I had my final required DMA recital this past Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 5:30PM in the LSU Recital Hall. It was well attended by a smattering of friends that I knew from all walks in Baton Rouge. I had bicycle friends, music friends, work friends, roommates, current teachers, colleagues from the non-university Baton Rouge music scene, and probably more. My parents even drove up from Florida! On the way in, they picked up my Aunt Kathie who lives just north of Hammond.
The recital was a tour de force of literature. I started with Songs of Ascent by Roger Kellaway. It is a three movement concerto for tuba that is approximately 30 minutes long. It was written in 1989 for the NY Philharmonic and their principal tuba player at the time, Warren Deck. He premiered it with them and then played an additional performance of it at the Sapporo, Japan ITEC in 1990. Since then, I don’t know that it has been performed. More recently, it was recorded with piano by Aaron Tindall on his CD titled Songs of Ascent. The piece itself requires absolute mastery of the tuba. It jumps from above the staff to below the staff both immediately and through a course of thirds in an extended triadic runs. It really is beautiful, well constructed, and fun to play; if you can play it!! I have been working on it since 2007. Not consistently since then, but I’ve been practicing it on and off for the last 5 years or so.
After Songs of Ascent I took a break to let my face and brain calm down a bit. I started the second half with John Cheetham’s Sonata for Tuba and Piano. It is an easy play after Songs of Ascent. Aside from a pretty constant face-to-mouthpiece ratio, it is relatively simple. It is easy to play and easy to listen to and was a lot of fun.
Following that, I performed an arrangement of Antonio Bazzini’s violin showpiece entitled Dance of the Goblins. The arrangement was done by my friend Dr Benjamin Pierce who is the tuba and euphonium professor at the University of Arkansas. The piece is difficult. And has a lot of notes. That go by quickly. I wasn’t super happy with it after the performance, but after listening to the recording, it went a lot better than I thought it did! I love it when that happens.
Performing is what I love to do. I love to play my instrument and inspire others. Inspire others to practice harder or think or drive them to feel angry or happy or uncomfortable or really feel anything at all. I am really hopeful to get one of the three positions I have applied for. I truly believe that the atmosphere at a university is the best possible environment to be in. The collaborative possibilities, the constant influence and inspiration of young minds, the ability to have a locus of activity— it is all so appealing. And evident. And within reach. All that’s left for me is to finish my classes this semester, take the generals (and subsequent defense) in January, and write my document. Then, you’ll be reading posts from Dr. Andy Tuba. :-)
Stay well, Internet.
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