Tubonium6 in Review
by Paul Budde<
Tubonium Chairperson; Gustavus Adolphus College
Tubonium6 was held at Gustavus Adolphus College on March 13–15, 2008. Our guest artists this year were Brian Bowman (euphonium), Dan Perantoni (tuba), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble under the direction of John Stevens.
Conference Host Paul Budde with Dan Perantoni, Brian Bowman, and John Stevens
I leave Tubonium6 feeling musically refreshed and renewed. Our guest artists were fantastic in every way. We were treated to wonderful master classes and clinic sessions, top-notch music making, and much camaraderie. It was such a pleasure having each of them on campus.
Summary of Events
As to be expected, our guest artists were featured in many ways throughout the weekend. My philosophy in organizing our event is to have attendees get to know our guest artists both as Musicians and as People. With that in mind, Perantoni and Bowman both performed solo recitals—they were simply superb in every way. We were treated to extraordinary musicianship above all, even despite the technical challenges that their programs presented. It was especially fun to hear the collaborative efforts that took place in these concerts, namely a tuba duet with Perantoni and Jerry Young, a trio involving Perantoni, Bowman, and Barbara Young (who accompanied both soloists as well), and another trio featuring Bowman, Perantoni, and Stevens in an arrangement that Stevens did specifically for Tubonium6. Over the course of the weekend, a theme of “demonstration as the best teacher” was heard—as such, we are all more “rich and wise” for having the chance to hear these wonderful musicians.
Euphonium Mass Master Class with Brian Bowman
The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble Concert was top-notch! John Stevens’ group featured music that was largely written or arranged by Stevens himself. Mark Carlson and Scott Roeder were featured soloists—both were terrific! The ensemble rose to the challenges of their demanding program, both when the group was featured and when they acted as accompaniment for the soloists, and left people with a rousing close to our first day of the workshop.
In addition, our guest artists each lead a master class. Bowman and Perantoni lead “Mass Master Classes” in which all participants brought horns and had the chance to play. Both clinicians shared ideas about what they do to improve the fundamentals of playing. Attendees were able to then try these ideas out for themselves as they worked together as a large group. Stevens’ master class was titled “Play Music, Not Just Notes.” In this session, Stevens discussed the many ways that he strives to express musical ideas in any piece of music, particularly tying his perspectives as a composer into the fold as he worked with two volunteers. Attendees were left with many terrific ideas to ponder from these sessions.
Euphonium Solo Competition Finalists Daniel Geldert (left, winner), Anthony Carlson, and Patrick Rich.jpg with caption:
Our guest artists also were part of a Panel Discussion Group. During this event, each shared information about their personal journeys, as they told us how they got to where they are now. Perantoni expressed how the people that he associated with over the years shaped his life and shared stories of his associations with Harvey Philips and Arnold Jacobs (among others). Bowman expressed the idea that life is about the decisions that we make and shared how the situations that he was presented with and the ensuing decisions that he made have shaped his career. Stevens discussed how he balances teaching, playing, and composing in his career, and shared how it is important to keep all aspects of one’s portfolio alive, but, that at any given point, one or another takes priority. It was a terrific chance for everyone to get to know our guests as people, and to hear what “makes them tick.”
Panel Discussion with John Stevens, Brian Bowman, and Dan Perantoni
In addition to our guest artists, we had a continuation of many annual Tubonium traditions. As usual, the Gustavus Adolphus College Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble kicked off Tubonium6. I was really proud of my crew, who performed at the workshop after only starting to rehearse in mid-February. In addition to our full ensemble pieces, we featured a student quartet playing Londonderry Air, and Hayden Kane as a soloist for our rendition of Stevens’ Dances.
Greg Beckwith leading the Instrument Repair and Maintenance Clinic
Jerry Young was the conductor for the Tubonium6 Mass Ensemble. This group rehearsed and performed three pieces as a part of the final concert. It’s always fun to hear the massive sound as a stage full of tuba and euphonium participants make music together!
