Festival celebrates the tuba

Music Beat | Peter Jacobi H-T Columnist

octuba

Time for the tuba. Time for music set to Shakespeare.

The annual Octubafest opens on Tuesday evening not with a tuba recital but one featuring the euphonium, the tuba’s little brother, as played by a distinguished guest, Misa Mead. The fest ends next Sunday with more guests, a renowned twosome from Japan — Shimpei Tsugita and Shoichiro Hokazono — performing new music for a tuba/euphonium combination, plus piano. There are daily concerts in between performed by upcoming talents, a lineup put together by the IU Jacobs School’s chief of the tuba and its little brother, Provost Profeesor Daniel Perantoni.

Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, as part of a concert by the New Music Ensemble, faculty composer Don Freund will introduce two parts of his setting for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the Ballroom and Balcony scenes. They’ve been performed here before but with piano accompaniment. Professor Freund has now orchestrated those scenes, making his new music newer.

If it’s autumn, there must be tubas

The history of Octubafest goes back to 1974, when the late Harvey Philips, IU’s legendary teacher of the tuba, started the event in remembrance of his teacher, William Bell, who was on the IU School of Music faculty for the last 10 years of his life (1961-1971). The idea spread, as did Phillips’ Tubachristmas and Tubasantas and Tubajazz, all designed to celebrate his beloved big brass instruments.

Daniel Perantoni, a Phillips student, when later he was named to the music faculty, decided that traditions matter. As he has built his own distinguished teaching and performing career, Perantoni found his own ways to celebrate the tuba and little tuba, but he’s also seen to it that Octubafest remains important here as an annual showcase.

“My enthusiasm still throbs,” he says, throwing back at me the verb I used in sending him questions about what’s to come. Octubafest, he insists, still “has an impact on me. I have so many wonderful memories of my dear friend and mentor. I see his picture every day in my studio, so that I think of him every day.”

For this 2016 version of Octubafest, Perantoni has left spaces on the festival schedule for every student of his. “All of them will perform a special solo for their colleagues, peers and the general audience. As every year, we’re starting the student recitals with an arrangement of Bach’s ‘Come Sweet Death’ by William Bell. This was the tradition that Harvey wanted to continue to honor his teacher. Then, we close our last Octubafest student program with Harvey’s arrangement of Bach’s ‘Air on the G String’ for tuba quartet to honor Harvey.”

How did Daniel Perantoni end up with the tuba? He tells the story this way:

“I first auditioned at the Eastman School of Music on piano, which I had started at age 5. My father was a fine jazz trombonist and also played with the circus on euphonium. He wanted me to play in his jazz band on piano, which I did in high school. I wanted to play his trombone, but he said he’d rather not teach that to his son. I was hurt playing high school football my freshman year and was asked by the band director to join the band. He asked me what I wanted to play. When he brought out the sousaphone (a wind instrument similar to a bass tuba but shaped for easier carrying in a marching band) I played it. I took to the instrument like a duck in water. And three months later, I won a superior rating at contest.

“When I auditioned on piano at Eastman, they asked me to play the tuba,” Perantoni continues. “My father had me bring my sousaphone, and I played a couple of solos. They offered me a scholarship on tuba. My teacher, Donald Knaub, said I was the only one ever to audition at Eastman on a sousaphone and get in. I never really had a lesson on tuba until then, in college.”

The ties between Perantoni and his tuba became a love affair still lasting. And he raves about changes in the instrument “Over the last 50 years,” he says, “our instruments have really developed into works of art. Today, there is really no excuse for anyone to play out of tune; plus, we have reached a range of more than five octaves. After all these years, I am still trying to master the instrument. There is nothing I would rather do than play and teach at my dream job at IU.”

I say believe the tuba-loving Master Perantoni and join the crowds at one or more concerts during Octubafest.

 

Contact columnist Peter Jacobi at pjacobi@heraldt.com.

If you go

To Octubafest:

• Tuesday evening at 7 in Recital Hall, guest recital by Misa Mead, a Japanese-born and now England-residing euphonium virtuoso. She performs her own music, along with works by Schumann, Debussy and contemporary composers.

• Wednesday evening at 7 in Ford-Crawford Hall, recital by Jacobs School tuba and euphonium majors. They play music of Bach, Bozza, Ewazen and others.

• Thursday evening at 7 in Ford, recital by student tuba majors. They play works of Grieg, Vaughan Williams, Bozza and Arban.

• Friday evening at 7 in Ford, another student recital by tuba and euphonium players. They focus on music of Horovitz, Marcello, Penderecki, Golland and Hindemith.

• Saturday evening at 7 in Ford, more tuba and euphonium students. They offer pieces by Lundquist, Plog, Hummel, Stevens and Menendez-Pidal.

• Sunday evening at 7 in Ford, students play Octubaween program with music for tuba by Paganini, Meador, Broughton and Wilder.

• Next Sunday evening at 8 in Auer Hall, a Japanese duo — Shoichiro Hokazono on euphonium and Shimpei Tsugita on tuba — performs music by Monti and Bernstein, along with items by contemporary Japanese composers.

All events are free.

© Herald Times Online 2016

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Brennan Johns: Seizing every musical opportunity

Brennen

Brennan Johns had an overarching goal for his senior recital: to make it unlike any other senior recital at IU.

In a traditional recital, he would stand in front of the audience and play his bass trombone or euphonium, interrupted by applause, for nearly an hour.

He had attended and performed in those recitals. His senior recital, he thought, should be different.

