Octubafest 2018 set for Oct. 24

The Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble will be presenting Octubafest on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Members of the 2018-19 ensemble include (bottom row, from left) Tyler Ricks, Lebanon; Sean Bond, Nashville; Hannah Eitzen, Hixson; Jonathan Ownby, Cleveland; Lena Marsh, Morristown; Dan Davis, San José, California; Mara Wilks, Mountain City; Josh Whited, Hendersonville; and Taylor Winkler, Brentwood, as well as (top row, from left) Michael Barton, Crossville; Jonah Hammontree, Knoxville; Professor R. Winston Morris, Director; Guy Bortz, Kingsport; Devin Rains, Murfreesboro; Riley Davis, Dunlap; Tom Ryan, San Diego, California; and Zach Davis, Cleveland.

COOKEVILLE –The internationally acclaimed Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble will present its annual fall Octubafest performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Wattenbarger Auditorium in the Bryan Fine Arts building.

The Ensemble, which is currently celebrating its 52nd season, is documented as the most recorded ensemble of its kind in the world.

Octubafest 2018 will feature the music of one of Tennessee Tech’s best-known composition students from 1975, Señor Aldo Rafael Forte, an internationally renowned composer.

Born in Hava, Cuba, Forte, now a U.S. citizen, was raised in Huntsville, Alabama, and holds music degrees from Tennessee Tech and the University of Southern Mississippi. His works have been commissioned, performed and recorded on five continents. He enjoyed a 26-year career as composer/arranger in the U.S. Air Force band.

Forte’s earliest composition for Tech’s Tuba Ensemble dates to 1973, the Adagio and Rondo, which will be performed in addition to other compositions that he did for Tech’s group over the past 45 years. The ensemble will present the world premiere performance of his newest composition titled “Cortege (in memory of Maria Forte),” that he recently completed in honor of his mother who passed away a year ago. This composition in the form of a funeral processional that celebrates a life well-lived with the low brass and dirge-like percussion accompaniment.

The program will open with the first performance of an Antonio Vivaldi “Fugue in D Minor” arranged by Glenn Martin, also a Tech graduate. This “concerto grosso” polyphonic composition will feature three members of the Tuba Ensemble as soloists: Tyler Ricks, senior euphonium student from Mt. Juliet; Taylor Winkler, a junior euphonium student from Brentwood; and Tom Ryan, senior tuba major from San Diego, California.

In keeping with the primary Spanish/Latin flavor of Señor Forte, the ensemble will feature graduate assistant Dan Davis, from San José, California, on solo tuba in a performance of the famous Joaquin Rodrigo En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor that many in the audience will recognize from famous recordings including jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain recording.

The ensemble is the only group of its kind to have ever performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall, having presented eight unprecedented performances there dating back to the first performance in 1975. The ensemble has also performed at two World Fairs, and numerous appearances from Preservation Hall in New Orleans, the Spoletto Festival in Charleston and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, along with numerous national and international festivals and conferences.

The concert is free and open to the public.

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