If you would like to send a letter to the editor, please write to: Jerry A. Young Dept. of Music and Theatre Arts The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI 54702 USA Phone: (715) 836-3633 Fax: (715) 836-3952 e-mail: jyoung©uwec.edu
To the Editor:
I think it’s great that this organization is finally embracing traditional jazz tuba players. Jazz was, of course, born in New Orleans in the 1860s, and the music has since spread throughout the world. Many fine tubists perform traditional jazz and the genre is not without its heroes such as David “Red” Lehr of Saint Louis and Eli Newberger of Boston.
In the early years of jazz history, ampli-fication did not exist, so the tuba was the preferred bass instrument. A string bass would have been inaudible in most performance situations.
Traditional jazz groups continue to thrive worldwide. My own trio, Route 3 – an American Musical Journey is in the midst of a busy year in the Upper Midwest. We’re performing concerts, as well as at festivals, corporate events, and Minnesota Twins and Saint Paul Saints games.
I would love to hear from other traditional jazz tubists around the world. What kind of group are you with? Where are you performing? What repertoire are you exploring?
For too long, tubists in the jazz world have been pushed aside by amplified bass instruments. The ITEA should be a welcoming home for you tubists who perform the roots of jazz, as well as popular American music of the past.
Awaiting your reports,
To the Editor:
There’s a GOLD MINE in our midst! The annual International Tuba-Euphonium Summer Workshop held at the University of Oklahoma in June is a power-packed, exponential growth opportunity. In my thirty-five years of insurance business experience, I’ve participated in many workshops in many countries – this one is among the tops. It’s an extraordinary learning opportunity, which needs to be reported to our ITEA members as news. Close knit musicians work together long and hard, leap ahead, share precious gut- level, open/candid time with world class musicians/educators. They cut right to their instrument playing individual core issues with proven solutions… a gem of a program, a “best buy,” a “must attend” for those seeking significant playing improvement. Dr. Brian Bowman, Sam Pilafian, Deanna Swoboda, and Ted Cox and company are to be hailed for such a productive sharing of the right stuff… I’ll bet you a MAINE LOBSTER you’d agree!
Elliott Woodbury, Euphoniumist
To the Editor:
The Summer 2001 issue of the Journal contains a letter from John Taylor relating to the early history of T.U.B.A. It is always good to encounter someone with Mr. Taylor’s zeal for the organization but I must reject his label “revisionist”. I became intimately familiar with Robert Ryker’s efforts to initiate Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association when I was entrusted with all of his files relating to the association over ten years ago. Robert Ryker was a student of William Bell in New York City and was an active member of the camaraderie at McSorley’s Old Ale House where a great deal of the foundation of the organization was born. From studying the three large boxes of material, it became evident that Mr. Ryker made a valiant effort to bring tuba players together under the umbrella of a loose association that he called Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association. The existent material dating from 1966 to 1971 contains copies of correspondence between Ryker and many of the promi-nent tubists of the day. There are also membership certificates, most of which were never mailed. It is apparent that the response and demand were more than could be managed by one person. From ideological conception through his efforts in promoting the cause, Robert Ryker deserves a great deal of credit for his preliminary actions in bringing tubists together into a common association. In 2000, Mr. Ryker’s files were shipped to I.T.E.A. Historian Carole Norwicke for cataloging and deposit into the associa-tion archives. In commemoration of his early efforts, Mr. Ryker was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the organization.
The activity of Robert Ryker is credited with the scheduling of meetings between prominent tubists during the Midwest Band-Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in December of 1972. Two substantial outcomes of these gatherings included an organizational meeting for the association as well as the concept to structure a workshop-symposium that would “spawn discussions and projections of pedagogical considerations and instru-ment design, to showcase performers and literature of every musical discipline, and to bring about a ‘formal’ structure for T.U.B.A.” In May 1973, Harvey Phillips hosted the First International Tuba Symposium-Workshop in Bloomington, Indiana. During this conference, a constitution and by-laws were drafted, goals identified, officers elected, and plans developed for future symposia. During the May 1973 meetings, it was proposed and formally decided to include the euphonium as an equal component within the primary activities of the association. Thus, when we regard the current International Tuba-Euphonium Association and its founding body, Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association, it must be acknowledged that the association as it exists today was chartered and formally inaugurated in 1973. This is hardly a “revisionist” statement, but rather an accurate one.
Skip Gray, President