From ITEA Journal Spring 2009
Salvation is Created by P. Tschesnokoff
Whem Micky Wrobleski was 16 years old he made the switch from sax to tuba and “has never looked back,” much to the benefit of the tuba world. He studied with Jerry Young at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire for five years, kicked around the Chicago area for a few more, and has moved on to become the Pricipal Tubist with the Beijing Symphony. He flexes his compositional skills with etudes and chamber works for tuba, and is a much sought after arranger. For such a simple looking tune, Salvation is Created is fraught with pitfalls and details that demand great care and musicianship for successful performance. The tuba range, from EE to e1 does not seem to bad, yet the player must have a keen ear and control to enter on a high “e” after sitting out for four measures as the work shifts from a C-sharp minor feel to E major. Bass trombone and second trombone have very nice supporting roles throughout with no problems most decent college players could handle easily.
Much of this work is at a dynamic of “mp” or lower-fading to “ppp” for the final chord as the tubist descends to their EE for the first and last time. Control of pitch and articulation at those soft dynamic levels is a challenge! Intonation “in a sharp key” will be an issue for most (meaning, those who don’t practice their scales as they are told).
The tubist and first trombonist would benefit from oplaying their parts together for blend and balance as the lead trombonist carries the burden of melodius playing in the mid and upper range entirely. This is a work which would fit nicely on brass ensemble programs in a variety of settings from the church to the recital hall. Also this work is worth the cover price just for the misprint on the first page!
Phillip C. Black – Wichita State University, Wichita Symphony
Micky Wrobleski was born in Virginia, Minnesota, U.S.A. in 1974. He began his study of the tuba at the age of 16, after 2 years of saxophone. At the age of 17 he began his music career performing as a member of the Twin Ports Wind Ensemble, a professional Wind Band made up entirely of college and high school music educators. From 1992 to 1997, Micky attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied tuba with Dr. Jerry A. Young.
In 1997, Micky was chosen to be the Principal Tuba of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the training orchestra of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While in Chicago, Micky studied with Gene Pokorny, Principal Tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was concurrently principal tuba with several of the orchestras in the Chicago region while also maintaining a busy studio recording, brass quintet and private teaching schedule.
Since 1997, Micky has appeared as a substitute/extra tuba with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic, the Jilin Symphony Orchestra, and the Minnesota Opera, In 2002, Hu Yongyan invited Micky to become the principal tuba of the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. A position Micky held until in 2003, Tan Lihua invited him to assume the principal tuba position with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra.
In 2005 Micky gave the Chinese premier performance of the Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra by American composer John Williams. In 2008, Micky gave the first ever solo tuba performance with the Taipei Wind Ensemble. On this concert, Micky performed Tubby the Tuba, Australian composer Barry McKimm’s Tuba Concerto as well as Micky’s own arrangements of The Blue Bells of Scotland and The Carnival of Venice.
Micky has also brought to life several new works by Chinese composers featuring the tuba in a solo role. Currently, Wang Xi Ling is composing a new work for Micky and the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, there are also several composers (Macedonian, American, Chinese, Swiss, and Korean) in the process of writing works for Micky.
Active as a chamber musician, Micky is a founding member of China Brass, the China Brass Quintet, the International Concert Brass Soloists, and is a frequent collaborator with the Beijing New Music Ensemble.
In Beijing, Micky maintains an active schedule balanced with orchestral performances, solo performances, chamber music, composing, teaching tuba and euphonium at the China Conservatory of Music, studio recording and his English Bulldog, Bully.
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