“Big Carl” Tuba To Make Appearance At Upcoming New Jersey Symphony Concert


Photo by Andrew Renneisen/The New York Times

Starting in the 1900s, if you were to walk by the Carl Fischer Music store in New York City, chances are you would see a rather large tuba sitting in the window. For Carl Fischer, this was a great marketing technique as it allowed window shoppers to become in-store shoppers.

Flash forward to 2014 to this 8-foot tall tuba makes another appearance with a feature in the New York Times. Simply known as “Big Carl,” this sub-contrabass tuba is maybe considered the largest tuba in the world weighing in at over 100 pounds (a typical tuba weighs between 20 and 40 pounds). Every now and then, “Big Carl” makes guest appearances at events courtesy of Carl Fischer and Dillon Music, the store that had a hand in restoring this massive tuba.

On April 7th and 9th, “Big Carl” will be making an appearance at a New Jersey Symphony performance in which selected contestants (preferably tuba players) will get an opportunity to play “Big Carl.” This event is in conjunction with the NJSO’s weekend performance of Vaughan Williams’ Tuba Concerto with Derek Fenstermacher as soloist. According to the NJSO website, there will be a drawing after the concert for winners to play “Big Carl.” If you enter the contest, be sure to bring your own tuba mouthpiece.

In addition to the Tuba Concerto, other works to be performed include:

  • Tan Dun: Internet Symphony No. 1, “Eroica”
  • Saint-Saëns: The Carnival of the Animals
  • Ravel: Boléro

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith is a trombonist, brass teacher, and blogger. He studied music performance at both Grace College and Carnegie Mellon University, and currently is the bass trombonist for Orchestra Iowa and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Jeremy started Last Row Music as an online resource of job postings and artist links for brass musicians around the world. When he is not performing or blogging, Jeremy is giving brass lessons to students throughout the country from his home in Centerburg, Ohio.