Blowing horns for the public

The splendid sound of the tuba and euphonium, a little tuba, are the focus of the USF School of Music’s annual OcTUBAfest!

OcTUBAfest! is a series of three on-campus concert performances. The USF Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble performs the first show of the series on Saturday. and will be followed by performances on Sunday and on Oct.18.

Satuday’s show features the Renaissance music of William Byrd and Tylman Susato. This music was originally created for now-rare wind and string instruments, but will be re-created for OcTUBAfest!

Also, the concert includes an orchestral piece arranged by USF student Reginald Curtis. Additionally, Curtis arranged a version of the virtuoso trumpet solo “The Carnival of Venice,” which the 15-piece ensemble will perform. The concert has two solo performances: Cassi Stewart on the tuba and David Rodriguez on the euphonium.

The ensemble concert concludes with an assortment of patriotic music arranged by famous euphonium soloist Gail Robertson. Robertson , a published musician, arranged the entire University of Florida Gator Band “rock ‘n’ roll” halftime show last season. Saturday’s patriotic arrangement includes spirited tunes such as “America,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “My Country Tis of Thee” and more.

Jay Hunsberger, the USF tuba and euphonium instructor, said the medley is to “urge people to get out and vote in November!”

The Sunday concert will present soloists from the USF Tuba/ Euphonium Studio performing pieces by Bach and Hindemith, among others.

Robertson and Hunsberger are the soloists featured in the Oct. 18 performance. Robertson is currently the Professor of Low Brass at Bethune-Cookman College and an adjunct instructor of the euphonium and tuba at the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida. She has also founded and coordinated Orlando’s TUBAMANIA, and co-coordinated TUBACHRISTMAS.

The Oct. 18 performance has an admission charge, while the other shows are free. The Oct. 18 concert is $4 for students and $8 for the general public.

OcTUBAfest! is meant to be entertaining, but Hunsberger hopes it is enlightening to the audience as well.

“It is part ‘educational.’ Many people are not aware of the beauty of the tuba/euphonium or the virtuosity of the performers. Part sheer enjoyment,” said Hunsberger.

The OcTUBAfest! Concerts at USF are held in the Music Recital Hall (FAH) Room 101.