Paul J. Budde, Chairperson
Tubonium7 was held on April 2–4, 2009 at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. The workshop was the ITEA Upper Midwest Regional Conference, marking the second such occurrence for a Tubonium workshop. This year’s featured guest artists were Demondrae Thurman on euphonium, David Zerkel on tuba, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble under the direction of Jerry Young. This year, the workshop had a theme of “Building Bridges” throughout the workshop.
High School All-Star Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble with Demondrae Thurman
The workshop started out with the preliminary round of the Solo Competition on Thursday evening. Tuba contestants performed the excerpts of Hindemith’s Sonata for Bass Tuba and Piano in the preliminary round and Capuzzi’s Andante and Rondo from the Concerto for Double Bass for the final round. Jarrad Bittner, Ben Creswell, and Blaine Cunningham advanced to the final round, held on Saturday morning.
(L-R): David Zerkel, Paul Budde, Jerry and Barbara Young, and Demondrae Thurman
The euphonium contestants performed Barat’s Introduction and Dance in the preliminary round and Butterworth’s Partita, Op. 89 for Euphonium and Piano for the final round. Phil Giampietro, Patrick Nyren, and Matthew Shipes advanced to the final round, also held on Saturday morning.
Congratulations to Matthew Shipes (University of Arkansas) and Blaine Cunningham (University of Iowa), winners of the Tubonium7 Solo Competition!
Concerts and Clinics – Friday, April 3
Friday morning kicked off with the official opening concert by the Gustavus Adolphus College Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble under the direction of Paul Budde. The ensemble, which meets each Spring semester, performed full ensemble pieces as well as a duet performance by student Thomas Liska and chairperson Paul Budde.
Next was the premiere performance of Sweet Thunder, a tuba-euphonium quartet made up of Stephanie Frye, Jennifer Jester, Jamie Lipton, and Mary MacKinnon. The hard work in putting this performance together paid off, as the group performed splendidly with expressive and tight playing. Their dynamic performance left the audience wanting more!
Demondrae Thurman Masterclass
Next was a panel discussion group made up of Steve Campbell, Marty Erickson, John Manning, Demondrae Thurman, Jerry Young, and David Zerkel with the subject of Auditions on the table. Some important themes emerged from this experienced group, including: committee members are trying to be fair—your job is to prepare your parts to the best of your ability; play with your style, not how you think they want you to play; make sense when you play; find something that helps to put you mentally in the right place at your audition—maybe relaxing with some R&B; prepare in every way possible and then trust in your preparation—don’t be influenced by another’s interpretation on site; be a good person and a good potential colleague. This was a highly valuable clinic session full of practical and thought-provoking ideas.
After lunch, Demondrae Thurman put on the first of two Mass Masterclasses. With the use of a melodious etude, Thurman focused on the art of phrasing in this session. After playing through the etude in a literal/straight way, he solicited the attendees for ideas on what could be done to make the performance better. Many ideas were shared and explored, and the best ideas were kept as each successive phrase was added. Thurman suggested that we should always take the initiative to do something immediately with our music; don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. His ideas on musicianship will no doubt have a lasting impression on the attendees of this fine session.
Finalists for the Tubonium Solo Competition along with Guest Artists Demondrae Thurman, Jerry Young, and David Zerkel
Next up was a concert performance by the Tubonium High School All-Star Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble under the direction of Paul Budde. This select group met for the first time as an ensemble on Thursday evening, when they rehearsed both as a group and with section coaches Demondrae Thurman and David Zerkel. The concert was a great success, with many comments afterwards proclaiming this the best high school performance yet at a Tubonium workshop. Congratulations to these outstanding young musicians!
The next block featured two simultaneous happenings. First, Brian Frederiksen presented a clinic session titled The Teachings of Arnold Jacobs. Frederiksen presented video footage, photos, and personal anecdotes of his time with Mr. Jacobs. His presentation was well done and left attendees with a great deal of food for thought.
Master Class Swap
At the same time, the first of two Masterclass Swaps took place. During this time, interested studio teachers swapped studios, resulting in multiple master class sessions being held simultaneously throughout the facility. These sessions gave college student attendees the opportunity to work directly with teachers from across the country. The format worked well and will be considered strongly for future Tubonium events.
Next, David Zerkel performed his solo tuba recital, with Barbara Young on piano. Zerkel’s concert was top-notch. His tone was clear and pure throughout his performance, and his playing was both highly musical and tastefully thought out. His concert program had excellent variety, and Zerkel took the time to demonstrate and discuss his music to help the listeners to grasp what he was about to perform. Young performed wonderfully on piano as always, resulting in a terrific and memorable concert. Bravo!
After a supper break, another collaborative clinic session took place, this time on the subject of Warm-Ups and Routines. This clinic featured Josh Calkin, Jim Lyon, John Manning, and Angelo Manzo. Each member brought unique and valuable ideas to the table, exemplifying the “Building Bridges” workshop theme as they shared their thoughts and insights.
Panel Discussion with Jim Lyon, John Manning, Josh Calkin, and Angelo Manzo
The evening concluded with a jazz performance by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble BASSically Brass under the direction of Joshua Pauly and artistic direction of Jerry Young. The ensemble was accompanied by a full rhythm section from the UW-Eau Claire jazz program, all of whom were at one time members of Young’s studio. This concert was thoroughly enjoyable to listen to as this group really swung! In addition to the many outstanding student solos, Marty Erickson joined the group for a featured piece as well. Great fun!
