Hardin-Simmons University Celebrates Oktubafest
(ABILENE, Texas)–On Oct. 29, Dr. Jeffrey Cottrell, Associate Professor of Low Brass and Theory, directed the 12th annual Oktubafest at Hardin-Simmons’ Woodward-Dellis Recital Hall. Performers included students, faculty, and the Civic Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble of Abilene. With a variety of musical styles ranging from serious music to jazz, artists were able to shine a light on the talents of the low brass instruments.
The very first Oktubafest was held in 1973 at Indiana University by a man named Harvey Phillips, known to the tuba community as Mr. Tuba. Due to the event’s great success, universities across the country have continued the tradition of celebrating the low brass instruments and German heritage.
Developed and patented in Germany, the tuba and euphonium’s heritage was celebrated at Hardin-Simmons with songs such as Power, Sarabande, Alleluia, and Simyeh. It is not often for the tuba or euphonium to be the center of attention during a show. “Often when a tuba or euphonium is sitting at the back of the band, they’re playing either a bass line or harmony parts,” stated Cottrell in an article written by Lyndsey Peace for The Brand. “At Oktubafest, the players have a chance to showcase their talent. Everybody at some point in every piece gets to play the melody.”
A reception was held in Caldwell Hall following the concert. To celebrate the tuba and euphonium’s heritage, root beer and various German treats were served.