“I wanted it to be something that could adequately cap off my four years here and that people remembered,” he says. “An event.”

Brennan isn’t interested in the typical way of doing things. His time at IU is proof.

To get the whole story, visit Success Stories on the IUB webpage!

Watch Brennan’s recital

 

Indiana University | Success Stories

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Todd French and Genevieve Clarkson Win Major Positions

The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University congratulates the following students of Daniel Peratoni on winning appointments of major positions

genevieve      french

Genevieve Clarkson DMA Tuba in-progress appointed as the instructor of tuba and euphonium at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ.

Todd French DMA tuba appointed as an assistant Professor at Murray State in Murray Kentucky teaching tuba and euphonium.

 

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Itay Agmon and Alexander Lapins score tuba positions

Itay Agmon, a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s degree in tuba performance, recently won the solo tuba position with the Minnesota Opera, beginning January 2016.

Alumnus Alexander Lapins, DM, won the permanent tuba/euphonium position as an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

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Jeff Nelsen and Sylvia McNair featured in first TEDxIndianaUniversity event Nov. 13

Nelsen_Jeff-2015The first-ever TEDxIndianaUniversity event will feature two prominent Jacobs School of Music faculty members at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in the IU Auditorium.

Jeff Nelsen, professor of horn, will emcee “Eyes on the Stars, Feet on the Ground,” which will also feature Grammy-winning soprano Sylvia McNair, senior lecturer in voice.

Seven other presenters share the bill. Check out the full line-up here, and purchase tickets here.

Nelsen as well as fellow Jacobs faculty member Alain Barker, director of music entrepreneurship and career development, also serves on the board of TEDxIndianaUniversity. The group hopes to hold events annually.

McNair_Sylvia.2013.smallerThe organization will bring together innovative thinkers from across the university and larger community to explore ideas for our collective future. At TEDx events—“x” indicating an independently organized event—a combination of live presenters and TEDTalks videos sparks deep conversation and connections at the local level. The 2015 IU event is fully organized and produced by students.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Founded in 1984, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.

Enjoy Jeff Nelsen’s 2011 TEDxBloomington presentation on “Fearless Performance.”

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Brass Concerto Competition Winners Announced

This year, two students were named co-winners of the Brass Concerto Competition:

Kyle Gordon, bass trombone student with Professor Stewart, playing Daniel
Schnyder’s subZero

Brennan Johns, euphonium student of Carl Lenthe, playing the Lisjak Concerto.

Brennan will perform with the Symphonic Band on March 31st and Kyle with the Symphony Orchestra on April 15th.

Congratulations to you both!

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Visiting Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium/Jazz

gail robertsonGail Robertson (euphonium MM 1989) recently completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. She now teaches at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. Robertson also just released her second CD with Dr. Stacy Baker (tuba) SymbiosisDuo – “Playground.”

http://uca.edu/music/facultystaff/gail-robertson/

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William Gerlach appointed as Principal Trumpet in National Symphony Orchestra

IU aWilliam Gerlachlum William Gerlach (BM ’12) was appointed as Principal Trumpet in National Symphony Orchestra earlier in September.

This is one of the biggest, if not, the biggest appointment of any trumpet student to come through the IU trumpet program. William studied with John Rommel (2008-2012), and was appointed as the new principal trumpet in September.

William Gerlach began his position as principal trumpet with the National Symphony Orchestra in the 2014-2015 season. Growing up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, he started playing trumpet when it was time to join the 6th grade band. William (Billy) earned his undergraduate degree at Indiana University under the instruction of John Rommel. During his time at IU he attended the Aspen Music Festival, once as a member of the Third Street Brass Quintet, and once as a New Horizons trumpet fellow. In the fall of 2012 he began his master’s degree at Northwestern University with Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer and followed them to Rice University in the Fall of 2013. Other significant teachers throughout his studies include Mark Niehaus, Christopher Martin, Thomas Hooten, Raymond Mase and Kevin Cobb.

More Information Here:http://web.kennedy-center.org/~/media/Files/KC/Press%20Releases/September%202014%20Releases/UpdatedNSOAnnouncesFourNewMembersPressRelease

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Mirari Brass signed by Ariel Artists

The Mirari Brass, a brass quintet that originated at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has been signed by Ariel Artists, a management agency in Boston. Three of the five members are graduates of the Jacobs School of Music: Alex Noppe, trumpet, Jessie Thoman , horn , and Sarah Paradis, trombone.
Mirari will be recording their second album in May 2015 (hoping to release in fall 2015). The quintet continues to be commissioned for several works of the genre including collaboration with Indiana University Alumnus Clint Needham.  The piece for Brass Quintet and Wind Symphony will be premiered with The Ohio State Wind Symphony in spring 2016. The Mirari Brass Quintet also has several residencies at universities, including the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

 

More information here:  http://arielartists.com/artists/mirari-brass-quintet/

www.miraribrass.com

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Mike Walker (DM) appointed Visiting Lecturer II at the University of New Mexico

Walker_Mike_squareThe Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Horn Area is excited to announce that
Mike Walker (DM) has been appointed to a Visiting Lecturer II at the University
of New Mexico. Mr. Walker will be teaching the horn Studio, brass pedagogy and
performing with the faculty woodwind and brass quintets. Mr. Walker studied with Jeff Nelsen while pursuing his DM degree in horn. Mr. Walker commented that, “I feel extremely well prepared to step into this environment with
amazing new colleagues and students. Indiana University was a great training
ground for my new position and I cannot wait to share some Hoosier traditions
among my Lobos students”.

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