In the prior ITEA Journal (Summer 2012), R. Winston Morris addressed the birthday of TUBA/ITEA as an organization and presented a reprint of his editorial that first appeared in the “special organizational issue” of the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association newsletter in March 1973. At this point we will begin to address the history of the organization from its conception up to that recent birthday. This article commences a series of history features to be published in the ITEA Journal as part of a large project to document the history of the organization.
Robert Ryker (2011)
As will be addressed in more detail in a future article, there are many people and events that led to the initial formation of the TUBA. But the establishment of an identifiable organization with a specific focus on facilitating communication among tuba players was undertaken by Robert Ryker,  starting in 1968, and that organization was given the name Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association.
While initial support for the new organization was not unanimous, it was enthusiastic, and within a few years the size of the organization, along with the burdens and costs of administering it, far exceeded the initial plans of Mr. Ryker and his colleagues. In an October, 1970 letter to the Executive Advisory Council, Mr. Ryker identifies that there were then over 250 members; by the date of a 1971 invitation to prospective new members Mr. Ryker identifies there were then well over 300 members.
Printed below is the first portion of a report from Mr. Ryker dated October 1972. This portion provides Mr. Ryker’s comments as to the past and present; these comments predate Winston’s editorial from March 1973 and set the stage for the changes needed to transform the association as it then existed into a more sustainable form.
T.U.B.A.: PAST, PRESENT, AND PROJECTED
One, no, two substantial problems have gradually assumed proportions sufficient to bring all of the growth and activities of T.U.B.A. to a halt, and to threaten the life of the organization. Time, and money.
The raison d’ ê tre of T.U.B.A.
T.U.B.A. does owe a debt of esprit to the tuba fraternity of McSorley’s Ale House, true; but it was more significantly the fruition of the growing realization by so many members of our speciality that we lack the advantages of the cross-fertilization which takes place
with such ease and frequency in other specialities, among other instrumentalists. In the symphonic field other musicians have daily opportunities to share their experiences, to compare schools of technique, to keep abreast the developments in pedagogy, publishing and manufacturing in their specializations. The tubist certainly benefits from his association with other brass players of his orchestra and from the occasional visits he enjoys with tubists from other orchestras (of other cities), but how much he needs the same ease of communication which is common to other instrumentalists!
To be perfectly fair we are not the only instrumentalists in an analogous situation, and the many more tubists in the band field are not so isolated as their orchestral colleagues, but the principle of relative insularity does remain. The lifeline which we so badly need
is the essence of T.U.B.A., a simple matter of communication. In fact the heart of the organization must be the mailing list and the newsletter: one to enable us to communicate with our colleagues individually and the other to enable us to communicate with our colleagues generally.
Originally funds were provided for T.U.B.A.’s organizational infancy by three instrumental manufacturers in a gesture of heartwarming support. [Author’s note- the sponsors were the Mirafone Corporation, the Conn Corporation, and the Getzen Company.] This support was on the order of several hundred dollars. Four years afterward our card files contain the names of now over one thousand tubists around the world. No one at the time envisaged an organization on such a scale, and none of us were prepared for the tremendous enthusiasm of so many of the key individuals. The funds which went so far originally now would cover only the cost of postage on one mailing. With the perception of hindsight, we know that we were wrong to conceive of the organization of T.U.B.A. without any financial onus on the members who would thereby benefit .
Secondly, the letters which have been received from enthusiastic tubists of every part of the world have been filled with fascinating observations and information of all kinds. What a wealth of source material for our newsletter, the vital link of the organization! My original thought that the person responsible for editing that newsletter should have direct access to this valuable information.
Again hindsight has revealed our error — we were thinking too small. The coordination of information and its distribution through the newsletter is a job which requires a capable person to do only that. Material of interest should be directed to him, and he should be highly visible for this purpose. The role is so vital to T.U.B.A. that he must have time to give the newsletter first priority.
Those responsible for administration in any organization may be identified by a variety of titles, e.g. president, vice-chairman, secretary, treasurer, editor, and so on, but their function is to coordinate the related elements in several defined areas: people, money, information, and activities. We might even call them membership coordinator, financial coordinator, communications coordinator, and executive coordinator. Regardless, each function must be provided for in T.U.B.A. as in any organization, and none must be allowed to suffer from time and attention given to any other.
T.U.B.A. grew completely beyond the simple administrative provisions which we originally made.
Our colleagues, overworked secretaries and I have all been acutely aware of the urgent need for a restructuring of the organization of T.U.B.A. since the middle of 1969. At that time we could no longer keep abreast the acknowledgements to new tubists presenting themselves for membership. At the same time we were attempting to cross-index all of the valuable references in the letters we received for purposes of the newsletter, and we were attempting to further promote the growth of T.U.B.A. through planning significant projects on both a regional and international basis. We simply could not satisfy the needs of all of these functional areas simultaneously with the time and resources available.
I have long wanted to diversify our organization both functionally and regionally so that more productive activity could take place – with the more involved participation of more of us — yet without sacrificing the tremendous advantages of the worldwide character of T.U.B.A.
The Constitution Committee
To this end I received a mandate from a regional meeting of T.U.B.A. in Chicago two years ago to convene a President’s committee to draft and present a constitution defining the purposes, the functions, and the Activities of T.U.B.A. This committee met at Ball Sate University in Muncie, Indiana (U.S.A.) for three days in the spring. Their work was done exceedingly well. A draft of their recommendations was sent to each of our honorary members and to those who had been proposed for coordinating roles in the organization, for their reactions and further advice. Nine of the eighteen members of the advisory council responded, and their responses were completely supportive.
The proposed constitution contains provisions for dues, geographical regions, election processes, and a diversified executive with responsibilities for membership, finances, newsletters, resource centres, and annual workshops.
It was essential that these fundamental organizational concepts be the creation of a representative group rather than the inspiration of any individual. Now they must be considered and endorsed by the membership at large.
With those thoughts, Robert Ryker set the stage for the transition of the association. In the remainder of the report Mr. Ryker provides a remarkably prescient vision for the organization and for a successor to move the association toward that vision. The remainder of the report, as well as the work of the constitution committee, will be addressed in the next issue.
Call for Photographs, Videos, or Recordings from the First International Tuba Symposium and Workshop in Bloomington, IN, 1973.
As part of our documentation of the history of T.U.B.A./I.T.E.A, we are seeking any photographs, videos, or recordings from the 1973 Tuba Symposium in Bloomington, Indiana. There was an official photographer for that event, though to this point, to the knowledge of the author, the photographs have not been located. Additionally, there is some question about whether any of the performances/presentations may have been documented by either audio or video recordings. If you have any photographs or other media from the 1973 Symposium that you would be willing to share, please contact Mike Lynch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
 Mr. Ryker was First Tuba with the Montreal Symphony from 1960 to 1973. He currently lives in Japan, and is Music Director of both the Tokyo Sinfonia and the National Philharmonic of India.