The Colonial Tuba Quartet has performed over one-hundred concerts and clinics throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. It was formed in 1989 out of a desire to perform, commission composers and encourage the tuba quartet medium.

In the ten years of the quartets existence, they have commissioned over a dozen new pieces, have produced the CD Spectraphonics on Mark® Records and have performed many prestigious concerts including performances at the Sapporo (Japan) Music Festival, Convegnbo Bandistico Cantonale in Mendrisio (Switzerland), Suddeutsches Tuba and Euphonium Festival (Germany), the Deutches TubaForum (Germany), the New York Brass Conference, the Eastern Regional Tuba Workshop in Washington, DC and the International Tuba-Euphonium conference in Lexington, Kentucky; as well as venues in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Indiana Rhode Island and Delaware. Commissioned composers include David Baker, Arthur Frackenpohl, Jack Stamp, Stephen Melillo, Robert Hoganson and others. The quartet also plays compositions in the lighter vein including the popular music of today and yesterday including composers such as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, the Beatles and others. They have also sponsored two major workshops for low brass: The Colonial Euphonium and Tuba Institute in Albany, New York in 1996 and Indiana, Pennsylvania in 1998 have been week long forums for euphonium and tuba students, professionals and amatuers.

Since all four of the CTQ members are dedicated educators with more than a century of teaching experience among them, they are also active in promoting the euphonium/tuba quartet as a new kind of chamber music ensemble by performing many educational concerts for children in the United States and Europe.

There are several common threads binding the members together. All are university professors who live and work in states that were among the original thirteen U.S. colonies, are graduates of the Indiana University School of Music, and each is a former student of world famous tuba virtuoso Harvey Phillips.

The Colonial Tuba Quartet is available to perform concerts, clinics and children's concerts for elementary, Junior High and High School.

for more information contact Gregory Fritze at gfritze@berklee.edu

"Comprised of four outstanding musicians The Colonial Tuba Quartet has distinquished itself in this newest form of music ensembles. Their blending of tonal colors, technical brilliance and musical nuance is both enlightening and entertaining."

Harvey G. Phillips - Distinguished Professor of Music (retired)

School of Music, Indiana University

Performers

Euphonium - Mary Ann Craig is Director of Bands at Montclair State University in New Jersey, where she also teaches applied low brass. She is currently Secretary for the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Women's Brass Conference. She appears frequently as euphonium soloist and clinician at national and state conferences, and at colleges/universities. She was a clinician and teacher at Keystone Brass Institute of the Summit Brass in Colorado for two years. In 1987 she recorded a solo album Mary Ann Craig, Euphonium. Dr. Craig is also active as a music educator, holding offices in national and state organizations. She received a Doctor of Music Education degree and a Performers Certificate on the euphonium from Indiana University.

Euphonium - Jay Hildebrandt, D.M. Indiana University, is a Professor of Music at the University of Delaware, where he teaches low brass and directs the University Jazz Ensemble and student brass ensembles. A member of the Delaware Brass and the Faculty Jazz Ensemble, Dr. Hildebrandt also performs with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. Proficient on the euphonium, tenor and bass trombones and tuba, he has performed as a soloist, clinician, and conductor throughout the eastern U.S. He has also performed as soloist in Luxembourg and France.

Tuba - Gary Bird is Professor of Music at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches tuba, euphonium, Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Perspectives. He has performed as guest soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He is principal tubist of the Johnstown and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestras and has performed with the River City Brass Band and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. He holds the Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, Master of Music in Tuba Performance from North Texas State University and Doctor of Music in Performance and Brass Literature from Indiana University.

Tuba - Gregory Fritze is Assistant Chair of Composition at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches composition and tuba. Winner of many composition awards including the 1998 IBLA Grand Prize in Composition, Sicily, a 1997 Grant from the Massachusetts Arts Council and the 1996 Composition Award from the Accademica Constantiniana, Rome, ten ASCAP awards and others, he won First Prize in the 1991 TUBA Composition Competition. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music in Composition from Indiana University. He is principal tubist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. and has been recorded, both as a composer and a performer.

