Carol Jantsch, principal tubist of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2006, has made her mark not only as a woman who's conquered the brass section, but as a major talent - among other points, she was hired before she'd completed her music studies at University of Michigan, and became the first female tubist of a major symphony orchestra. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, she has been a soloist with the U.S. Marine Band and with Russia's St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.
Jantsch, who is also on the faculties of four prominent music schools (Curtis Institute and Temple University in Philadelphia, Manhattan School of Music, and Yale University), will be the featured soloist on March 24, 2013 at Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Philadelphia in the world premiere of Michael Daugherty's "Reflections On the Mississippi for Tuba and Orchestra" with the Grammy-nominated Temple University Symphony Orchestra. We caught up with her to ask her about the new work, her career, and the tuba itself.
BWW: Let's start with the elephant in the living room: Why do so many people refuse to take the tuba seriously?
CJ: I don't know - it may be the association with German bands in liederhosen, drinking beer. But a main reason is its use and its development. It's a fairly late invention, from the 1830's, so it was still being developed in the 19th Century - so there's a limited repertoire. That's why it's great that Michael has written this. We need serious music for the tuba in order for the tuba to be taken seriously.
BWW: How do we overcome resistance to orchestral tuba, and have it treated seriously? Do compositions like Daugherty's "Reflections" help?
CJ: I hope it will do that. When I go out as a soloist, and I have to perform transcribed works, it's a reminder that the tuba has not had attention paid to it. It's important for works to be written specifically for tuba.
BWW: How do we bring listeners and audiences to new orchestral music in the first place, for any or all instruments?
CJ: The programming of new music is important. People like hearing works they know. It can be a liability if people don't know if they'll like what they might hear. It's not so hard in the visual arts - people will look at a new painting, but you have to coax new listening.
America's most uncoordinated childhood ballet and tap student before discovering that her talents were music and writing, Marakay Rogers finally traded in her violin for law school when she realized that she might make more money in law than she did performing with the Potomac Symphony and in orchestra pits around the mid-Atlantic. She has never recovered from being chewed out by Terrence Mann in public for hanging up her bow. |
A graduate of Wilson College (PA), Marakay is also a writer, film reviewer and interviewer for the Wilkes-Barre (PA) Independent Gazette, science-fiction publications, and other news outlets. She's also taught college-level communications, writing, and English literature classes, has received multiple writing awards, and is listed in Marquis' "Who's Who in America". In her free time, Marakay practices law and often gets it right.