Assistant music professor performs solo and collaborative works


Lena Alhallaq / The Sunflower

Assistant Music Professor Phillip Black plays tuba at the performance held inside Weidemann Recital Hall Sunday.

The College of Fine Arts presented a performance from their Faculty Art Series on Sunday, Feb. 7 at Wiedemann Recital Hall. The main performer was Assistant Professor of Tuba, Phillip C. Black who played the tuba. Black played four separate pieces, and a small horn and big horn for the tubas.

The tuba he played during his performance, he has had since college as an undergraduate student when his roommate sold it to him. Black got started playing the tuba in 1968 and has been playing the tuba for 53 years.

“I still remember to this day, I pulled the sousaphone out into the hallway outside the band room,” Black said. “I played a note, I heard it echo up and down the hall, and I was sold.” 

The first piece he played was called “Tubaisms.” This music composition had three separate movements. He then played along with a recorded track to a piece called “Un Dia en la Vida.” This title means “A Day in the Life.” This piece was focused around mariachi music. 

Black then played in a duet with Dr. Carmen Lemoine. Lemoine played the flute. Together, they performed the composition called “Sketches” that was published in 2010. This piece originally had seven movements but they only played five. To end his performance, he played with graduate student Eitan Spiegel. They performed “Rock of Aces.” This composition was the oldest piece performed due to it being published in 1970.  Both performers played the tuba for the last performance of the afternoon. 

Black said that being able to play modern songs that can be performed anywhere is something that is important to him. The pieces “Tubaisms” and “Un Dia en la Vida” were both published in 2020. 

“I liked the piece I started with “Tubaisms” just because it presented so many different aspects of Tuba playing,” Black said. “It was modern without being crazy. For the small horn I really loved [“Un Dia en la Vida”] because I’ve done a lot of works with pre recorded sound tracks, and those two are the kind of pieces I could take on tour just with me, and my car, and my tubas.”