University of South Florida
Tuba legend Harvey Phillips wrote “Jay Hunsberger is one of America’s premiere orchestral tubists, an experienced soloist and sensitive chamber music performer.” Mr. Hunsberger is the principal tubist with the Sarasota Orchestra and Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Following in Phillips' footsteps, Jay has been a champion of new music for the tuba and has had a substantial number of new works written for and premiered by him. 2012-13 new works included T.O. Sterrett's Cast of the Works of Darkness, Gwyneth Walker's Beloved Bass, Francis Schwartz's Don Quixote Dreams of Marta, and James Grant's Double Concerto. In May, 2010 Jay premiered William Brusick's Concerto No. 2 (for Tuba and Organ) in Tucson, Arizona and gave the premiere of the same work scored for tuba and wind band in November, 2011. In 2003 he gave the world premiere of Jan Bach's Concerto for Tuba with Leif Bjaland and the Sarasota Orchestra as well as the regional premiere of William Brusick's Concerto for Tuba and Wind Ensemble with the USF Wind Ensemble. Other significant premiers include Celestial Keys by Gwyneth Walker, Jan Bach’s Oompah Suite (with James Wilson, horn), Francis Scwartz's Grey Road, and Dick Hyman's Requiem for Pee Wee Erwin.
With James Wilson he has performed across the US at major conservatories and schools of music. Their first recording, Oompah Suite: Sweets for Horn and Tuba (including works by Bach, Bassler, Wilder, Madsen, and Kellaway) was released in February 2011 on the Summit label. One critic wrote: “...the trio's musicianship is quite evident with a flawless execution of the music” (ITEA Journal, August 2011). In June 2012 the CD was awarded the Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording by the International Tuba and Euphonium Association.
In May 2007 he hosted the South Region Tuba and Euphonium Conference (SRTEC) in Sarasota. Jay collaborated with Francis Schwartz in concerts in San Juan, Puerto Rico in late August 2010. In February of the same year he toured the southeastern US with the St. Louis Brass. Additionally he concertized throughout China with the Ambassador Brass in June and July of 2011. Mr. Hunsberger has participated in the Grand Tetons, Tanglewood, and Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Festivals. Jay served on the faculty of the Lutheran Summer Music Academy during 2002 and 2003.
During his tenure at USF, he has developed a tuba/euphonium studio which rivals that of major universities in the US. In addition to the OCTUBAFEST! Series (which features guest and student performances), the studio brings world-renown tuba and euphonium soloists to the Tampa campus for recitals and master classes with USF students. These have included Daniel Perantoni, Oystein Baadsvik, Jason Ham, Adam Frey, Demondrae Thurman, Dennis Askew, and Mike Roylance.
Mr. Hunsberger received both BM and MM degrees in tuba performance from the Indiana University School of Music. His teachers have included Dan Perantoni, Harvey Phillips, Roger Bobo, and Sam Pilafian.
“He is a virtuoso on an instrument that is too often misunderstood and underestimated. Hunsberger brings the tuba into the spotlight with elegance and dynamism and this (the Concerto for Tuba by Jan Bach) is the perfect vehicle for his talents”-The Longboat Observer, March, 2003
“Jay Hunsberger’s performance (of James Grant’s “Three Furies”) was energetic, Accurate and, at all times, Musical” – Sarasota Herald Tribune, April, 2002
“…The most amazing performance came with Jay Hunsberger’s Tuba Solo…With a voluptuous depth of tone he navigated all the intricacies…His colleagues provided a rich accompaniment to Hunsberger’s virtuosity.” - Sarasota Herald Tribune, October, 2001
“Jay Hunsberger ranks among the best in his profession”
– Gwyneth Walker, Composer
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