|Contributor: Joe Baker|
II was born and raised in the Utopia of Temperance, Harriman, Tennessee. I joined my High School band on Sousaphone and eventually I received a Navy ROTC scholarship to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. I graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in 1960. I then spent three years at sea on my uncle's gray yacht (my Uncle Sam, that is). Before retiring in 2000, I had several jobs in my career in different states. I was an Engineer at General Electric Audio Products and Gates Radio in Illinois and then I came to work at General Dynamics in Rochester, New York. Eventually, I taught electronics at Monroe Community College for 35 years. Currently, I play bass and tuba in the Greece Concert Band, Brighton Symphony, Pittsford Fireman's Band, and various jazz and other bands, including theater pit orchestras.
In the early 80's, Simon Pontin organized WXXI's Embouchure Rejuvenation Festival, in which he had a dozen or so tubas emerge from the woods at Highland Bowl playing Teddy Bear's Picnic. Some of these tubists told me about Tuba Christmas. I realized that if anybody else organized it, they might not let me play. So I have organized Rochester's Annual Merry Tuba Christmas since its debut in Rochester in 1983.
A couple years ago, Simon Pontin asked me to do a short weekly segment on band music. The featurette GAZEBO is the result. I hope you like it.
NOTE: Thanks to the many musical friends who share their true stories and tall tales regarding the music played on GAZEBO. Special thanks to Glenn Call, and PROGRAM NOTES FOR BAND by Norman Smith (GIA Publications Inc. www.giamusic.com).