Octubafest highlights students and sounds


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Steven Lawrence, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University’s Department of Music, Theater and Dance held its Octubafest event in the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall at the Haas Performing Arts Center. The two programs featured the tuba and euphonium as solo instruments and as chamber music instruments. All students in the GVSU tuba and euphonium studio appeared as soloists in the concert. 

The Octubafest concert worked to create a different musical experience than what may be heard in other events. The concert highlighted the music from the tuba and euphonium, instruments that in most performances typically play bass lines and accompaniment. This gave the audience a chance to hear new sounds and experience these instruments in a new way. 

“If the audience is not used to hearing the tuba or euphonium as solo instruments, they will probably hear some new, to them, sounds,” said Dr. Paul Carlson, the director of Octubafest. “The tuba and euphonium both have warm, rich sounds that make pleasant music.” 

The students began preparing for this event at the start of the semester. They have been practicing pieces and learning the fundamentals of the instrument. 

Carlson said the students put in quality work and commitment to making this performance the best it could be. 

“These concerts feature my students,” Carlson said. “I have helped these students prepare for these performances, but the students are doing the real work.”

Altogether, this event worked to create an experience for both the audience members and the performers. The concert gave students an opportunity to showcase what they learned and prepared while connecting to a larger audience.