On December 14, 1972, an organizational meeting was held in Chicago at the Mid-West National Band and Orchestra Clinic with about fifty people in attendance. Interim officers were appointed to assist in the structuring of the North American Chapter of TUBA (Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association) and to assist in planning for the First International Tuba Symposium-Workshop to be held in Bloomington, Indiana at Indiana University, May 22 – 26, 1973. As we prepare to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of TUBA (ITEA), it is interesting to observe the issues that were of concern 40 years ago. The following “editorial” was included in the first ever “special organizational issue” of the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association Newsletter, March, 1973, page one, by R. Winston Morris, then Publications Coordinator. This was the first official communication with future TUBA members.
Eddie Sauter, 1914-1981
“To Reshape the Image . . .”
As surely as the 1960s can be labeled “the Golden Age of Percussion,” the 1970s will be regarded as “the Golden Age of the Tuba.” What we are involved with in this respect is much more important than any individual aspirations or ambitions. We are dealing with nothing less than the “image” of our instrument and ourselves. The accomplishments of the very best of our ranks demand proper recognition and serious respect from all the music world. If we are concerned about the art of tuba playing, if we are serious about ourselves as musicians, if we can establish the image of artists of the first order comparable with performers on more “established” instruments, then, it will be difficult for a leading American composer to state that he would consider a concerto for “almost every instrument except the tuba.” It will be inappropriate and proof of ignorance for music critics to refer to the tuba as the “belcher of the band,” as a “non-paper trained elephant, lion or hippo,” or as a “musical curiosity.” It will be difficult for manufacturers not to consider our advice when designing new instruments, and it will be difficult for publishers not to seek out and produce the best literature possible for the tuba.
When J .S. Bach died in 1750, the baroque period went with him. When William J. Bell died in August, 1971, a tremendous void was created in the tuba world. The collective, creative efforts of the tuba fraternity must operate with maximum efficiency in order to help fill this void. One of our most respected members recently stated that there was less jealousy among tubists than any other group of instrumentalists and that he “never met a tuba player he didn’t like.” This kind of spirit exemplifies the camaraderie necessary for the success of a tuba fraternity.
Perhaps still pertinent today, the “editorial” continued:
Finally, the mundane matter of dues! Simply, dues will help finance tuba commissions, special publications vital to the tuba family, a regular report of all activities of interest to tubists by means of a newsletter, future symposia, research projects and surveys, membership rosters and whatever else the membership deems appropriate. In short, dues will help to “reshape the image. . .”
Of further potential interest and sometimes a continuing redundant conversation, a second “mini-editorial” appeared on page 9:
ARE TUBISTS EXCEPTION TO RULE 1.13.2?
Tubaists or Tubists is the question. The answer is not easy and not definitive. In an effort to justify “tubists” (an admitted prejudicial position) the orthographical section of Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (based on Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, an accepted authority for American usage) was consulted. On page 1188, rule number 1.13.2 states: “Nouns ending in a vowel when adding one of the suffixes –esque, -ism, -ist usually remain unchanged especially if the base word is short and the final vowel is essential to its recognition.” “Tuba” is a noun: it ends with a vowel; therefore, “tubaist!”
R. Winston Morris
Orthography is not an exact science; in fact there are usually as many exceptions to be considered as there are rules. It is interesting that a specific exception noted to the above rule concerns a musical instrument: “cello – cellist.” An etymologist’s (notice the “y” was dropped from etymology) approach to this problem would be to seek out sufficient precedent of similar terms to establish a consistency of usage. Therefore, the following specific examples from Webster’s are offered as precedents: “oboe – oboist”, “flute” – flutist”, “trombone – trombonist”, “cello – cellist” and, more directly, “viola – violist.” Therefore, “tuba – tubists”!
The rest of the Newsletter presented an application to join TUBA, information on the Chicago, December 1972 meeting, a proposed constitution, an appeal by the late great Ray Young for all euphoniumists to become members of and support the ideals of TUBA, and applications and information on the First International Tuba Symposium-Workshop. For some real perspective, it is interesting to note that the “tuition fee” to attend the Symposium was $75.00!!! Indiana University really racked up the dough ($$$) by charging an outrageous housing fee for those attending the Symposium that averaged $4.00 per night. That’s four dollars that today gets you a gallon of gas in the US.
Following the “special organizational” March, 1973 “Newsletter,” the first official TUBA Newsletter, VOL I, No. 1, Fall 1973, was produced. Page 11 of this publication included the Eddie Sauter arrangement of “Come, Sweet Death!” This was the beginning of the continuing “ITEA Gem Series” of arrangements/compositions included in the ITEA Journal. Here is the statement issued with the release of this special arrangement:
Immediately following the May 26 business meeting of T.U.B.A. at the F.I.T.S.W., perhaps the single most beautiful event of the week took place. The night before, Eddie Sauter agreed to do a transcription of Come, Sweet Death! in memory of the late William J. Bell. Bloomington, Indiana is not noted for beautiful weather (as any I.U. grad will tell you) but on May 26 Indiana came through with the perfect day. Some 60-80 members who had their instruments handy following the meeting gathered on the lawn in front of the new I.U. Musical Arts Center and performed this beautiful arrangement of one of Mr. B’s favorite melodies (eg: Air and Bouree) for the CBS cameras. Don Butterfield conducted as he has never conducted, and if tuba playing has never sounded exalted before, you can bet your favorite Helleberg that they did on May 26, 1973! Mr. Sauter has generously assigned the rights to this transcription to T.U.B.A. and we offer it in this issue and recommend its use at every gathering of tubists henceforth.
For those not familiar with Eddie Sauter you can “google” his name. Recently Mr. Jesse Chavez, formerly tubist with the Synergy Brass Quintet, upon request produced an engraved version of the manuscript copy of Come, Sweet Death! We hereby, circa forty years later, make this very special arrangement available for everyone. You can actually hear the original performance on the CD reissue of “Bill Bell and His Tuba” (note that the track number is incorrect on the CD; it should be track 13) available from the Harvey Phillips Foundation.