The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble to Give Concert Before Munich Tour

The UTC Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble will give a concert on March 1st, 7 p.m., in Roland Hayes Concert Hall prior to the ensemble’s tour of Munich, Germany. The program will be conducted by Dr. William R. Lee, Professor of Music, and will feature euphonium solos by Ken Doyle, an engineering student, and Daryl Finley, a graduate student in euphonium music performance. The program provides a selection of German and American music, including Beethoven, Handel, Susato, Sousa, Jager, and Canter.

Last year, the ensemble successfully toured Paris, France. This year, the musicians will be the guests of Dr. Eckhard Nolte of the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Department of Arts Study, Music Education Division. The group will also perform at the Mohr Villa, a facility for chamber music in northern Munich, and will have a performance clinic with Munich tubaist Robert Tucci of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra. Dr. Kenyon Wilson, an adjunct professor at UTC, will play a solo by Tennessee composer Robert Jager accompanied by the group. Wilson performs with the Chattanooga and Augusta (Georgia) symphonies and is a Fulbright scholar. UTC Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition and Director of the Music Technology Center Dr. Jonathan McNair will be also contribute a new brass piece, to be premiered in Germany.

"The UTC Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble was the first American university tuba ensemble to perform in Paris and is likely one of the first American groups in Munich. Germany has nine thousand trombone ensembles, but very few tuba-euphonium ensembles, and there is interest in explorations of low sounds by these types of groups," according to Dr. William Lee. Wilson and Lee will also present lectures on tuba ensemble literature and pedagogy.

Several generous local business owners have supported the trip. Such businesses as Giant Steps Music, Inc. and Utzman Cabinets in Chattanooga, and Robert Tucci Musikinstrumente in Eichenau near Munich have contributed.

"Tucci has been instrumental in obtaining C and F tubas to use there, as they are too expensive to ship from the U.S. Gerhard Meinl, who owns six family factories in Germany and Hungary, has arranged for a tour of his world-famous brass instrument factory in Geretsteid, Germany. The students will attend concerts by the Bavarian State Orchestra and other Munich music ensembles as a part of their educational experience," Lee said.

The UTC Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble was started in 1984 at the suggestion of UTC brass students. The tuba ensemble movement itself began in the 1960s. Today, tuba ensembles exist in every major cultural capital and in most universities and music conservatories, from Japan to Germany to Eastman School of Music and Juilliard. Tennessee is so prominent in the tuba world that it is not unusual to find an American, sometimes a Tennesseean, playing tuba in professional groups around the world.

"The UTC ensemble has had great support from the UTC Music Department Head, Dr. Lee Harris and from the music faculty. About a third of music faculty members have critiqued or rehearsed the group," Dr. Lee said. "The ensemble helps students be better musicians and teachers by providing additional practice in developing rehearsal, arranging and composing skills. Several students have become excellent composers and arrangers, and their going to Europe to see where Western music started will help them professionally."

Lee has a degree in composition, in addition to a doctorate in music education, and has published several musical works. He has published extensively in the history of music education and in educational policy. Most recently he published a book chapter on teaching popular music.

For more information about the UTC Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble and its concerts, call the UTC Music Department at (423)425-4601.