Students to cover variety of songs on brass

Mallory Kutnick, Campus Reporter


Twelve euphonium and tuba players will play songs not originally written for Tuba performances during the annual TUBApalooza concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Recital Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Evan Kelsick, instructor of euphonium and tuba, said the pieces can range from classical quartets by Johann Sebastian Bach to the latest pop songs and anything in between.

“There’s no constraints from that perspective,” Kelsick said. “It’s going to be an interesting concert.”

Following a series of solos and group pieces, the low brass players will perform “Sleep,” a piece Kelsick arranged himself.

A conductor, performer and instructor, Kelsick has been teaching for nine years, but this is his first year at Eastern. His experience with music stretches back around 18 years to when he was in sixth grade and his school band needed trumpet players.

“When you have simpler band music, it’s mostly the trumpet that has the melody,” Kelsick said.

By the time high school rolled around, Kelsick’s sister warned him about early-morning warm-up times for trumpets, Kelsick said. Not much of a morning person, he said he chose to switch to another instrument to avoid having to arrive at school 30 minutes early.

“Our band happened to need a euphonium player, so I switched,” he said.

This decision was made redundant, however, when the 7 a.m. warm-ups expanded to include all brass players.

Capable of playing notes as high and as low as a trombone, Kelsick said the euphonium is his instrument of choice.

“(The range) makes it a very versatile instrument and a very fun-to-play instrument,” he said.

Kelsick said he assumed he would attend a large college close to home and study business like his friends, but playing for a high school band in the highly competitive state of Texas drove him to continue.

“I actually remember switching to music rather late,” he said. “I kind of at the last minute realized I really wanted to teach music.”

Kelsick said he took up the tuba at the University of Houston and studied with the goal of becoming a middle school or high school instructor. He changed his mind twice, receiving his master’s in performance at Northwestern University and his doctorate at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, in order to teach at a college level.

Admission to TUBApalooza is free.

Mallory Kutnick can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]