Annual Octubafest celebration at TTU kicks off on Oct. 27

October at Tennessee Tech University means the sound of tubas is in the air.

It’s time for the 33rd annual TTU Octubafest celebration, a series of concerts presented by the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble that kicks off on Monday, Oct. 27, in the Wattenbarger Auditorium of the Bryan Fine Arts Building and runs through Sunday, Nov. 2.

Highlights of this year’s Octubafest concert series include an 8 p.m. Monday performance by guest artist Kelly Thomas, a 1997 TTU alumnus who is currently a professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

“He is equally versatile on the euphonium and the tuba, and his recital will feature him on both instruments,” said R. Winston Morris, founder and director of the TTTE.

Thomas will present pieces by Derek Bourgeois, Franz Schubert, Roger Kellaway, Jay Rozen, Richard Strauss and Amilcare Ponchielli.

A performance by the full TTTE is set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, and it will feature solos by senior euphonium major Curtis Prichard of Cookeville and junior tuba major Kyle Newland of Columbia.

Thomas will return to the stage to perform as a special guest with the TTTE, and 1992 alumnus Kenyon Wilson will also be featured.

Wilson is assistant professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and principal tubist with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra in Alabama and the Augusta Symphony Orchestra in Georgia. He has served as a lecturing Fulbright Scholar at the Baku Music Academy in Azerbaijan and has also performed in Canada, Japan, Germany, Georgia and Armenia.

Prichard and Thomas will perform the world premiere of a duet composed by Wilson titled Decimation.

Wilson will be the featured soloist on a piece titled Three Ludes for Tuba, composed by former TTU music professor Robert Jager.

This is the 42nd season of the TTTE. Morris founded the student ensemble in 1967.
Other Octubafest events include:

• A tuba recital by Matt McMillan and Jayna Yates at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27.

• A tuba recital by graduate student Tracy Luna at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31, followed at 8:30 p.m. by a tuba and euphonium recital by Pat Curry, Charles Long and Kyle Newland.

• A tuba recital by Kenji Kabe and Daniel Smith at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1, followed at 8:30 p.m. by a euphonium recital by Adam Goad.

• A recital by the tuba trio Tuba A’tre kicks off a series of concerts at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, and a tuba and euphonium recital by the Freshmen ensemble follows at 4 p.m. A tuba recital by Jared Box is set for 7 p.m., and a euphonium recital by Curtis Prichard at 8:30 p.m. wraps up this year’s Octubafest celebration.

For more information about Octubafest at TTU, call Morris at 931/372-3168 or e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .