Hello all, I'm Taylor HIcks. I am currently a graduate student pursuing a Master of Music in Tuba Performance at Western Illinois University, also acting as the graduate assistant in charge of the Audio/Video Streaming Department for the School of Music. I previously received my Bachelor's in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa, in the studio of Dr. Jesse Orth and Dr. Jeff Funderburk. While there, I discovered a passion for tuba performance and pedagogy that has brought me to where I am today.
I have a number of long term goals including advancing my own playing, pursuing a Doctoral degree, commissioning pieces for solo tuba, delivering a recital composed of entirely tuba and fixed media, and winning a studio teaching position. The idea for this website stemmed from the desire to do something unique and to hopefully fill a gap in the tuba community. While TubeNet is a fantastic resource and many tuba studios have their own information, there is often an unfortunate lack of material available for a young tubist trying to improve themselves. I personally am in such a position, as the previous professor of tuba retired at the end of the fall semester and the music majors are currently taking lessons with a local tubist. This means that primarily my advancement and progress are up to personal effort, which is what sparked the idea of TubaTalk. Not only will this eventually become a place where tubists of all ages can come for resources and information, but we will have discussions with actual professionals (both professors and performers) about issues that effect tuba playing. Whether these be about articulation, breathing, new tuba works, solo repertoire, best places to go to school for tuba, or preparing for performances, these will be videos that are made with the intent of helping others in the same way I am influenced by making them. I look forward to seeing where the future will take me and this project. I wish you all the best.
Taylor "Bear" Hicks
This all began as a back and forth conversation with my son Taylor. Being the dreamer of the family, I immediately wanted to see some grand project that would become a one stop shop for interest in tuba and the tuba world. I was met with a furrowed eyebrows. My wife was first to act, being the pragmatic one of the family, she felt it was up to her to point out the number of hurdles, pitfalls and legalities of all these ideas. Duly noted. Taylor, not to be left out, was quick to note the amount of time and work involved. Duly noted. Obviously if you are reading this you realize that we have gone ahead with the project. Tay is excited, because ultimately this is his project and I am just the guy behind the curtain typing. I'm trying to figure out how to build a website and figure out where we are going to come up with content.... lots and lots of content. So, this is where it begins and we will see what happens!
Oh, by the way, mom is still skeptical!