PBS show ‘A Craftsman’s Legacy’ films episode about local horn maker

By Marcela Creps 812-331-4375 | mcreps@heraldt.com

Natural horn maker Rick Seraphinoff (left) and “A Craftman’s Legacy” host Eric Gorges chat between filming. The PBS show visited Bloomington over the weekend for an upcoming segment featuring Seraphinoff. Marcela Creps | Herald-Times

Natural horns in various states of completion are shown inside Rick Seraphinoff’s studio. The film crew for “A Craftsman’s Legacy” visited Bloomington recently to film an upcoming segment that will feature Seraphinoff and his natural horns. Marcela Creps | Herald-Times

Natural horns in various states of completion are shown inside Rick Seraphinoff’s studio. The film crew for “A Craftsman’s Legacy” visited Bloomington recently to film an upcoming segment that will feature Seraphinoff and his natural horns. Marcela Creps | Herald-Times

How many different ways can you invite someone inside your workshop?

Rick Seraphinoff is a natural horn maker who lives in eastern Monroe County. This past weekend, he had an opportunity to showcase his craft as he filmed an upcoming episode of “A Craftsman’s Legacy.”

Eric Gorges, host of the PBS show, stood outside Seraphinoff’s workshop on Sunday morning. Although the two had already met, the first filming of the day was to capture Gorges arriving at the shop.

“Wanna come in and see where the horns are made?” Seraphinoff asked during one of the takes.

Through the multiple takes, Seraphinoff and his wife, Celeste Holler-Seraphinoff, exit the workshop and greet Gorges.

Once filming outside is done, the trio head inside the workshop where filming has been happening since Saturday.

The film crew for “A Craftsman’s Legacy” set up cameras to shoot a segment for the show. The crew was in town to film horn maker Richard Seraphinoff. Marcela Creps | Herald-Times

Gorges, who hails from Michigan, is currently traveling around the country to film the show’s fourth season. In previous episodes, they have featured musical instrument makers but also woodworkers, soap makers, ceramic artists and sculptors.

Gorges is a metal shaper and motorcycle builder who appreciates craftspeople. This show allows him an opportunity to learn about those people and tell their stories to a larger audience.

“I have a blessed life, and I tell people that every day,” Gorges said.

Prior to arriving in Bloomington, the team behind the show has been busy working out all the details. During the planning, Seraphinoff was able to offer up potential steps in the process that could be filmed since there wouldn’t be time to show the entire process from start to finish.

Gorges said it probably takes hundreds of hours to get everything set up and shot for the show.

“Some people don’t realize how much time it takes to shoot a show,” Gorges said.

For the next scene shot on Sunday, Gorges had an opportunity to weld a piece of brass. The previously flat piece has been rolled into a cylinder shape and now the seam needs to be welded shut.

“I really like working with a torch,” Gorges said.

Seraphinoff demonstrates the process then hands it over to Gorges. There is little discussion as Seraphinoff watches Gorges work.

“You might make it all the way to the end,” Seraphinoff said. When Gorges is done, Seraphinoff praises the work.

“He catches on really fast,” Seraphinoff said.

For the Seraphinoffs, it’s been fun to participate in the show that will air sometime this fall. The two had a lot to prepare for before the film crews arrived including getting the shop cleaned up and camera ready.

“Don’t look too close,” Celeste Holler-Seraphinoff said, adding that they didn’t worry so much about items stashed underneath the tables as they figured the camera wouldn’t catch that.

With no prior television experience, the two are impressed by the number of hours it takes to film a half-hour program. There’s also been a lot of lingo spoken that they are starting to understand.

“It’s been amazing. We’ve learned so much,” Rick Seraphinoff said.

More Information

“A Craftsman’s Legacy” airs on WTIU’s Family Channel at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday and on its main channel at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. It airs on WFYI at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and WFYI Plus at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. It also airs on WIPB Create from 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday and its main channel at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Learn more about the show online at www.craftsmanslegacy.com.

© Herald Times 2017

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Festival celebrates the tuba

Music Beat | Peter Jacobi H-T Columnist


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

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Brennan Johns: Seizing every musical opportunity


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

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

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.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter

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.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

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.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

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!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

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.”


  • Facebook
  • Twitter

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

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

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/


  • Facebook
  • Twitter