What brought or inspired you to pursue tuba? If you’d like to share one of your favorite pieces of music as well, I’d like to know!
In childhood I had a recording of Tubby the Tuba, which I still have by the way, and in 4th grade I asked to learn to play the tuba. Medford didn’t have a small sized tuba for a 9 year old, but I insisted. Finally a tuba was brought to me, and I never looked back. That was 63 years ago. I did my first solo as a 5th grader at Jefferson School in Medford. Years later upon the death of my first band instructor (Al Hunteman) I went to pay my respects to his widow, and discovered that the tuba that was found for me to play was actually Mr. Hunteman’s own personal instrument! His widow gave it to me, as well as the first method book I used to learn to play, (hardbound at that!!) so now I own my first tuba. I didn’t own a tuba until I graduated from college and bought my first (an Alexander CC Tuba from Mainz Germany), I now own over 20.
I played “Bydlo” (movement 4 of “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky) using that tuba. Bydlo has to be one of my favorite pieces to play, I’ve done it several times through the years with RVSO. It’s very hard, and I am flattered to say that Maestro Martin Majkut uses it on his YouTube Channel as the opening page. Other favorites are Mahler 1 movement 3, Brahms 2 movement 4, and Stravinsky Firebird, Petruska, Rite of Spring. My LEAST favorite symphonic work is the Dvorak New World Symphony. The tuba is tacet (silent) in movements 1, 3, 4. And in movement 2 I play a total of 32 whole notes.
I think Dvorak was mad at his tuba player, and has punished tubists for all time!