"tuba" quintet

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Posted by js on December 24, 2001 at 23:31:49:

Back in the very early '80's, I attended a big T.U.B.A. shindig hosted by the University of Maryland. Featured on one of the evening concerts was the Canadian Brass.

Well into the concert, Fred Mills pulled out a surprise instrument on which he performed a beautiful ballad. It was a Yamaha flugel horn built in the shape of an alto horn - a "fluga-tuba" or "soprano tuba", if you will. Not only was the shape of the instrument an attention-getter, but the fact that the sound rang in the hall in the same way that the sound of an upright tuba rings in a hall (due to the directional orientation of the bell) also drew the attention of the audience. At least lately, it has been the policy (as Ryan Anthony, the newest member, has told me) of the Canadian Brass to use strickly "production" model Yamaha instruments in their performances.

Has anyone seen such an instrument before or since? Surely, Yamaha never went into production with this model...Did they? I have often thought about the possibility of performing works such as Ewald quintets, etc., with a quintet consisting of tuba, baritone/euphonium, alto horn, and either two of these mythical UPRIGHT flugel horns or perhaps one regular flugel horn and a cornet.

If anyone (by some extraordinary circumstance) happens to have a post-able PICTURE of that mythical instrument (or one like it) I would be delighted if you would post it below. Also, the next time I see Ryan for his " 'emergency routine' maintenance", I'll try to remember to ask him about that instrument as I believe he "inherited" the complete set of instruments from one of the retired players. I'm not sure if Ryan "inherited" Fred Mills or Ron Romm's instruments.

A brass quintet consisting of tuba, euphonium, alto horn, and two "upright" flugel horns could be considered a "true" tuba quintet, could it not?


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