The Tuba and Euphonium Conference brings artists together

CBS NEWS — A conference that has been in cities across the globe called Iowa City home for the week.

The Tuba and Euphonium Conference is held every two years or so; this was the association’s first time hosting an event in Iowa.

“Gorgeous, gorgeous facility, the Voxman Music building at the University of Iowa,” says International Tuba and Euphonium Association president Kevin Wass. “The quality of the facility is what drew us here.”

Beginners and experts have spent the week learning and making beautiful music together.

“My students from Texas Tech are here and they were getting off the bus and they said, ‘Oh my gosh, there goes Steve Mead!’ Wass says. “He’s one of their idols.”

The convention brings them together every other year.

“These are world-class artists from all around the world who’ve chosen to come here to Iowa City,” Wass says.

“It’s an opportunity to reconnect with your tuba euphonium family,” says Deanna Swoboda, an associate professor of the two instruments at Arizona State.

This is somewhat of a family reunion, all to celebrate their favorite brass instrument.

“It’s a beautiful sounding instrument,” Swoboda says. “It’s the bass voice of the brass family.”

A sound that often stands alone.

“There’s only one tuba in a symphony orchestra,” Wass explains, saying it’s not as popular as violins or pianos.

This conference gives artists an opportunity to play music written specifically for them and to challenge themselves to more difficult pieces.

As crowds gathered in the lobby of the Voxman, toes tapping and smiles on their faces, it was easy to see that, even if it’s not the most popular instrument, beautiful music just brings people together.

“It’s to spread the passion and joy of music-making,” Swoboda says.

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