Another Successful VOTT Concert

With euphonium soloist Ashley Gittins headlining this concert, our modest size audience sounded like a full house.

Ashley’s sublime and elegant performance of Peter Graham’s “The Holy Well” was something I will never forget. The audience did not hesitate when I suggested another round of applause for this particular performance.

Bohme’s Russian Dance was of equal quality, this time adding technical excellence to his musical control.

The bigger tuba performed 2 solo works. Circus, by Carlos Cano is a fun and entertaining piece. While only 2 clues are given about this music, the title and the 2nd movement named Sad Clown, I invited the audience to use their own imagination of what the first and third movements could be, interpreting the composer’s writing goals along with my performance interpretation. “Elephant” was one response I received at the end of the concert.

The second work was a swing piece that I renamed “shoo-Be doo-Vah”, by Keith J. Robinson. The audience appreciated this lighter tuba work, as did the radio producer who held my music as I did a live radio performance of this work 2 days earlier.

These four solos between us were dispersed between the myriad of duets we chose for this concert.

We started with Ashley’s “Two Funky” duet which he and one of his tuba students wrote at a lesson. It is short but highly entertaining and was a great concert opener. Afterwards, I found out that it was the very first public performance of this work. Fantastic, we started with a world premiere, written by one of the performers.

This created a great bookend, as the final work, Cockadoodledoo – Henry the Rooster, was written by the other performer (me) with its world premiere performance that same day.

The catalyst for this particular concert, was a tuba and euphonium duet I wrote many years ago, Teddy Bears. I have always wanted to perform this with Ashley but there was always something getting in the way of this desire, until recently.

We quickly realised we couldn’t do a concert with only one work, so we padded it out with some solos and other duets. Listening to the audience’s reactions and volume levels, we produced a successful concert with our programming and performances.

Post concert chatting with various audience members had remarks like, “I never new a tuba could do that”, “I’ve never heard a euphonium before, it’s beautiful”, and all other remarks and conversations were positive about what we had just produced.

This mirrored the post concert comments of the first VOTT concert in March this year. Nothing but positive comments and conversations about the tubas, the music programming and the concept of The Voice of the Tuba – In concert.

The VOTT series is new in Maleny but being positively received after the first 2 concerts.

For those who have attended the first 2 concerts, please tell everyone you know about your experience and invite them to have their own experience at the next VOTT concert.

To everyone else, why not visit the wonderful township of Maleny on a Sunday and conclude your experience with a VOTT Concert.

August 6, Maleny Community Centre, Maleny.

Thank you, see you there.

John Szkutko