Fridays in the Valley Presents: Above Average Tuba Quartet

Fridays in the Valley Presents: Above Average Tuba Quartet

The Above Average Tuba Quartet was formed by members of the Lake Wobegon© Brass Band in 2013.

The Above Average Tuba Quartet was formed by members of the Lake Wobegon© Brass Band in 2013 in response to Vicki Wheeler’s observation that Fridays in the Valley really needed to present a tuba ensemble. Tubas, especially through the Internationally known Tuba Christmas program, have brought joy and inspiration to millions during the holiday season. We’re proud to continue the tradition over the years. Since our beginning in Golden Valley, the AATQ has grown into a group that also plays many times each year in concert, at schools and festivals, and of course at beer halls.

Euphoniumist Lee Dummer started his musical career at the age of eight, performing with a local drum and bugle corps. After high school and graduation from Gustavus Adolphus College, he attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, performing with the famous Eastman Wind Ensemble. Mr. Dummer was selected to be a member of the United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) of Washington, DC, where he served as euphoniumist and soloist for six years. Mr. Dummer has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Prairie Home Companion radio program, various community bands, orchestras, brass ensembles. He currently plays with the Lake Wobegon Brass Band, and since 1983 has been a member and a frequent soloist with the Medalist Concert Band.

Euphoniumist Ben Bussey is a Professor of Low Brass at Concordia University in St Paul and a low brass instructor, staff arranger, and ensemble clinician at the MacPhail Center for Music. A Minneapolis native, Ben holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and McNally Smith. His current projects include Brass & BodyWorks, the Twin Cities Jazz Composers Workshop, and the Above Average Tuba Quartet. He also appears regularly with some of Minnesota’s best known artists, including the McNasty Brass Band, Davina and the Vagabonds, and The New Standards stage band.

Tubist Gary Bird is a retired Professor Emeritus of Music at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he taught Tuba and Euphonium, Brass Ensemble, Introduction to Music and performed in the IUP HoodleBug Brass. He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, a Master of Music in Tuba Performance from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington. He has been principal tubist of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the North Texas State University Graduate Wind Ensemble, Indiana University (Bloomington) Festival Orchestra, and the Johnstown and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestras. He has also performed with Harvey Phillips in Carnegie Hall in New York City. Gary is presently an adjunct faculty member for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and plays with the Sheldon Theater Brass Band, Metro Brass, and the Lake Wobegon Brass Band.

Tubist Roger Gomoll began his career in public radio in 1977, which included 23 years at Minnesota Public Radio and 8 years at Public Radio International. In 2006, he founded OnAirFundraising LLC, which serves public radio stations who want to make their pledge drives more successful and less whiney, beggy, and pleady. After spending the first half of his life playing the trumpet, Roger saw the light and picked up the tuba in 1992. He plays with the Lake Wobegon Brass Band, the Northern Symphony Orchestra, the Victory Park Brass Quintet, the Ameriikan Poijat Finnish Brass Septet, and has performed with the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra, Encore Wind Ensemble, and the Medalist Concert Band. He recently earned his Master of Music degree at the University of Minnesota, where he studied with Minnesota Orchestra principal tubist, Steve Campbell. An avid private pilot, Roger flies a 1946 Piper Cub and a 1964 Meyers 200.

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