Instrumentation: Solo Instruments: Tuba
Convent Window, an unaccompanied work for solo tuba, was composed for my latest compact disc recording Zigzags. After years of work as an arranger, this is my first original solo composition, and it is meant to call to mind a moment of quiet contemplation. I imagined Hildegard von Bingen, a woman whose life I much admire, pausing during her hectic day to look out of her office window, in a moment of calm reflection. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) was a German abbess who wrote music, poetry, biographies, works on medicine, natural history, and accounts of her personal mystical experiences. She is perhaps best remembered for her musical compositions intended for use at the convents, many of which have been preserved. My albums O quam mirabilis and Zigzags both feature solo tuba arrangements of her chant, a great way to explore Medieval Era literature. Convent Window is intended for intermediate to advanced performers as a low register feature, with slowly flowing melodic lines which alternate with quicker, more moving articulation below the staff. For recording links and more information, please visit www.joannahersey.com.
Joanna Ross Hersey
BIO: Joanna Ross Hersey, Tuba and Euphonium
A native Vermonter, Joanna studied with Dan Perantoni at Arizona State University, received a Master of Music in Tuba Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music studying with Chester Schmitz, and earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Tuba Performance from the Hartt School. As Principal Tubist with the United States Coast Guard Band, Joanna performed throughout the country as a soloist and clinician after winning the position at the age of nineteen. Joanna has played for three U.S. Presidents, performed at numerous state functions for visiting dignitaries, and has appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America. In her freelance career she has performed with artists including Placido Domingo, Roberta Flack, Marilyn Horne, Arlo Guthrie, Michael Bolton, Lee Greenwood, Arturo Sandoval and Jack Nicholson. Joanna is a founding member of the Athena Brass Band, a group first created for the 2003 International Women’s Brass Conference which has since performed at the 2006, 2012 and 2014 IWBCs, and has been featured at the Brass Band Festivals in Danville, Kentucky and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as soloist. Joanna is currently Principal Tubist with the Carolina Philharmonic and the Carolina International Orchestra.
As a member of the Alchemy Tuba-Euphonium Quartet, Joanna performs throughout North America and Europe and can be heard on the group’s first compact disc recording Village Dances (2010), and on their new release Prelude and Groove (2012). For twelve years, Alchemy has been in residence each February at the Horn-Tuba Workshop in Jever, Germany where the group performs recitals, gives master-classes and conducts ensembles. The quartet also recently performed recitals in Linz, Austria as part of the International Tuba Euphonium Conference, and was featured in the outdoor Fest der Natur on the banks of the Danube River. The Alchemy Quartet, founded in 1976 as the nation’s first professional tuba euphonium quartet, will celebrate their 40th birthday in 2016, and the group will release their next compact disc, featuring new arrangements and commissions, in celebration.
Joanna’s first solo album, O quam mirabilis (2010), featuring music by women composers including Hildegard von Bingen and Libby Larson, is available through Amazon.com, iTunes, by visiting her website, joannahersey.com. Her second solo album Zigzags was just released, and is a collection of Joanna’s own compositions, with works by Faye Ellen Silverman and Hildegard von Bingen. Joanna’s research interests focus on brass history and women in 20th Century American music, and her work has been published in the International Tuba Euphonium Journal, the International Women’s Brass Conference Newsletter, the Historic Brass Society Journal, the North Carolina Music Educator’s Journal and the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. Joanna is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Brass Conference, and is a Yamaha Tuba and Euphonium Performing Artist, and Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
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