Concerts and Clinics – Saturday, April 4
Day two of the workshop began with the Final Round of the Solo Competition. While the solo competition has already been summarized, I would like to take the time to thank and congratulate all of the competitors. This year, we had participants from Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. It was a treat to listen to these outstanding musicians.
Following the competition was the third and final collaborative clinic session, titled The Art of Ensemble Playing. This workshop featured Steve Campbell, Marty Erickson, Jim Lyon, and John Manning who shared their wisdom on the importance of truly being a part of a group.
Next was the first of two Collaborative Recitals. This concert featured outstanding playing by Gary Bird, Brian Borovsky, Josh Calkin, Steve Campbell, Marty Erickson, Stephanie Frye, Daniel Geldert, Jamie Lipton, Jim Lyon, John Manning, Angelo Manzo, Stephen Oberheu, and Chuck Wazanowski as well as the St. Olaf Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble under the direction of Paul Niemisto. It was a treat to hear these solo and chamber performances as another aspect of the “Building Bridges” theme.
David Zerkel followed this concert with the second of the Mass Masterclasses. In his session, Zerkel focused on the fundamentals of quality playing. In addition to compiling a list on the board with a hierarchy of what is important in playing music, Zerkel focused attention on finding a default setting for blowing air through the instrument in the most efficient and productive way possible as one strives for both high quality and highly consistent playing. As was the case with Thurman’s masterclass, attendees had the opportunity to play along as these valuable ideas were explored.
After a lunch break, an Ask the Experts Question and Answer Panel discussion took place with guest artists Demondrae Thurman, Jerry Young, and David Zerkel. During this time, attendees had the opportunity to pick the brain of these musician-educators on a wide variety of topics.
Sweet Thunder Tuba Quartet
Following this presentation, two events took place simultaneously. The second of two Masterclass Swaps took place, with groups scattered once again throughout the building. At the same time, David Earll presented his research in a session titled The Potential for Interchangeable Parts in Early C.G. Conn Tubas.
Two concert events closed out Tubonium7. First, Demondrae Thurman performed a solo euphonium recital ably accompanied by Barbara Young. Thurman’s singing-approach shone throughout his entire recital, bringing to life the ideas that he presented in his Mass Masterclass earlier in the conference. Like Zerkel’s performance, Thurman’s recital included a great variety of musical styles and included music written specifically for him. The concert was simply outstanding in every way.
Tubonium7 concluded with the second of two collaborative recitals, this time featuring Gary Bird, Paul Budde, Josh Calkin, Nat Dickey, Marty Erickson, Daniel Geldert, Jamie Lipton, Jim Lyon, John Manning, Angelo Manzo, Paul Niemisto, Stephen Oberheu, Chuck Wazanowski, and David Zerkel as well as the Concordia College Tuba-Euphonium Quartet under the direction of Nat Dickey. The concert concluded fittingly with a performance of the Bayerische Polka with Demondrae Thurman on euphonium, David Zerkel on tuba, and Barbara Young on piano.
Special thanks to this years exhibitors, including Bass Clef Creations, Beautidel Press, Besson Brass, Brassworks 4 Publishing, Cimarron Music, J.W. Pepper Music,
Music of Kenneth D. Friedrich, WindSong Press, and Woodwind & Brasswind. It was great to have these outstanding exhibitors and products at Tubonium events, adding to the festivities.
UW-Eau Claire Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
A heartfelt thank-you to everyone who helped to make Tubonium7 a rousing success, especially Demondrae Thurman, David Zerkel, and Jerry Young along with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble. Your musicianship, personality, and wisdom will not be forgotten—thank you so very much for being a special part of our event!
Planning is underway for Tubonium8—please be sure to check the website at www.houseoflowaire.com for more information as it becomes available. I hope to see you there!
Comments from Guest Artists
It was my distinct pleasure to be a guest of Paul Budde’s at Tubonium7, which also served as the Midwest Regional Conference for ITEA. For years, I have been noticing both the quality of artists that Paul is able to bring to Gustavus AND the rave reviews that Paul received for being an outstanding host, so, I was very excited to receive an invitation to perform and doubly excited to be paired with one of my favorite musicians and favorite people, Demondrae Thurman!
The conference was extraordinarily well planned and executed. The opportunity for meaningful interaction between all conference attendees is one of the greatest aspects of the Tubonium weekend. I know that I learned a lot, not only from the guest artists but from the students as well. The level of performance (and enthusiasm for performing) was remarkable throughout the entire weekend. I can’t help but believe that this enthusiasm was generated by the positive energy and dedication that Paul exhibited for the entire weekend!
It was a great weekend of music and fellowship and I would highly recommend that any tuba/euphonium enthusiast find their way to St. Peter, Minnesota for a Tubonium event! I hope someday to return to Tubonium as a conference attendee for several reasons—to learn the ins and outs of great conference hosting, to hear world class musicians play and teach in an intimate setting, and finally to try to tackle the Chuck Norris Burger at Patrick’s!
Thanks to Paul for conceiving of and running such an extraordinary event! It will be on the short list of great musical memories for the rest of my days!”
For years I had heard about the amazing Tubonium Tuba and Euphonium Conference that was held in Minnesota and wondered why I hadn’t been invited! I must say that nothing that I heard about it compared to being there. It is easily one of the most well organized conferences I’ve ever attended. The accommodations were first-rate, and the work schedule was agreeable. I enjoyed making music with Barbara Young and David Zerkel. Going to the other concerts was indeed a pleasure for me. Paul and his students were gracious hosts and I would recommend this conference to any of my tuba and euphonium colleagues. I’m thrilled to have finally received my invitation and it was well worth the wait. Thanks so much Paul.”