 "The Colonial Tuba Quartet showed versatility and talent"

Becky Verzinski - The Penn

"Remarkable Euphonium/Tuba Quartet in the U.S.A. Their excellent concerts gave highest impressions to Sapporo citizens

. . . one of the most active cities of culture in the world now"

Chitate Kagawa - President: Hokkaido Euphonium and Tuba Association, Japan

"The Quartet played with flair, especially in the strong rhythmic interplay between the different instruments."

Scott Watson - TUBA Journal

" . . . an exceptional tuba quartet . . . super players"

David Baker - Internationally Recognized Jazz Educator and Performer

"The CTQ must be heartily commended for their efforts to commission and promote new compositions for the Tuba/Euphonium Quartet."

Sharon Huff - TUBA Journal

SPECTRAPHONICS

The Colonial Tuba Quartet

 

Mary Ann Craig, Jay Hildebrandt - Euphoniums

Gary Bird, Gregory Fritze - Tubas

 

An ensemble consisting of two euphoniums and two tubas is very unique. Before listening one might think that an ensemble of this type would be um-pah, cumbersome and colorless, but after listening to the selections on this recording you will hear the versatile capabilities of these large and beautiful instruments with various textures expressing agility, beautiful melodies and colorful renditions. The Colonial Tuba Quartet has performed over one hundred concerts throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. We are used to walking on stage in front of the audience with their curious eyes stareing and saying "what kind of concert is this going to be?" Our many successes in showing the enjoyments of our audiences has encouraged us to produce this compact disc of the most popular pieces. Travel with us through an aural expedition of many different places and times and experience SPECTRAPHONICS.

 

Program Information about the works on SPECTRAPHONICS.

 

The Colonial Express, written for "Gary Bird and the Colonial Tuba Quartet" is a short and effective fanfare based on two alternating and contrasting themes. The first consists of bursts of fast repeated notes with sudden dissonances. The second presents a lyric melody characterized by wide leaps. Jack Stamp is Director of Concert Bands at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has published many compositions for band and is in wide demand as a composer, conductor, percussionist and adjudicator.

Dr. Jack Stamp was born in 1954 and is Conductor of Bands at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, Concert Band, and teaches courses in conducting and percussion. Dr. Stamp received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree from IUP, a Master's in Percussion Performance from East Carolina University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting from Michigan State University. An accomplished composer, Dr. Stamp's primary composition teachers have been Robert Washburn and Fisher Tull, with recent studies with noted American composers Joan Tower and David Diamond. Stamp has approximately 20 published compositions for band and various other instrumental and vocal combinations, including: Gavorkna Fanfare, Fanfare for the Great Hall, Past the Equinox and Divertimento in F.

Suite for Tuba Quartet was commissioned by the Colonial Tuba Quartet in 1990 and received its premiere in Sapporo, Japan in August of that year. The opening "Fanfare" is in 6/8 meter an is based on two alternating themes, the first homophonic and the second with instruments in pairs. A transition in 2/4 is expanded to form a short coda. The "Air" is in 4/4 and uses some of the open sonorities used in the first movement. The form (ABA'B'Codetta) is also similar to the "Fanfare". The 2/4 "March" uses a traditional form but has some measures in 3/8 and 3/4 as well as some rapid changes of key. The interlude of the trio uses material from the introduction and first theme.

Arthur Frackenpohl was born in 1925 and recently retired from his position as Professor of Music at the Crane School of Music in Pottsdam, New York. He has composed many compositions for all instrumental combinations. He is thought of as one of the best composers of educational compositions, having many successful pieces for student performers. He also is one of the primary arrangers for the Canadian Brass Quintet with many arrangements of classical and popular music published and performed around the world.

