Tuba player wins top musician title
March 26, 2013
Sammamish resident tuba player Andy Abel is the National Winner in the Brass category of the Music Teachers National Association Senior Performance competition, held at the MTNA National Conference, in Los Angeles, on March 10.
He competed against other division winners in the Brass Senior Performance category, which includes tuba, trumpet, trombone, French horn and euphonium musicians. To get there, he had to book his tuba its own seat on the plane.
The three-tiered MTNA competition begins at the state level. Winners advance to division competitions and then proceed to the National Competition Finals.
Andy is a senior at Issaquah High School and has been studying tuba for six years. His instructor is Chris Olka, principle tubist with the Seattle Symphony. Andy performs with the Issaquah High School jazz and wind ensembles (director Patrick Holen), the Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra (director Doug Longman) and the Seattle Youth Symphony, Stephen Radcliffe (conductor and director of music). In 2012, Andy won a seat as a substitute tubist for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Andy won auditions to study with Boston Symphony principal tubist Mike Roylance at the Tanglewood Institute in 2011 and with Chicago Symphony principal tubist Gene Pokorny at the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar in 2012. He also travelled to Australia in 2011 to perform with Pacific Honors Ensemble Program at Griffith University.
Andy plans to study tuba performance at the University of Washington or Boston University.
The Music Teachers National Association is a nonprofit organization of 22,000 independent and collegiate music teachers. Founded in 1876, it is the oldest professional music association in the United States. The National Competition started in 1972.