steve parker

artist // musician // curator

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Open Call for Tubas and Euphoniums!

On Oct 20th, 2013, we will perform Anthony Braxton's Composition No. 19 for 100 Tubas and Euphoniums at the SoundSpace Concert Series at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX.  The performance will be conducted by James Fei (Mills College) one of Braxton's principal collaborators.

 On this page you will find more info about this project and some information about this work. We hope you will consider participating in this memorable project!  

Special thanks to Professors Charles Villarubia (UT Austin), Steve Bryant (UT Austin), Raul Rodriguez (Texas State), Kent Eshelman (Baylor), James Saliers (UTSA), Jeff Freeman (PVA&M), Sumner Erickson, Dan Sipes (TAMUCC), Justin Benavidez (TAMUK), and many more for making this project possible!



- You will need a simple marching flip-folder 

- Dress is all black


Sat, Oct 19th (For those arriving in Austin on Sat)

5-7PM Rehearsal with conductors, UT Austin Butler School of Music (2406 Robert Dedman Dr, Austin, TX)

7:30 Ben Pierce, Tuba Professor at University of Arkansas, Guest Artist Recital, UT Austin


Sun, Oct 20th

10AM Dress Rehearsal at UT Austin Butler School of Music

1PM Walkthru at Blanton Museum of Art, UT campus (200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX -)

2PM Concert, Blanton Museum of Art

Done by 4PM at the latest


Please contact with any questions or for copies of the music.  


I first learned of Anthony Braxton’s Composition #19 for 100 Tubas as an undergraduate music student at Ithaca College in the early 1970s. I used to regularly pour over the unparalleled magazine for experimental music SOURCE, MUSIC OF THE AVANT GARDE. In issue #10 an Anthony Braxton piece was published. What I noticed first, however, was the photograph of Mr. Braxton, in which he was in rehearsal, the only instrument seen being a tuba. In the list of his compositions (short in 1971), two tuba pieces are listed, his tuba quintet from 1968 and his piece for 100 tubas from 1971, which must have been newly written at that time. I don’t remember if I tried to get these pieces (something I was to do regularly with composers beginning a few years later).

It wasn’t long before I procured the double LP THE COMPLETE BRAXTON 1971, which included the tuba quintet as well as other delicious low pieces for or including the contrabass clarinet and contrabass saxophone. By this time I knew that Anthony Braxton loved low sounds and that he was a friend of the tuba.

Fast forward to 2005 when Anthony asked me to join the Anthony Braxton Sextet, which started performing all over the world. One of the first things I asked him about was his 100 tuba piece, or Composition #19. By this time I had read about the piece in Anthony’s Trillium Writings, learning that it was for 4 marching tuba bands. He told me that the music was lost but he would be happy to reconstruct it if a performance could be arranged. I approached my friend David Lang of the Bang-on-a-Can organization to see if we could set up a performance during one of their yearly marathon concerts. The stars all seemed to align and before I knew it, there we were, marching around the Wintergarden in downtown New York to open the 6/4/2006 Bang-on-a-Can Marathon Concert.

One aspect of the piece that took everyone by surprise, I think, was the look of the piece. Tubas come in all different shapes and sizes, from the smaller tenor tuba (or euphonium) to the large bass tuba, which includes the over-the-shoulder sousaphone. Some bells went to the left, some to the right. Some were bent, some went straight up. It was a phantasmagoria of brass.

Organizing and participating in the performance of Composition #19 was one of the most satisfying events of my musical life. It seemed everyone loved Composition #19; performers and audience alike. As they say, a good time was had by all. —– Jay Rozen 29 July 2011



  More info and documentation can be found at the TriCentric Foundation webpage.