March 1, 2007
Conference Will Feature Low-Frequency Music March 16-18
The University of Iowa School of Music will be the site of some low-frequency performances when it hosts the Hawkeye Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference (HRTEC, pronounced HER-tek) Friday through Sunday, March 16-18, in the Voxman Music Building.
The tuba, of course, is the lowest standard member of the brass instrument family. The euphonium is a relative of the tuba that plays in the tenor range. And HRTEC is a regional conference of the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA), a service organization made up of performers, teachers, students and amateurs.
The conference, organized by UI tuba professor John Manning, will feature special guests artists and ensembles, teachers, students and amateurs from across the Midwest. Since it coincides with the UI School of Music's centennial celebration, two prominent tuba- and euphonium-playing UI alumni will be especially featured at the conference: Chester Schmitz, retired as principal tubist of the Boston Symphony; and David Werden, former euphonium soloist with the U.S. Coast Guard Band and current faculty member at the University of Minnesota.
Three public concerts will be presented during the conference, all of them free and performed in the UI Clapp Recital Hall:
--"Opening Night Concert" at 8 p.m. Friday, March 16, featuring Werden and Schmitz with the Eastern Iowa Brass Band.
--"Midwest Showcase" at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 17, with various soloists from across the Midwest.
--"Massive Brass" at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 18, featuring the mass tuba euphonium ensembles, the Low Blowers amateur ensemble, College All-Stars, the Braxton Low Brass and the UI Brass Choir.
Each concert will be preceded by a less formal Prelude Concert, presented from the Clapp Recital Hall stage 30 minutes before the start of the concert.
One special event during HRTEC will be of particular interest to Iowa tubists: "From Cornfield to Carnegie Hall -- A Tribute to William Bell," presented at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 17, in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building by ITEA historian Carol Nowicke from Indiana University.
An almost legendary figure among tubists, Bell was a native of Creston, Iowa, who literally went from the local band in the cornfields to Carnegie Hall as the tubist of the legendary NBC Symphony under Toscanini, and later tubist for the New York Philharmonic.
Not only the greatest tuba performer and teacher of the first half of the 20th century, Bell was at the time one of the most famous musicians from Iowa -- as well known as his fellow Sousa-band alumnus Meredith Willson. With the New York Philharmonic and conductor Leopold Stokowski, he narrated and performed "Tubby The Tuba" and "When Yuba Plays The Rhumba on the Tuba." These two recordings literally remade the image of the tuba, since Bell's remarkable playing proved its capacities as a melodic instrument.
Manning said that an important theme of the conference will be innovation. "We will have new works premiered, a discussion of self-publishing and marketing for composers, a presentation called 'Merging the Material and the Virtual' that will discuss the Internet and the tuba-euphonium world. The performance of Composition No. 19 for 100 tubas by Anthony Braxton is particularly innovative -- employing contemporary notation, extended techniques, and improvisation."
The conference will include a variety of presentations, workshops and discussions for participants. In addition to the UI alumni, featured artists will be Phillip Black from Wichita State University; Dean Somerville, former tuba soloist with the U.S. Army Band; Grant Harville from Luther College; Logan Lindsey from the University of South Dakota; Steve Oberheu from the University of North Dakota; Andrew Rummel from Illinois State University; Michael Short from Drake University; and Jim Langenberg from the Dubuque Symphony.
Featured ensembles: will be the UI Collegium Tubum, UNITubas from the University of Northern Iowa, the Eastern Iowa Brass Band and 399th Army Band Brass Quintet.
The conference is supported in part by the ITEA, the UI and the UI School of Music. For more information on HRTEC, including conference registration information, see the conference homepage: http://www.uiowa.edu/~tuba/conference.htm
Information on guest artists can be seen at: http://www.uiowa.edu/~tuba/hertec_artists.htm
The International Tuba Euphonium Association "is dedicated to promoting and advancing the tuba and euphonium instruments." You may learn more about the association at http://www.iteaonline.org/index.html.
Manning is a founding member of the award-winning Yamaha performing ensemble, the Atlantic Brass Quintet, with whom he has toured across the United States and around the world, including performances at the White House, Tanglewood, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and June in Buffalo. An active freelance musician, he has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Empire Brass and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He joined the UI faculty in 2004. More information: http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/BRASSmanning.htm
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.
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