Members of the tuba family celebrate OcTUBAfest

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More than 50 tuba and euphonium players will perform at the culmination of the annual OcTUBAfest on Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Madsen Recital Hall.

The workshop and rehearsals are available for players of all ages and abilities, free of charge, on Oct. 20. OcTUBAfest starts on Oct. 17 and will feature performances through Oct. 20.

Patrick Sheridan, a world-class tuba soloist, will perform with Utah Premiere Brass on Oct. 18 and with BYU faculty pianist, Dr. Sunbeam Choi, on Oct. 19. Sheridan started out as a full-time private tuba teacher, but when he received his master’s degree in marketing, his business education opened the door to becoming a freelance soloist. Now he travels 200 days, performs 100 concerts and visits 10 to 15 countries a year.

“I look at myself as a product, not as an artist,” he said. “I’m operating myself. I get up everyday and make my own living. I feel very lucky to make my own way.”

Dr. Steve Call, tuba professor in the School of Music, said he has been trying to book Pat Sheridan as a guest artist for about 15 years and is excited to finally have him on campus to teach and perform.

“Along with being a stellar performing artist, Sheridan is known for his showmanship and stage antics,” Call said. “He is one of only two people in the world who make a living as a full-time tuba soloist. Students will enjoy interacting with this world-class musician and receive critiques from him to help their own playing.”

Call said it’s been a fun challenge for him to get all the participants together at the finale, Grand OcTUBAfest Concert, on Oct. 20.

“It is a challenge to find music that will sound good played by musicians with different abilities,” Call said. “But I enjoy it. Also, it’s a great opportunity for students to hear different perspectives from other performers. My students hear me teaching all year, but other teachers can give different points of view to help them develop as musicians.”

Many participants will share their talents at the Grand OcTUBAfest Concert including the City Creek Brass Quintet, Jazz with Steve Call and Bob Bailey, BYUI’s Golden Lund, UVU and Snow College’s Dan Bryce, BYU–Idaho and BYU tuba-euphonium ensembles and the workshop ensemble made up of all participants.

Jacob Bahr, a senior from Payson majoring in music education, started playing when his 7th-grade band director was looking for someone to play tuba. Bahr said tuba and euphonium players from all over the world are encouraged to participate in rehearsals during the day on Saturday, Oct. 20th, to get ready for the night performance.

“I think it’s fun,” Bahr said. “It’s a great opportunity to reach out to the community. This is the first year that we have the opportunity to coach people before the performance. I think this is awesome. It’s definitely the best activity OcTUBAfest will have.”

Rachel Tracy, a junior from Highland majoring in nursing, went to OcTUBAfest last year for her friend’s school assignment.

“It was really cool,” she said. “I was surprised that they could do the entire concert just only with tuba. I like going to concerts, but I’ve never been to a concert like this before. I remember that one of the pieces was about an elephant. Tuba sounded like an elephant sound, and it was a funny comparison.”

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