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Nothing says love like a tuba serenade

Tuba Valentines participants, from left, Keith Packman, Patrick Nyren, Jesse Orth and Sarah Snyder.When people see students guiding two tubas and two euphoniums their way – and when they hear those instruments break out into love songs – the reaction is always the same.

“Blanket reaction – they are shocked,” said Patrick Nyren, a doctoral student who is a member of the North Texas Chapter of the International Tuba Euphonium Association.

Sometimes the shock turns to delight - sometimes to embarrassment – since, after all, the recipient of this unusual Valentine’s Day gift is the center of attention as he or she is serenaded with two love songs, given a personalized card and chocolate rose.

If last year is any indication, then tuba romance is definitely in the air for many Valentine-givers. The group was booked for performances days before and after Valentine’s Day, but was busiest on Feb. 14 when they started at 8 a.m. and didn’t stop until nearly 9 p.m. In total they performed about 80 serenades, Nyren said.

  • Above, Tuba Valentines participants, from left, Keith Packman, Nyren, Sarah Snyder and Jesse Orth.

Most of the Tuba Valentines take place on campus, said Nyren, who has performed with the group for six years and noted it’s an exciting way to raise funds.

“It’s fun for us, too,” he said. “And, we dress up – men in tuxedos, women dressed nicely. We try to make it romantic.”

  • When - Tuba Valentines are offered by appointment – a few days before and even a few days past Feb. 14.
  • Where - Tuba Valentines are offered mainly on campus and in Denton, but the group will travel around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, depending on availability.
  • Song list - Each performance is about 15 minutes long. The quartet offers a selection of romantic musical fare –  My Girl, My Guy, Hey Baby, I Can't Help Myself, Always and Forever and When I Fall in Love. Five selections are new this year: Taylor Swift's You Belong with Me, Billy Ocean's  SuddenlyKiss the Girl from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do and the Penguins’ Earth Angel.
  • Cost - A Tuba Valentine costs $30 on the UNT campus, $40 in the city of Denton and $40 plus mileage outside of Denton County. Payments can be made with PayPal (indicate that is how you would like to pay and you’ll get an invoice via email) or by checks payable to NT-ITEA.
  • Order - Email

Money raised from Tuba Valentines performances will help the North Texas chapter invite guest artists and clinicians to campus and will help pay to send students to music competitions.

This semester, the chapter helped sponsor Jason Ham, principal euphonium of the West Point Band, for a master class, clinic and recital Feb. 17.

The College of Music has one of the nation's top tuba and euphonium studios.

- Margarita Venegas, News Promotions

Posted on: Mon 04 February 2013

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