Dear Editor,

The news article in the Spring, 2002 issue of the ITEA Journal entitled “Perry, Iowa hosts the 23rd Annual William Bell Memorial Tuba Day” is gratifying to all of us who are former students and admirers of Mr. Bell. His importance in the history of the tuba cannot be overstated. For many years Mr. Harvey Phillips was virtually the only person making sure Mr. Bell’s name was introduced to each new generation of tuba players (e.g. TUBACHRISTMAS) . inline_738_https://archive.iteaonline.org/members/journal/29N4/29N4img/williambell.jpg
William BellIt is wonderful to see all the interest in him over the past few years. As a graduate student at Indiana University, I was pleased to accompany Mr. Phillips to Perry, Iowa in May of 1979 when he organized the first memorial to Mr. Bell. I made a photograph (pictured with this letter) of the approximately seventy-five players who participated in the service and installation of a commemorative plaque on his gravestone. The Ed Sauter arrangement of Come Sweet Death was performed at the service by the grave. Later in the day, a band concert was held, and it featured Harvey on the piccolo part to The Stars and Stripes Forever as played many times by Mr. Bell. I thought your readers might be interested in seeing how many current teachers and performers they might identify in this photograph.

Sincerely, Garnett R. Davis
Adjunct Professor of Tuba and Euphonium
Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

William Bell Memorial Service and Concert May 19, 1979 Perry, Iowa(Sponsored by T he Harvey Phillips Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with the City of Perry and T.U.B.A.)

A Response from the Editor:

Many thanks to G .R. Davis , a long-time member of our Association and a great teacher and proponent of the euphonium and tuba. Professor Davis has generously donated the photo that appears with this column to the ITEA Archives . As noted elsewhere in this issue of the Journal, the Fall, 2002 issue will feature a tribute to Mr. Bell in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth next December.

If any other readers have photographs, written materials, correspondence, programs from early ITECs or other meetings, etc. that would be of historical significance to our A ssociation, we would deeply appreciate their following Professor Davis’ example of generosity by donating those materials to the Archives . Such materials are carefully preserved for the posterity of the Association and are invaluable to researchers. Just look back through the history columns edited by Craig Kridel and Cliff Bevan and imagine how many questions might have been answered easily had records of some nature been preserved along with some of the “mystery” artifacts that we get to read about. Contact ITEA Archivist, Carole Nowicke via any of the means given with her name on page two of this issue of the Journal if you think you might have something of interest.


If you would like to send a letter to the editor, please write to: Jason R. Smith School of Music Ohio University Athens, OH 45701 USA Phone: (740) 593-1620 E-mail: smithj 10@ohio.edu