Tuba & Euphonium Studio

Marching Jayhawks playing tubas and euphoniums

The KU Tuba-Euphonium Studio has for decades held the reputation of not only being the top tuba and euphonium studio in this part of the country, but also is considered one of the nations best. The KU Tuba-Euphonium studio is a great place for the serious musician, whether they are a performer, future educator, or any other field of music. Music Minors and talented non-music majors also have a home at KU. All the activities listed on this web site are open to students based on audition.

Studio Classes

In addition to lessons each week, students also participate in weekly studio classes. In these classes students both perform and receive instruction on a variety of topics on brass playing. Performances are part of the student’s semester grade, and are done in a master class setting with all the students participating by providing feedback.

Studio Class Topics & Presentations

  • “Performing With a Pianist”
  • “Brass Playing in the United Kingdom” with guest artist Helen Tyler (Foden’s Richardson Brass Band)
  • “Practice Skills”
  • “Breathing Gym Exercises” with all KU Brass Students
  • Tuba-Euphonium Clinics by students in the W&P Pedagogy class (Topics TBA)

Tuba-Euphonium Consort

The KU Tuba-Euphonium Consort meets on Monday evenings of each week and is a regular ensemble in the school. This group has performed on many prestigious venues including the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference, the United States Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference, the National Music Educators Conference, the Great Plains Tuba-Euphonium Conference, and the Kansas Music Educator's Workshop. In recent years it has worked under the baton of such well-known artists as John Stevens, R. Winston Morris, and Jamie Hafner.

The KUTEC performs major literature for the ensemble each semester, thus challenging its members in ways that exceed the usual role for our instruments in other large ensembles. The acquisition of ensemble skills at the highest level is the goal of this ensemble.


Students also perform in other chamber ensembles such as tuba-euphonium quartets and brass quintets as part of the KU Chamber Music Program in Brass. These are taken for credit with a faculty artist coach. KU boosts top-flight large ensembles such as the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and jazz bands or combos. Current Large Ensemble faculty are: Dr. Paul W. Popiel-Director of Bands; David Neely-Director of Orchestral Activities; Dan Gailey-Director of Jazz Studies; Matthew O. Smith-Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Jayhawks, and Sharon Toulouse, Assistant Director of Bands. Our composition staff also includes the famed composer James Barnes.

Brass Training

Mock Audition Competition

A part of the training that makes KU such a special a place is our Mock Wind Band and Mock Orchestral Competitions each year. This competition in the fall each school year is either a Mock Orchestra or Mock Military Band Audition. They are run exactly as a professional audition would be, screened, and with a prepared repertoire list and sight-reading before a guest artist panel of judges. The result is that KU students by graduation know exactly what to expect at professional auditions, and have been receiving vital feedback from professionals who hear such auditions for years by the time they complete their course of study. All large ensembles auditions in classical music are administered the same way.

Winners of the Annual Mock Audition in Brass Competitions

2001 Tim Leopold-Trumpet (Wind Band)

2002 Pat Flor-Horn (Wind Band)

2003 Chris Nierman-Trumpet (Wind Band)

2003 Chris Nierman-Trumpet (Orchestra)

2003 Tom Szott-Tuba (Orchestra)

2004 Andrew Chester-Tuba (Orchestra)

2005 Justin White-Trumpet (Wind Band)

2005 Nitai Pons-Trumpet (Orchestra)

2006 Andrew Chester-Tuba (Orchestra)


The IVASI Orchestral Sessions

As part of brass orchestral training at KU, students use the IVASI system, an orchestral repertoire DVD playback system with conductor and audio that creates a full orchestra performance situation. These sessions simulate a live performance, playing the entire work, not just an excerpt. The system also has a conductor on screen, which also makes it more “real”. These sessions are another facet that makes the KU program so detailed and multi-faceted.


The long record of KU Tuba and Euphonium graduates winning professional playing positions, and positions in music education, the music industry and other facets of the music world under Scott Watson are testimony to this program's great training and success. Graduates include Jess Lightner-United States Air Force Band; Sean Chisham-United States Army Band (Pershing's Own); Matt Hemenway-Euphonium -US Army Command Band-Germany; Thomas Price-West Point Band (retired); Keith Bland - Acting Conductor-United States Air Force Band; Jarrod Williams-Principal Tuba-United States Naval Academy Band; Travis Siehndel-United States Naval Academy Band; Nate Rinnert-Professor of Tuba and Band-Mansfield State University; Patrick Stuckemeyer, soloist and founder of Portenza Music; Jamie Baker-award winning music educator, Orange County California, Amanda Drinkwater, Director of Bands, Carrolton, Texas; Matt McCool-Director of Bands, Pea Ridge HS (Arkansas); Candace Bailey, Shawnee Mission (KS.) Schools; and William Nazzaro-former Tubist with the Midland-Odessa (TX) Symphony, Philadelphia area freelance musician. KU students have also won many competitions and awards such as the Mock Orchestral and Mock Jazz Competitions at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference, the All Star College Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble Competitions, and many more. Successful Graduates.

For more information contact: Scott Watson