Sweet Georgia Brown, a familiar American Jazz Tune was arranged for the Colonial Tuba Quartet by professional guitarist Jack Fragomeni of Albany, NY. No one knows who actually composed this piece, but it has been one of the most popular tunes played in New Orleans since 1900. Some people may recognize this as the theme song for the Harlem Globe-trotters basketball team. This foot-tapping number features a jazz euphonium solo by Jay Hildebrandt.

Prelude and Dance by Gregory Fritze was composed during the winter of 1989-90. The composer has written this piece to depict several of the characteristic moods for the euphonium and tuba. The Prelude was inspired by J.S. Bach's "Komm' Susser Tod" which is a chorale often played by tuba ensembles at T.U.B.A. conventions. It first portrays a melancholy theme played by the first tuba and then by the first euphonium. The contrasting second melody (inspired by Komm' Susser Tod) is then developed into a return of the first theme in canon. The Dance contains four individual themes specially composed to suit the personality traits of the four performers of the Colonial Tuba Quartet for whom the piece was originally written. The themes are presented in solo one by one by each of the four different individuals. The first is a "Rock Style" rhythmic figure starting in Tuba II which serves as the pulse for the entire movement. The second theme is played by Tuba I in a syncopated jazz-like figure in straight eighth notes. The third theme is presented in Euphonium I as a virtuosic figure displaying the apex of rhythmic activity among the themes. The fourth theme is presented by Euphonium II as a hymn-like melody reminiscent of the Prelude from before. The Dance culminates at the solo tutti section where all four themes are performed concurrently. The piece ends with a coda which includes a reminiscent quote from the Prelude. Gregory Fritze was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1954. He won many awards for compositions for orchestra, concert band, chamber ensembles and solo instruments including seven composition awards from the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, Meet the Composer Grants and First Prize in the 1991 TUBA Etude Composition Competition.

The Colonial Suite is a set of four traditional American pieces arranged for the Colonial Tuba Quartet. Simple Gifts is a Shaker tune which features Gary Bird as solo tubist. The unusual rhythmic rendition of the traditional Yankee Doodle is a piece that the CTQ often performs in children's concerts to demonstrate the wide ranges of the euphoniums and tubas. When Jesus Wept and Chester are tunes written by William Billings, America's most prominent eighteenth century composer. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1746 and died in the same city in 1800. Except for some singing lessons from a local pastor, he had no other musical training. He became a tanner's apprentice at age 14, where he neglected his tannery work to scribble melodies on the hides of his tannery with chalk. When he was twenty-one, he decided to make his living solely through music. Since none of his precedents in the colonies did this, Billings became America's first professional musician. His aim was to enhance the musical literacy in the English-speaking churches. When he was twenty-four, he published The New England Psalm Singer which was the first of six collections of vocal music mainly for the churches of America. Billings brought to increasing prominence the style called "fuging tunes" (Billings own way of spelling fuguing), which consisted a phrase sung by the first voice before it was repeated successively in imitation by the other three voices. A good example of this is When Jesus Wept, preceded by a simple statement of the tune. Chester, a highly popular hymn tune of the period, is set in a variety of textures that are meant to reflect the ambiance of the tune.

ERICH! by Stephen Melillo was commissioned in 1994 by the Colonial Tuba Quartet with added timpani, and received its premiere in October of that year. It is "A Small, but Heartfelt Tribute to Erich Wolfgang Korngold, His Bravely Offered Sentiment & Swashbuckling Sense of Adventure and Fun". ERICH! features a "no holds barred" brass and timpani style with a strong rhythmic sense, accented syncopations and antiphony, based on an ABA design with percussive and rhythmical outside sections enveloping a sonorous lyrical section which features solo euphoniumist Jay Hildebrandt.

