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TTU News

As October comes and goes, you may have noticed the absence of a popular annual event — the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble’s Octubafest celebration.

The concert series hasn’t been canceled, though. It’s just been postponed until early November to coincide with the TTU student ensemble’s 40th anniversary festivities.

This year’s Octubafest celebration, in fact, kicks off with a performance by the TTTE at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5 — directly following a 3 p.m. show by the all-star alumni tuba ensemble, which has been assembled to present the world premiere performance of nine works commissioned specifically for the group’s anniversary.

“On such an auspicious occasion, audience members might expect the Tuba Ensemble to do a little something special to kick off its Octubafest celebration — and we’re not going to disappoint them,” said R. Winston Morris, founder and director of the TTTE.

The show will welcome back 40 years of TTTE alumni, who will take the stage with current members of the student ensemble to present a grand finale performance that’s being hailed as “Tubas of Mass Destruction.”

Possibly more than 100 tuba and euphonium players are expected to take the stage at once. As the most recorded group of its kind in history, the TTTE has attracted students over the years from all across the country and as far away as Japan.

Three second-generation tuba students — Keith Kile of Oak Ridge, Lindsey Murphy of Lebanon and Kevin Tupper of Clinton — could even be joined on stage by one or both parents, who are former TTTE members.

Kile’s father, Jeff, was a TTTE member from 1978 to 1982; Murphy’s father, Joe, was a member from 1982 to 1986, and her mother, Mary, was a member during the 1986-’87 year; and Tupper’s father, Tommy, was a member from 1973 to 1977.

The featured highlight of the TTTE performance will be the world premiere of “Triskaidekaphile” by Kenyon Wilson, a 1992 ensemble alumnus.

Another highlight of the show will be the presentation of Gene Steinquest’s “Fanfare and Fuguetta,” which was the first original piece composed specifically for the ensemble, when Steinquest was TTU’s marching band director and woodwinds professor.

Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” which was arranged by Morris for the TTTE’s first appearance at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall in 1975, will also be revived especially for the historic performance.

And rounding out the show will be a performance of “The Liberation of Sisyphus” by John Stevens. Kyle Huron of Baytown, Texas, will be the featured tuba soloist, and he will be joined by an octet made up of four euphoniums and four tubas.

On euphonium for that performance will be Kile and Aaron Marsee, Ben McMillan and Curtis Prichard, all three of Cookeville. On tuba will be Cory Allen of Colp, Ill., Kenji Kabe of Tokyo, Martin McFarlane of Tullahoma and Kyle Newland of Columbia.

Among the pieces that will be presented during the “Tubas of Mass Destruction” finale are three arrangements by ensemble alumni.

They include Pachelbel’s “Canon,” arranged by 1983 alumnus David Wiseman; Barber’s “Adagio,” arranged by Kenyon Wilson; and Sousa’s “George Washington Bicentennial March,” arranged by 1991 alumnus David Butler.

Other pieces that will be included in the finale are Bach’s “Air on a G String” from Suite No. 3; Terry Hutchinson’s “Tuba Juba Duba,” first performed in October 1971, and “Bullfrog Rag” by Trident (Gigger) Gilfish.

Other shows in the Octubafest concert series will include:

• A tuba recital by Kyle Huron at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, followed by a euphonium recital by Curtis Prichard at 8:30 p.m.

• A tuba and euphonium recital by Cory Allen and Ben McMillan at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

• A presentation of chamber music for tuba and euphonium at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The show will feature tuba and euphonium student quartets Fourtitude, Outside the Box, El Tubatio and Eutubia.

• A tuba recital by Kenji Kabe and Martin McFarland at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9.

• And a euphonium recital by Aaron Marsee at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26.

Founded by Morris in the fall of 1967, the TTTE has been included on the Grammy Entry List for its various 19 studio recordings and is the only music group in the state to receive the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Academic Excellence and Quality Award.

For a complete schedule of activities, visit the TTU tuba web site at or call Morris at 931/372-3168.