Octubafest celebrates 40 years at Tech

Tennessee Tech University’s tuba and euphonium students kicked the 40th annual Octubafest into high gear last month.

With a total of 21 concerts, there is a variety of performances, said Tech tuba professor R. Winston Morris. Some were solo concerts while others featured tuba and euphonium quartets and quintets. The main concert took place Oct. 30, and had all 25 tuba and euphonium students performing together with the percussion studio.

 “This is about as many concerts that we’ve ever done for this season and Octubafest,” said Morris. He went on to say the most concerts performed in the past were probably 18.

Octubafest’s main headlining concert had works composed by Sousa, Tchaikovsky and Holst. During Holst’s “Mars, the Bringer of War,” the students played in sync with a video playing in the background.

 This concert also featured the work of Tennessee Tech alumnus David Butler. Butler arranged the compositions so the tubas and euphoniums could play without the rest of the band.

Morris said Butler graduated from Tech around 1991. Butler is currently the director of bands at Chattanooga School for the Arts. Morris said it’s becoming a tradition to feature the work of Tech alumni during Octubafest, something they’ve been doing for the past five or six years.

“Usually in the fall concert, we feature work from one of our former students because the students not only learn how to perform for the instrument, but they also learn how to write for it, to compose and arrange,” says Morris.