by Adam Frey
The seven days of the IEI Festival take place each June in Atlanta. We again had a fantastic lineup of diverse and varied artists, concerts, and master classes for the 2012 event. Our goals include building musicianship and long term relationships and camaraderie among our community. In total during the week there were 14 master classes with 38 different performers, 96 private lessons, 12 warm-up and fundamentals classes, and 12 concerts featuring more than 110 performances.
Robert Madeson, Brian Bowman, and Dennis Miller
Our group of 65 artists and participants traveled from as far away as Australia and Brazil, and in the US from rural Alaska to south Florida. The IEI Festival 2012 featured 3 international artists from south of the equator this year: Steve Rosse (Sydney Symphony Orchestra), Fernando Deddos (Brazil), and Matthew Van Emmerik (Australia). Artists from the US included Brian Bowman (University of North Texas), Lauren Veronie (US Army Field Band), Chris Blaha (Appalachian State University), Martin Cochran (University of Alabama-Birmingham), Bernard Flythe (Kennesaw State University), Tom Gibson (Kennesaw State University), and me- Adam Frey (Georgia State University).
Each year the IEI Festival focuses on developing new music and this year brought numerous world premieres: War Machine by Anthony O’Toole, AnDancas by Fernando Deddos for the IEI Massed Ensemble, two works commissioned by Steve Rosse and composed by Brendan Collins and Mike Fitzpatrick, a new Tim Olt arrangement of Academic Festival Overture by Brahms, and new works by Sanae Kanda and Matthew Murchison, commissioned by Lauren Veronie.
Solo Competition Results
The 2nd IEI Festival Solo Competitions had over $3,000 is prizes. We hosted three age divisions, each open to both tuba and euphonium, to offer all participants a chance to receive comments, performance experience, and a chance at the prizes. Each round took place in the main concert hall at Emory. For the finals, we invited Scottish composer Bruce Fraser to adjudicate via Skype. His presence added another dimension to the event. The finals repertoire featured Edward Gregson’s Symphonic Rhapsody for Euphonium and the Vaughn Williams Tuba Concerto in the artist division, Bruce Fraser’s Euphonium Fantasy and the “Allegro Deciso” from Edward Gregson’s Concerto for Tuba in the student division, and Lewis Buckley’s The Yellow Rose of Texas for the adult division.
Artist Division (from ages 19 to 29)
1st Prize – Paul Dickinson
2nd Prize – T.J. Pelon
Finalist – Vincent Rose
Student Division (up to age 18)
1st Prize – Joe Broom
2nd Prize – Nate Galerstein
Finalists – Jake Brown and Duncan Albert
Adult Division (Ages 30 and up)
1st Prize – Robert Madeson
Finalists – Dennis Miller and George Streitenberger
Unique and Interesting classes not taught by Euphonium and Tuba Artists
Some of the more interesting classes each year at the IEI Festival are those taught by the non-brass players. The festival regularly features a “Conductor’s Perspective” class taught by three professional conductors. This year we featured Scott Stewart (Emory University), John Lynch (University of Georgia), and Fyodor Cherniavsky (Dekalb Symphony Orchestra). This class provides participants the opportunity to perform and receive instruction from the view point of the podium, and on what conductors are looking for in auditions.
The Festival also regularly features a rotating transcription class that is either taught by a vocalist or cellist. They provide such different perspectives on phrasing, technical hurdles, and interpretation when performing transcriptions. Charae Kruger, cellist of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, joined us again and guided the students through a number of works by Bach and Sarasate and performed brilliantly on Stravinsky’s Suite Italianne to close her class. Another interesting class was taught by Rich Ita of Rich Ita’s Brass Instrument Workshop of Atlanta. He discussed proper instrument maintenance, demonstrated actually removing some dents from participants instruments (very impressive and much appreciated), and talked about instrument repair as a potential career path.
Enjoying the Friday night social: Lauren Veronie, Adam Frey, Matthew Van Emmerik, Fernando Deddos, Martin Cochran
Personal Highlights and Memories
I want to share some personal highlights for me from the week: having Matthew Van Emmerik personally instruct me on how to properly throw a boomerang in the Emory Business School courtyard; jamming with the Balkan party band, Merkury Orkestar on Friday night; the duet team of Lauren Veronie and Brian Bowman; introducing my new daughter Olivia to the wonders of the IEI Festival; Fernando Deddos’ performance of Momentums (that won the ITEA Harvey Phillips Award for Excellence in Composition one week later at ITEC) with Matthew van Emmerik, Bernard Flythe, and Caryl Conger, Steve Rosse’s premiere of Swampland Southern Comfort for solo tuba and 8 part tuba euphonium ensemble with drum set (very cool), conducting the IEI Massed Ensemble in Come thou font of every blessing accompanied by the massive Jaeckel Organ in the Emerson Concert Hall, Dr. Bowman’s dedication of his performance of Cord’s Romance to his wife; getting to perform Sarasate’s Gypsy Airs with the outstanding Georgia Brass Band, and finally getting to meet and work with all the incredible artists and participants.
Sponsors that helped make the week possible through various forms of support are Yamaha Corporation of America, Woodwind and Brasswind, Euphonium.com Store, Willson Instruments, Tuba MM, Adams Instruments, Cimarron Music, Sterling Music Instruments, Warburton Mouthpieces, and Solid Brass Music Company, and Mark and Ruthelen Williamson.
