TUSABTEC, The Review

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This past weekend I went up to DC to attend the Army Band Tuba Conference.  This is an annual thing for me, which I have been attending regularly since the mid 80’s, aside from a few misses in the 90’s when I was at UK.  Each year, there are a few cool things to see, and opportunities to try out horns (I bought both of my tubas at the conference), but I am usually going to re-connect with people I usually only get to see at the conference.  I can usually count on seeing Bratten and Kirven, who I went to school with, and other local service bandsmen like Dave Brown, Quade, Holtz, Cradler, Neal Corwell, (Kelly Diamond) and many others.  I can usually count on seeing Marty Erickson and Ed Goldstein, two of my principal teachers, and Carol Conger, pianist supreme.  This really makes the trips up there worthwhile.

This year had a little of everything.  I stayed with Tom and Cheryl, who were nice enough to host me despite having very little time to deal with me.  They have a cool house close to Mount Vernon, and Tom has a cool commute through old town Alexandria to get to the base every day.  It’s pretty cool to pass George Washington’s church every day.  I made it up to DC in time to hear Tim Buzzbee’s recital.  Tim is a really cool guy and monster tuba player, with an unreal power in the low register.  It’s a weapon and he ain’t afraid to use it.  His recital was VERY casual, and fun to listen to and experience.  I heard him play the Grant Three Furies at ITEC in Greensboro, I think, and he plays it so well.  I was sandwiched in between Demondrae Thurman and Matthew van Emmerik.  I had just met Matthew, and I know D very well.  It was tough to contain the hilarity at this recital.  Very fun.  Emmerik had some intestinal issues to add to Buzzbee’s intestinal issues on stage.  None the less, it was a great time.

Here is a video of the second movement:

I hit the exhibits after the recital and talked with Marty for a hgh spray human growth hormone hghfreeinfoexchangenet while.  I enjoyed hearing about his teachings at Lawrence and how he is incorporating brass ensemble into the process.  Maybe it will lead to a brass band in the future.  Talked a bit with Andy Smith, Ben Roundtree, Dennis Askew, Brent Harvey and Matt Ransom, and Paul Pietrowski.  Brian Thomas made an appearance as well.  I can’t remember if I went to dinner before the concert, but probably did, and didn’t eat.  The concert Friday night was the Armed Forces Tuba ensemble which I didn’t really listen to, and the second half had cool stuff by Jamie Lipton playing the Jan Bach Concerto, and Jim Self.  I met Jim Self for the first time.  After the concert I went out with Bratten and some Army Band brass players.

Saturday started later than expected.  I carpooled in with Bratten and missed Combest playing on the early recital.  I heard it on the live broadcast, though.  I met up with Mike Kris and James Anderson for lunch, which was cool, and made it back to hear the Harvey Phillips Tribute recital.  After this, I hit the Sotta Voce recital.  This was really good.  They played a really nice new work by Mike Forbes, and some oldies they have played a lot, including Consequences, Western Fanfare, and the Plog Fantasy Movements:

The Dominion Brass played a concert rescheduled from Wednesday night, and I am glad they did.  This group is made up of military bandsmen from DC and is really good.  Ben Roundtree and Chris Quade play tuba in there and were awesome.  The have a new CD out that features a Brian Balmages tune that I actually like:

The concert Saturday night had its moments.  The band sounded great on Jupiter.  van Emmerik and Buzzbee were fantastic.  Afterwards was the usual American Legion party which was cool.  Had a good chance to catch up with Kirven, Ed and some others.  A neat surprise was meeting up with Alice Lookovsky, a friend from UK.  She lives very near to where we were and was nice enough to stop by and chill.  Very entertaining.

All in all, it was a really good weekend.  I look forward to next year.