The tuba collection owned by Professor Winston Morris, which is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest collection of its kind, is scheduled to open to the public on the third floor of the Roaden University Center on Nov. 9.
The Tennessee Tech Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble kicked off the 2019 Octubafest celebration on Oct. 20. This consists of a series of 11 concerts and recitals featuring the tuba. The event ends Sunday.
Morris said he recognizes how underrated this instrument is and describes the celebration as a chance to showcase what this instrument can do.
“By the time we get into the 1970s and early 1980s, those of us who promoted the tuba wanted to find ways to promote the instrument to the public in a way that they have never heard the instrument before,” Morris said.
No music was written for the instrument until 1955.
Morris is not only the director of this ensemble, which has performed at Carnegie Hall eight times, but he also owns the world’s largest collection of materials, including figurines, that feature the tuba.
“This is my collection. Specifically, the R. Winston Morris Tuba collection; and it is not tubas, it’s tuba artifacts,” he said.
This is a collection he worked on for 60 years.
In the past, students in the ensemble got to see this collection in person.
“My freshman year was actually when it was originally unveiled and I remember moving boxes from his house to the exhibit area,” upper-level performer Hannah Eitzen said.
“This is something that we are all excited to see, like we haven’t seen it in a couple years, and it’s the world record for the most tuba things,” she said.
The grand opening of the exhibit is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 9.