Here are a few reflections from IEI 2012 guest artists and participants.
Lauren Veronie instructing Jeffrey Ward during a class on wind band excepts
From a Tubist’s Perspective
I was excited when I was invited to be a performing artist and clinician at the 2012 IEI Festival for Euphonium and Tuba because of the fine reputation of the event, the opportunities to collaborate with world class artists and the chance to work with enthusiastic students of all ages. As the event approached, I began to wonder, “What does the IEI Festival offer for the tuba players?” My questions were most definitely answered.
The IEI Festival offers opportunities for students to have all-day interaction with the artists and teachers throughout the entire week. Each student participates in multiple master classes every day, with warm-up master classes in the morning and age-specific master classes in the afternoons covering solos, excerpts and etudes. In addition, students can choose to have private lessons with the different artists. Students are welcome to compete in the solo competitions and receive comments from great artists like Brian Bowman and Matthew van Emmerik. After busy days of master classes, lessons, rehearsals, and practicing (and social time, of course), the recitals each evening were world class. It was a personal thrill to share the stage with Adam Frey and Dr. Bowman… an experience I’ll never forget. I think everyone left Atlanta both exhausted and energized from the intense exchange of musical ideas and inspiring performances.
For the tubists, young and old, the week offers opportunities to not only learn from world-class tubists, but also from world-class euphoniumists. This infusion of different perspectives throughout the week benefits every musician who attends. The recitals present new pieces and old favorites, and the master classes and lessons give everyone chances to share ideas and learn from each other. While the IEI festival features the euphonium, the tubists in attendance feel every bit as important and receive just as much focus as the euphoniumists. I cannot recommend IEI strongly enough to students of all ages and experience levels. I’m sure the 2013 IEI Festival, celebrating the festival’s 10th year, will be an event for the ages.
Dr. Christopher Blaha, Asst. Professor of Tuba and Euphonium, Appalachian State University
A Focusing on the Individual
The IEI Festival is the perfect atmosphere to improve on your instrument, and you are guaranteed to have fun while you do it. The guest artists are first-rate and there are many opportunities to perform. IEI is unique in that you get so much one-on-one time with instructors, in addition to master classes and ensembles. The opportunity to work with incredible accompanists is something that really makes the experience stand out. I would recommend IEI to any of my students, regardless of age or level. The sense of community you get from being around like-minded individuals that love to play their horns is unforgettable. Whether you’ve been studying hard at the high school or collegiate level, or just picked up the horn again after twenty years, you will grow by leaps and bounds after your time at IEI.
Lauren Veronie, Euphonium Soloist with the U.S. Army Field Band
Long Journey for a Truly Unique Event
I live in Dillingham, Alaska. Dillingham is a fishing community in bush Alaska-you can only get there by air. You cannot drive there. Retired from the Army Band, I formerly lived in El Paso where I played in the El Paso Wind Symphony, churches, and local brass groups.
Being a euphonium player I was also involved with ITEA. Health considerations caused me to move from El Paso to Alaska. Living in Dillingham, I played for some of the churches and local Art Council Events and host a radio program called “Prevailing Winds.” About five years ago my wife really wanted me to start playing again. She saw it as a need for my overall wellbeing. She urged me to find a music camp or something to go to. My initial thought was perhaps one of the ITEC events, but I really wanted to receive coaching and do a lot of playing. The IEI Festival has been one of the most incredible music camps for me. It is a week where you can hear world class performers and perform in a variety of settings.
Traveling from bush Alaska to Atlanta is expensive and, depending on the weather, can take up to three days. The journey is well worth it. In the last four years I have attended three times and plan on attending next year. If you love playing the euphonium or tuba, this is THE place to be. It is truly an awesome week.
Robert Madeson – Recreational Player, 1st Prize in the Adult Division of the IEI Festival Solo Competition
A High School Student’s View
The IEI festival has been a fantastic addition to my summer for the past two years. It provides incredible opportunities that many younger musicians may not get in their schools. At IEI, I have had the opportunity to be instructed by professional euphonium, tuba, and trombone artists who come to the festival from all over the world. Something unique about IEI is the variety of master classes, lectures, and performance opportunities available. Master classes and lectures in 2012 were led by an euphoniumist, tubist, conductor, singer, string player, and even an instrument repairman. I have enjoyed playing in and watching all of the master classes.
IEI gives participants the opportunity to perform with an accompanist in a series of participant recitals. This is a great opportunity to play for an audience and learn how to rehearse with an accompanist. The work with the accompanists and in the chamber groups, has taught me a lot about musical collaboration.
In recent years, IEI has also started a solo competition. My participation in the student division of this competition has taught me how to prepare effectively for multi-round, live competition. The lack of a recorded round has also made me exercise consistency in performance. The wide variety of features in IEI makes this a worthwhile event and a fantastic way to meet other motivated musicians. I will be returning.
Joe Broom, High School Student from Virginia
After the Tuesday night recital: Brian Bowman, Carlos Deleon, Nate Galerstein, Chris Blaha, Karla Romero, Adam Frey
2012 IEI Festival Staff and Artists
Matthew van Emmerik
Georgia Brass Band
2012 IEI Festival Participants