Wednesday, September 22, 2021

What is it like to play tuba (not tuba!) in the Cal Marching Band?

Fans may be full of praise for the tuba player of the University of California, Berkeley military band. However, technically speaking, they are playing tuba-California bands call them “bass.” No matter what you call them, those band members who swagger and dance are known for their footwork and music.

Now, senior economics and statistics major and Burlingame High School alumni Anton Bobrov (Anton Bobrov) explains all this, from the history of the tuba to the legend of the California band.

Ask: What is the difference between large and large?

A: In fact, they are the same musically. The large coiled length is compressed, so it can be held in a person’s arm (at the same time) sitting on a chair. The problem is that concert tubs are particularly difficult to hold, play, and play in front—they need support.

Therefore, at the turn of the 20th century, John Philip Sousa invented the tuba, which basically just wraps the tuba around the player’s body, making it easier for the player to spread the weight around the body.

Ask: So why do band members call Susa style bass?

A: I want to be honest with you: I don’t know why they are called bass. Before this interview, I started to ask a group of alumni if ​​they knew why we called ourselves bass. They all said, “Well. This is a good question. I never thought about this.” They started going down the line and asked the older people they knew, and they all said, “I don’t know.” The best anyone can think of The conclusion is “Well, this is the bass part of the ensemble, isn’t it?” So, this is the knowledge that I think can best explain it at the moment.

Ask: What is your musical background?

A: I have always liked music. I started taking piano lessons at the age of four or five and made sure that I could join every band in the school. I even quarreled with my dad once because I wanted to join a jazz band, but that meant not participating in Spanish. Entering a military band is just a natural process.

Ask: The tuba is a heavy instrument-18 to 50 pounds. Don’t you feel tired when you walk around with it?

A: This is tiring, but at the same time exciting. The Berkeley campus is on a hill. Our stadium is on the top of the hill. Our band room is at the foot of the mountain. Therefore, on a typical match day, we would perform for the fans in Sproul Square and then cross the campus on the way to the stadium.

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At the beginning of the year there was a game against the University of California Davis-I think it was August-it was 90 degrees outside. We are wearing wool uniforms. We are all sweat-soaked.

But when we passed through the north tunnel of the Memorial Stadium and started our pre-match formation, all of the fatigue and all the fatigue suddenly disappeared. You are in this area, you are performing.

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Ask: Cal sousaphone players are known for their high-energy performances…

A: In any military band, we are the only band I know of that has a tuba that runs across the venue. At the end of each pre-match performance, the bass will separate from the other members of the band and strutting on the court. With the legs approaching 90 degrees, we circled the end area and completed our famous script CAL with the other members of the band. We not only swaggered after the pre-match performance, but also shined at the end of almost every performance.

Ask: What else makes Cal Band unique?

A: Our band is very different from any other college band you may know. Cal Band is entirely run by students. We only have one full-time employee, and that is our supervisor Matt Sadowski. Everything else is planned by the students and carried out in the committee.

What is it like to play tuba (not tuba!) in the Cal Marching Band?
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