Archive Tubafest 2010

tubafestThis was the 7th year for the Fredericton International TubaFest.  Each year it has grown and each year has been different. We had 40 people signed up ranging in age from intermediate school students to grandparents. A music teacher with no experience on tuba joined us in preparation for starting a high school band.

tubafestThe Festival started early again this year as Øystein Baadsvik came in to spend some time in local schools.  That the year was going to be different was evident when, on the ride in from the airport, Øystein launched into a discussion of the periodicity of tree growth.  This was balanced of course by my interest in his knowledge of how to select a good tuba.  Thursday morning we attended an instrumental music class at Leo Hayes High School.  Øystein ran a class on efficient practice techniques.  Following a brief lunch we moved on to Oromocto High School where Øystein introduced potential band students to the euphonium and tuba, including getting them all to play either one or the other.

tubafestFriday morning Adam got us warmed up and then we headed into two hours of sight reading, facing such challenges as Mike Forbes arrangement of Suppe’s “Poet and Peasant,” Simon Proctor’s arrangement of Moussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” – “Miniatures at an Exhibition,” and David Werden’s arrangement of Whitney’s  “The Mosquitoes’ Parade” – “Parade of the Giant Mosquitoes”.  After lunch, provided by the local firm StereoSystems Limited, Adam worked with us a little more on tips for ensemble playing.  We then divided into 3 smaller groups to sight read more music.  Following a break Øystein introduced us to his breathing/articulation device, a piece of letter paper held approximately 20 cm in front of the face.  This is a relatively simple device that was used many times in rehearsals following its introduction, enough that someone suggested he should patent his teaching devices and sell them along with his “Daily Exercises” book. The day-time session ended with Adam leading a master-class for John Giberson and Maren McLean and Øystein leading a class for Michela Comparey and Maxime Morisette.  Lance lead a technical session for other players.

tubafestFollowing dinner we had a small concert featuring some of the groups that were attending TubaFest.  All the players from Maine kicked off the evening with the national anthems of Canada and the United States and then “Susie Polka” arr. Ray Grim and “Ave Maria” by    Franz Biebl arr. Michael Forbes.  A portion of the Maine group then demonstrated antique brass instruments.  Two members of the Antique Brass, the host quartet were not able to play, so the others played but one number, “Achieved is the Glorious Work” by F.J. Hayden arr. Mike Forbes, assisted by two people conscripted for the event.  The last group was Richard Riding and Katherine Moller playing the Dance from Frackenpohl’s “Air and Dance for Violin and Tuba.”  Katherine and Øystein then treated us to a spontaneous rendition of the Kesh Jig.  The clinicians followed with a short session: Øystein, Jean and Lance played 3 trios composed by Anna Baadsvik  "On a Little Cloud," "Cat Affairs" and  "White Field Blues,"  Øystein and Adam played “Telemann Canonic Sonata No. 1” arr. Frey, and Lance and Adam ended the concert with “Double Portraits” by David Uber.  The evening finished with the small ensembles selecting and practicing the music they would play in concert Saturday night.

tubafestSaturday started off with Adam getting us breathing and then we started working on the pieces that would be played in concert.  Following a break there were master-classes and a techniques session with Lance.  Margo Grant and Ken Howells had a session with Adam and Randy Mauder and Richard Riding had a session with Øystein.  Here Øystein introduced his second breathing device, a tooth-pick inserted into the receiver so there was a leak around the mouthpiece.  This created a need to use a lot more air.  It also improved intonation.  Following lunch there was a panel discussion on effective practice techniques with Adam, Lance and Øystein sharing their thoughts.  The large ensemble then had their dress rehearsal for the evening concert.  Following a break and another panel on performance anxiety/technique the small ensembles had their dress rehearsals.

tubafestThe evening concert featured the clinicians in the first half and the TubaFest ensembles in the second half.   The evening ended with the large ensemble playing “The Thunderer” by John Philip Sousa arr. David Werden, a rousing end to a spectacular weekend. The weekend was made possible through grants from the New Brunswick/Quebec Cooperative Agreement, and support from StereoSystems Limited, Yamaha, Assante Wealth Management, Long & McQuade, Cimarron Music Press, and the Antique Brass.  It was hosted by the Centre for Musical Arts in the College of Extended Learning at the University of New Brunswick. 

Fredericton International TubaFest 2011 will take place on Friday and Saturday 6 & 7 May 2011 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.  Contact R. T. Riding at


Submitted by: Richard Riding Co-ordinator Fredericton International TubaFest