VOTT Recital #2 Maleny

July 7, 2013

Another concert success! Same program, different venue, different audience, all combined to produce another great VOTT production.

Although a slightly smaller audience than the Wynnum concert a week earlier, the people of Maleny certainly did not hide their appreciation for each performed work. For 2 numbers I had to restrain myself from continuing to the next work as the audience kept applauding, which had to be acknowledged. What a wonderful surprise this was.

The signature “finisher” Voice of the Tuba (performed at every VOTT recital) had the best audience participation to date.

The day started early, with warmup and practice routines. With a bit of reorganising, the hall was set up much earlier than the previous week. This allowed for more rest time before kick off that day. Or so it seemed.

It was time to perform with a digital piano at this concert. There is a baby grand the Community Centre owns, but it is held in storage. I had my doubts about the balance with a digital piano but I had to go with the only solution I could find.

I must thank Boyds – The Piano Shop for supplying the digital piano and accessories for this concert. Thank you Jason and Alison Boyd.

After some stuffing around getting it set up, my concerns were laid to rest after some ears at the rear of the hall asked for the piano to be turned up. Both tubas balanced with the piano. One anxiety was relieved, only to be replaced with another.

I had forgotten to bring my solo music to the hall. Fortunately “home” in Maleny was only a 3 minute walk away but most of it was jogged.

Now it was time change into performance gear, check tuning and settle down before kickoff. I checked the time… only 10 minutes left to do this, AGAIN!! Deep breathing and some light buzzing helped settle the body.

Show time!

Despite the extra exercise earlier, the opening number (with music opened this time) was more settled and controlled than at the Wynnum concert. This was pleasing to realise, which led to being more relaxed for the remainder of the recital.

I think I have provided a great opener for these 2 concerts with Philip Buttall’s The Lone Arranger. The Maleny crowed loved it like the Wynnum crowd did, as judged by the applause and comments about it afterward.

My performance of pieces 3 and 4, The Swan and The Morning Song were somewhat lacking, in my own opinion. For whatever reason, I seemed to have had lost a lot of energy, like hitting a wall.

But this presented a unique opportunity, sink or swim. In the middle of a concert, there was no option to sink, especially during a beautiful piece of music as the Swan.

I went back to one basic, keep the airflow continuous, despite how I felt. It was hard work, especially trying to control a soft slow piece. I was getting a bit anxious about the Morning Song though, about how that really high section would  turn out. It turned out fine with the exception of that last top note that finishes that section.

I made it, well, to the programmed “interval” for myself. It was a relief to walk off stage, it was hard work pushing through that wall. While Mitchell was wowing the audience with his nimble fingers, I went to swap tubas and get ready for the second half. After a bit of buzzing on its mouthpiece, I walked out with the contrabass Bb tuba and some anxiety about my energy levels.

I really didn’t have to worry, as the short break did wonders. While not perfect, I was more than happy with the opening Bb tuba number, Andante Brilliante. A second wind (pun intended) seemed to have rejuvenated this tuba performer.

I don’t know why but the audience appreciated the last piece the most, as I had to take a second bow until the clapping stopped. I guess a powerful trombone work (Sonata vox Gabrieli) on a Bb tuba can do that!

With all thanks given to people and organisations who helped produce this event, it was time for Voice of the Tuba. I think I explained the audience participation instructions properly this time. Mitchell and I seemed to float the melody and accompaniment over a most wonderful “stomp, slap, clap” rhythm section from the audience.

Another wonderful concert was concluded. I chatted with the audience members afterwards. I even explained the difference between the bass and contrabass tubas to some young budding brass players who were in attendance.

It was a wonderful 8 days, with 2 highly successful concerts and meeting so many wonderful people and music lovers.

Thank you to everyone who came and applauded at the Voice of the Tuba In Concert.

Series 2 Recitals are now over. Mission complete.

Series 3 Recitals are scheduled for September.

See you all there!

John Szkutko – Voice of the Tuba