The 30th annual Tuba-Euphonium Workshop kicked off Jan. 30 at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Brucker Hall, home of The U.S. Army Band. The TUSAB-sponsored workshop continues through Feb. 2 with concerts, master classes, exhibits and lectures.
Sgt. Maj. Donald Palmire, workshop chairman and a euphonium player with the Army Concert Band, said the event attracted approximately 800 people last year, about a third of which is made up of high school and college students, mixed in with professional and amateur musicians from around the world, with a special emphasis on military ensembles and soloists. Participating musical groups this year include the U.S. Navy Band Brass Quintet, which will share a stage with the Army Brass Quintet, the University of Georgia Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band Jazz Combo, the James Madison University Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, as well as the Army Blues (with guests Matt Perrine and Earl McIntyre) and a concluding concert by the Army Concert Band.
The tuba/euphonium workshop mostly attracts an inside crowd, said Staff Sgt. Adam Lessard, a concert band euphonium player and workshop organizer. “Generally, the type of people who come to the tuba/euphonium workshop are there to hear world-class players and go to master classes and hear from world-class musicians,” he said.
Lessard is the coordinator for recitals this year held for college teachers and military band newcomers. On Wednesday, he was in the process of constructing a conference board in the Brucker Hall lobby that chronicled the history of the workshop, with photos of various participants through the years.
Nostalgia will also be the focus of a lecture by retired TUSAB Sgts. Maj. Jack Tilbury and Jeff Arwood at 4 p.m. Feb. 1, entitled “Looking Back: 30 years of the Tuba-Euphonium Workshop.” The sergeants major will share anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories about the workshop and its development, explained Palmire.
Palmire added that there were a couple of master classes for musicians that stand out this year, including one for developing the high range on the tuba and another on audition techniques that will help musicians get the job they want.
Lessard said other highlights of this year’s workshop include: a performance by 1st Lt. Ann Julie-Skarpmo of the Norwegian Army Band, an appearance by Alan Baer, the principle tuba player with the New York Philharmonic, and a concert with James Gourlay, director of the River City Brass Band.
“Skarpmo, who is only 22, is a phenomenal player,” Lessard enthused.
In program notes, Col. Thomas H. Palmatier sounds as much like a fan as the leader and commander of The U.S. Army Band when he wrote about this year’s workshop, which serves as a professional development forum. “Many, many years ago, I was teaching tuba and euphonium at the university level and had a list of ‘I hope I get to meet them someday’ players, and most of them and many more have appeared at this very workshop over the last three decades,” he stated.
The four-day workshop is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. For a full schedule of concerts, workshops and lectures, visit The U.S. Army Band website at www.usarmyband.com.