Want to be a Professional Tuba Player?

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LoyalTubist
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Want to be a Professional Tuba Player?

Post by LoyalTubist » Sun May 06, 2007 11:44 pm

Consider this: The job most tuba players aspire to be is symphony player. There are not even 100 major symphony orchestras in the United States. Each one of those orchestras only hires one (1) tuba player. You might think about going to a foreign country to fullfill this ambition, but read on...

Most universities with music programs have oodles of capable tuba majors who could fill the needs of any professional group. If you were the #1 player in your high school band, there's a good chance might only be the #6 player in your university band. Some of these guys want to be high school music teachers, but most would jump at the opportunity to play in a major symphony orchestra. You can read it here but when you see this you will believe it...

Your chances of being an NFL quarterback are better than your chances of being a tuba player in a major symphony orchestra in the United States... even if you've never played football in your life. But remember that the career of an average football player is just a few years while the tuba player can last for several decades...

There are other groups you can play for but you will need the right connections... And practice hard... Practice really hard... Get a good teacher... Know what you are doing... Maintain a humble attitude...

Realistically, your best chance of being a professional tuba player is to join the military. Before you slam this idea, you need to consider what you really plan to do with your life. Now read on...

Army The Army has the most musicians of any of the services. All soldiers must complete basic training. Unless you are accepted for The Army Band (Pershing's Own), the Army Field Band, or the US Military Academy Band, you then go through six months of musical training. Weapons and physical fitness tests are conducted for all soldiers on a regular basis. The three special bands listed start personnel at E-6 upon completion of basic training.

Navy The Navy has several small bands. All sailors must complete boot camp. Unless you are accepted for the US Navy Band or the US Naval Academy Band, you then go through six months of musical training. The two special bands listed start personnel at E-6 upon completion of boot camp.

Marine Corps The Marine Corps has a few bands. Unless you are accepted for the Marine Band (President's Own), marines must go through boot camp and six months of musical training. Marines that have been through boot camp must go through normal weapons, physical fitness, and military training on a regular basis. The President's Own starts personnel at E-6 upon the beginning of the contract.

Air Force The Air Force also has just a few bands. All airmen must complete basic training. Other training is conducted through the unit to which the airmen are assigned. The US Air Force Band (Bolling AFB) and the US Air Force Academy Band start their airmen at E-6 upon completion of basic training.

Coast Guard There is only one Coast Guard band. Like the Marine Band (President's Own), no boot camp is given. However, also like the Marine Band, members of this band are expected to conduct themselves in a military manner (including appearance). Personnel are started at E-6.

Additional military opportunities for part-time service are available in the US Army Reserve, National Guard, US Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard.

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Brad
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Post by Brad » Mon May 07, 2007 9:04 am

Even at that, there are only maybe a little over 100 military tubists in the US. And then there's us poor Euphonium players.
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Post by LoyalTubist » Mon May 07, 2007 9:25 pm

You euphonium players better be physically fit. The only hope for you is the military.

And, I should say, if you do plan to be a professional tuba player, talent (and not education) is what counts:

When I was in graduate school I studied privately with the late Everett Gilmore, who was then the tuba player with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Ev was not a music major when he went to college. He had a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in library science. He was one of the world's greatest tuba players when he was alive.

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Re: Want to be a Professional Tuba Player?

Post by Bonnie45 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:58 pm

Tuba is a very tricky instrument and it takes years to perfect it, so it’s quite discouraging to know that even the best tuba players from high school would not make it to a symphony orchestra.

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Re: Want to be a Professional Tuba Player?

Post by stewartjames008 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:15 pm

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