Stephen Melillo was born in 1957 and is an Academy Award and Emmy nominated composer who creates music for film and for professional and education ensembles. His more than 770 works range from interactive video scores to his powerful musical, SON of the STORM...from feature film scores and songs to works for the symphony orchestra. Commissions include, After the Storm, TOP SECRET, Storm Journey, Stormworks, A Walk in Jurassic Park, Escape from Plato's Cave, All the Mornings of the World, The FOUNTAINHEAD, AHAB!, ERICH!, and numerous other works, including those for Wind Ensemble, orchestra, chorus, and jazz ensemble. His film work includes numerous features and what is now, 28 Network Television Shows.

In Darkness...Dreaming was written in 1992 and premiered by the Colonial Tuba Quartet at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference in Lexington, KY. There is no specific program attached to the title (or any of the individual movements' titles) of this work. Because the general atmosphere of the music is dark and moody, the combination of words that make up the titles seems apporpriate and fitting.

Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Bavaria (Austria) in 1756. He was the seventh and last child of Leopold and Anna Pertl Mozart. Only two of their children survived infancy: Wolfgang and Maria Anna (1751-1829). Wolfgang sometimes used the German name Gottlieb, but preferred the translation Amadé or Amadeo; he rarely used Amadeus, except in jest. He wrote many symphonies, operas and chamber music pieces. He composed four concerti for the conical bore brass instrument of the time: the french horn. Mozart died in 1791, thirty years before the tuba was invented. Mozart was known as a visionary. There are some historians that claim that Mozart felt that his four horn concertos should be played on the "largest conical bore" instruments available. Could he have had a vision of the tuba thirty years before it's existence? Could those four concertos really have been composed expressly for the tuba? No one really knows for sure, but we suspect that if Mozart could have had the opportunity to socialize with the members of the Colonial Tuba Quartet, he surely would have composed a piece for them. Eine Kleine Nacht Music is one of Mozart's most famous compositions. The melodic and rhythmic interplay between the voices has always made the listener react with delicate enjoyment. This piece shows the agility and lightness that a euphonium/ tuba quartet can attain.

Fantaisie Original was arranged for euphonium and band by Simone Mantia, euphonium soloist with the Sousa band. The theme andd variations were arranged from an opera written by obsure Italian composer, Giovanni Picchi. The arrangement was published in 1909 by the Dixie Music House in Chicago. The recorded version by the CTQ was arranged by Mary Ann Craig and had it's first performance at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference kin Sapporo, Japan in 1990.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. This arrangement gives the opportunity to show the melodious aspects of the euphonium.

Dances; Four Tubas was written by Ken Pullig in 1992 for the Colonial Tuba Quartet and was a winning piece in the 1992 T.U.B.A. Composition Contest. He was born in Torrington, Connecticut in 1945. After studying mathematics at the University of Connecticut, he attended the Berklee College of Music where he received a Bachelors degree in Composition. His ten piece jazz group "Decahedron" has been performing concerts of original jazz compositions in the New England area for thirty years. He is now Chair of the Jazz Composition Department at Berklee College in Boston and has composed many pieces for jazz groups and brass quintet. He say the following about his piece "mixing jazz sonorities with 20th Century chromaticism, this piece attempts to challenge the euphonium/tuba quartet with a series of contrasting moods and textures."

Two Fantasias by the Venetian composer Adriano Banchieri was composed in 1603. In the style similar Giovanni Gabrielli, another master of this era, the antiphonal nature and the imitative counterpoint shows the beginnings of the Baroque era. It was not common in this time period to have specified instrumentation for performances. The same piece might have had different instrumentation from week to week, depending on the decision of the music director and depending on the availability of certain instrumentalists for that week's performance. We feel that if the Colonial Tuba Quartet would have walked into Adriano's church on a Sunday morning, he would have been happy to hear his Two Fantasias performed by the quartet.

The traditional Austrian folksong Edelweiss has always been a popular favorite for euphonium/tuba quartets especially during Octubafest concerts.

John Phillip Sousa's Washington Post has always been a favorite closing piece.

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