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8 A New York Professional

Harvey Phillips Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER EIGHT

A New York Professional

AFTER MY DISCHARGE from the Army, Carol and I took an apartment at 42-25 80th Street in Elmhurst, Long Island, one block away from Elmhurst Hospital. A lot of musicians had apartments in that big building. The owner and manager of the building was very musician-friendly. If someone came to complain about musicians practicing at all hours of the night, he’d tell them to move. He said, “I’ve never been stiffed by a musician.”

New York musicians often said, “If you want to learn the art of music, go to Juilliard. If you want to learn the profession and business of music, go to the Manhattan School of Music.” I had the good fortune to attend both schools, but my motivation for enrolling in the Manhattan School of Music was so I could leave the Army in time for the start of the 1956–1957 concert season, which began in mid-September. After completing four years of music studies at Juilliard, I didn’t feel like I was in dire need of academia. By the time I returned to New York, I had more than twenty gigs booked already, including the rodeo, ice show, the New York City Ballet, and the New York Brass Quintet.

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19 Performance Tips

Harvey Phillips Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER NINETEEN

Performance Tips

IF YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY to appear on a local or national popular talk show, dress well, look neat, be alert and personable, and, most importantly, be knowledgeable and articulate. Send information about your instrument and your career to the host well in advance. Remember, the listening/watching audience is accustomed to being entertained. Be enthusiastic about your instrument and its roles in music. Select repertoire that shows off the best qualities of your instrument and your artistry. Whatever you choose to play, introduce the music clearly, interestingly, and concisely. Be prepared to discuss the chosen repertoire with your host(s) and always acknowledge any accompanying musicians.

I was on Studs Terkel’s radio interview program in Chicago three times. I went on with six other tuba players. I was primary spokesman. We played Christmas carols and talked about the tuba, euphonium, and tuba literature’s affording more choices all the time. Studs Terkel was an example of an interviewer who did not try any ill-humored requests. All his questions and inquiries were upbeat and sincere.

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16 Indiana University Retirement

Harvey Phillips Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Indiana University Retirement

IN FEBRUARY 1972, I received a call from Mason Jones, personnel manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He told me I had been recommended by the orchestra search committee for the tuba position being vacated by Abraham Torchinsky and that Maestro Eugene Ormandy had asked him to contact me and negotiate an agreement. There would be no need for an audition and I could discuss salary with him. I told Mason I appreciated his call and I would give every consideration to the position.

But I decided it would be improper to resign from Indiana University after only one year. A couple of days after receiving the call from Mason Jones, I called and told him to pass along my respects and appreciation for the offer but that I had decided to honor my agreement with Indiana University.

In March 1972, trumpeter Fred Mills and tubist Chuck Daellenbach of the Canadian Brass quintet chartered a plane and flew to Bloomington to ask if I would consider managing the Canadian Brass. During my stay at Indiana University, several other schools approached me about administrative positions, including the Oberlin Conservatory, the Manhattan School of Music, the North Carolina School of the Arts, Arizona State University, the Peabody Conservatory, and the New England Conservatory. I was also invited to follow Ed Birdwell as director of the music division for the National Endowment for the Arts. I went to Washington for an interview with Frank Hodsoll, chairman of the NEA. But I had no quarrel with the way I had been treated by Indiana University and the community of Bloomington. I had good relationships with the president, the chancellor, the dean, the faculty, and my community contacts. I co-sponsored activities with the mayor’s office from time to time and shared sponsorships for concerts with the local newspaper.

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13 Institute for Advanced Musical Studies

Harvey Phillips Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Institute for Advanced Musical Studies

IN MY FIRST YEAR at the New England Conservatory, a young conductor, Daniell Revenaugh, of the Jacksonville Symphony, had come to see me. He inquired about my availability to administer a project establishing an advanced school of musical studies in Switzerland. I was interested in the project but could not become involved because of my commitment to Gunther Schuller and the NEC.

In August 1969, Richard Zellner became program adviser for the division of continuing education at Florida State University, Tallahassee. He worked with Daniell Revenaugh to provide continuing education credit to student musicians performing with the Jacksonville Orchestra. Revenaugh introduced Zellner to Dimitry Markevitch, director of the newly formed Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Sion, Switzerland. Markevitch engaged Zellner as the American liaison to the institute for the purpose of creating a council of American Music School Deans and to recruit students. In 1971–1973, Revenaugh and Zellner worked on the Electric Symphony Orchestra project in Berkeley, California, utilizing members of the San Francisco Symphony. Zellner continued working to establish the Deans Council and to recruit student musicians for the institute in Switzerland. In 1973 the Swiss-based administration of the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies unexpectedly lost control of its facilities in Sion, and the arrival of students was imminent. The Italian-American philanthropist Pier Talenti, the institute’s financial backer, summoned Zellner and Revenaugh to Rome, where Talenti asked them to resolve the situation. They contacted the Grand Hotel of Montreux, which agreed to become headquarters for the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies. Zellner was appointed managing director.

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15 Carnegie Hall Recitals

Harvey Phillips Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Carnegie Hall Recitals

FOR SEVERAL YEARS, some of my colleagues, both composers and performers, suggested that I do a Carnegie Hall recital. I resisted the temptation because I felt my teacher, William J. Bell, should present one first. In 1961, Roger Bobo, a tubist wunderkind, on his graduation from the Eastman School of Music, presented the first solo tuba recital in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. I was unable to attend Roger’s concert but I know it was excellent from our mutual friend Alec Wilder. Alec not only attended the concert but wrote “Encore for Tuba” especially for Roger Bobo’s recital. William Bell passed away on August 7, 1971, without ever having performed a solo recital in Carnegie Hall.

I did not get around to performing a solo tuba recital until January 1975. That month, I presented five recitals in nine days in Carnegie Recital Hall, sponsored by the Carnegie Hall Corporation. My purpose in doing five recitals was to illustrate the growing repertoire and acceptance of the tuba as a solo instrument. A number of colleagues assisted the performances, but none of the professional players, with whom I worked consistently, would accept payment. Preparation for the nine days consumed sixty-seven hours of rehearsal, some in Boston. One started at midnight with the New York Saxophone Quartet; it was the only time everybody could get together. One was in Bloomington with IU School of Music Dean Charles Webb, who was my piano accompanist on one of the five recitals.

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