When it comes to the instrument known as the tuba, it is usually an instrument that is in the background of an ensemble. The tuba is often the instrument that holds out long notes while the rest of the band plays the main melodies.
That was not the case on Feb. 2, when audience members arrived at the Mathes Recital Hall to hear Continental Euphony. The recital was put on by ETSU Tuba and Euphonium professor Stephanie Frye-Clark, who showed the audience her skill on the tuba and brought it out of its standard concert setting with a variety of musical pieces.
“I’ve been playing since sixth grade, so it’s been a long time now probably about 20 years,” Frye-Clark said. “The goal of tonight’s event was to share basically what I love about music with the audience, hopefully play something that everyone in the audience would either relate to or really love.”
Frye-Clark said that she and the musicians that accompanied her rehearsed for about two weeks. Throughout the recital she played a wide variety of music written for tuba.
“I thought they sounded cool. I think they’re super effective,” Frye-Clark said. “Basically I choose music for recital, not based on what’s written for tuba or euphonium, but what I like. So I play a lot of music that’s for a bunch of different instruments.”
To show the fact that the music was written for other instruments as well, Frye-Clark was joined by her colleagues who played piano, trumpet, horn, snare drum, trombone and vocals.
With musical pieces that ranged in variety and style, Frye-Clark was able to keep the audience focused on the music. She was also able to show the audience that the Tuba can be much more than a background instrument in a concert band setting, all while doing her favorite thing:
“Performing with other people and sharing the music with the audience.”