Of Heaven and of Earth

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Principal Harp Allegra Lilly took a moment before her rehearsal of Debussy’s Sacred and Profane Dances to try and define the thin line between the sacred and profane. She plays the work at Powell Hall this weekend, and Principal Tuba Michael Sanders plays Vaughan Williams’ Tuba Concerto after her. The ethereal harp and the earthly tuba. From Carmen at the top of the show to Bolero at the end, the theme runs all the way through.

A Nuanced Approach

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Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is loud, rock ‘n’ roll loud. It’s one reason young musicians gravitate toward it. “I get to play full out!” Many of the pros, especially the brass, enjoy the 1812 throughout their careers, and they play it throughout their careers–a lot of times outdoors, and sometimes even with real cannon.

Principal Tuba Mike Sanders has played the 1812 Overture inside, outside, with bass drum, with cannon, and this week with a great big wooden box making the big booms.

But how does the tuba get heard amidst all that racket? Mike gave me a demonstration.

Mike Sanders shows what a tubist needs to do to be heard in 1812 Overture.
Mike Sanders shows what a tubist needs to do to be heard in 1812 Overture.