Gustavus Adolphus College Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble with Guest Artists
We were also treated once again to our High School All-Star Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble in concert. This year’s group was possibly the best yet, as they possessed both wonderful talent and showed up to the first rehearsal very well prepared. It was a pleasure to work with these students along with Paul Kile, with whom I shared conducting duties for the concert.
Tubonium6 had a couple of new events as well. First, we held a recital featuring Jamie Lipton and Mark Calson, both past winners of our Tubonium Solo Competition. Lipton and Carlson presented a diverse and very challenging program and performed a top-notch recital. It was a treat to hear a “repeat performance” from our past winners! Bravo!
Jerry Young conducting the Tubonium Mass Ensemble
We also tried a Used Horn Exchange this year, with the idea of giving people who were looking to sell used instruments the chance to show their wares to interested buyers. This event was easily our least attended and will need to be re-evaluated for future years.
John Stevens in his “Play Music, Not Just Notes Clinic Session”
Finally, Greg Beckwith, head of brass repair at the Minnesota State College Southeast Technical Repair School, lead a clinic session on Instrument Repair and Maintenance. Beckwith shared information on an array of topics, including valve oils, cases, hygiene, tuning slide lubrication, and when to self-fix or send a horn in under various scenarios. Attendees had the chance to ask questions and see/hold equipment and samples that Beckwith brought with him.
John Stevens with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
Martin Meidl at the Music Mart Exhibit
This year, we had our 4th Annual Tubonium Solo Competition. Competitor registrations included participants from fifteen states this year—it’s good to see that the word is spreading! Euphonium players performed David Gillingham’s Blue Lake Fantasies, and tuba players performed Vincent Persichetti’s Serenade No. 12. We were treated to wonderful musicians once again—thanks to all involved! Congratulations to this year’s finalists and winners:
Finalists: Anthony Carlson, Daniel Geldert, and Patrick Rich
Winner: Daniel Geldert
Finalists: Paul Carlson, Brian Gallion, and Matthew Muszynski<
Winner: Matthew Muszynski
Roger Lewis at the Woodwind & Brasswind Exhibit
I am thankful to have had terrific exhibitors on site once again—thanks to Jupiter Band Instruments, J.W. Pepper Music, Minnesota State College Southeast Technical, The Music Mart, and Woodwind & Brasswind for being a part of our show!
Tuba Mass Master Class with Dan Perantoni
Comments from our Guest Artists
John Stevens:It was great to be back at Tubonium again. The facilities, organization, and low key (pardon the pun) pace of the conference make it a most pleasant and rewarding experience. The attendees and participants are a great mix of high school and college students, experienced professionals, and amateurs of all ages, making for a lively and rewarding mix of personal interaction and musical experiences. A delightful couple of days—I recommend this annual event to any and all low brass players and aficionados.
Daniel Perantoni: It was a great privilege for me to be a part of Tubonium 2008. This was one of the best-organized workshops that I have experienced to date. The attendees were a mixture of high school, college, amateurs, and professionals of all ages. The organizational skills, top-notch facilities, and especially the warm personal touches made by our host, Paul Budde, made for an exceptional workshop! I will highly recommend that everyone consider attending this annual event! I had a ball!
Paul Kile with the High School All-Star Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
Brian Bowman: I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to participate in Tubonium6. The event has a very warm and personal aura that permeates all the events as well as a very high level of participation and learning. Paul Budde does an outstanding job with organization as well as setting the comfortable mood that we all appreciate. The scheduling is well paced and the opportunities for spending time socially and personally as well as professionally are greatly appreciated. This is truly one of the best low brass events around, and I would encourage anyone, student, amateur, aficionado, or professional teacher performer to participate.
Next year, Tubonium will serve as the International Tuba-Euphonium Association (ITEA) Upper Midwest Regional Workshop. More information will can be found on our website at www.houseoflowaire.com. Be sure to check back as updates become available.
Tuba Solo Competition Finalists Brian Gallion (left), Matthew Muszynski (winner), and Paul Carlson
I hope that you’ll join us next year!