5)
Marty Erickson, Lawrence University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
As Tubonium6 approaches, I remember with great fondness being a guest artist/clinician for Tubonium1. Paul and his volunteers put together an amazing first effort. It was well-organized, well-considered, and with an eye not only towards toward enriching the reputation of our instruments but also inspiring so many young musicians. Many don’t have the opportunity or resources to travel to ITEC events around the world. I believe that it is these kinds of well-run local events that inspire our young students. The atmosphere was friendly, welcoming and simply…fun for all. High-level performances by world-class artists continue to be the order of the day, along with competitions/clinics/master classes and much more. I congratulate Paul and his staff on their vision, their growth, and their continued desire to improve and move forward each and every year. My fondest memories have more to do with the wonderful, caring people, of getting to play in a tuba-euphonium ensemble with Ross Tolbert and other wonderful musician friends, and of being treated with such respect and interest. Can’t wait to see some of the youngest musicians performing at Tubonium20 someday!!”
Marty Erickson (Tubonium1)
Alan Baer, New York Philharmonic
I just returned last night from participating in the fifth annual Tubonium conference in Minnesota. Coming in from New York, Wow! What a breath of fresh air! I was so impressed at how organized Paul was and how smoothly this conference was run! There was plenty for all to do and see to keep all players of all levels very happy! The vendors included Tuba Dome, Blau Mutes, J.W, Pepper Music, and the Music Mart. There were lots of great instruments to try, including the most recent additions to Meinl-Weston’s line up. This was not an event where there were 30 different performers in two days, and your head is spinning after day 1. It was a few tuba ensembles, Ben Pierce, and myself, doing master classes, and of course each of us playing a solo recital. This was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of hanging with Ben and Paul; we had a great time! The facilities at the college were wonderful and most importantly, the food in the dining hall was first rate! If you’re looking for a tuba/euphonium conference to attend with plenty to do and lots of contact with the performers, this is it. Definitely worth the price of admission…I want to thank Paul Budde for having me as a soloist/clinician at the fifth annual Tubonium and wish him much success in further years to come!
Alan Baer (Tubonium5)
Ask the Experts Panel Discussion (Tubonium3)
Ben Pierce Master Class (Tubonium5)
Doug Nimmo directing the High School All-Star Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble (Tubonium3)
Jerry Young in a lesson (Tubonium4)
Jim Self Master Class (Tubonium4)
Paul Budde directing the Tubonium Mass Ensemble (Tubonium5)
Paul Budde, Alan Baer, and Ben Pierce (Tubonium5)
Paul Niemisto with the St. Olaf Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble (Tubonium5)
Roger Lewis clinic session (Tubonium5)
Ross Tolbert Master Class (Tubonium3)
Steven Mead in recital (Tubonium3)