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Sam Pilafian playing the Harvard tuba in 1979

Postby Dave Detwiler » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:51 pm

Hi all,

In the process of writing the first of three upcoming articles on the Harvard tuba for The Brass Herald, I was supplied with a recording of the late Sam Pilafian playing that historic horn back in 1979. The Harvard Band graciously granted me permission to post a YouTube video so that the world can hear Sam wrangle this beast and coax music out of it!

Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSpQ2Sh1UUo

Enjoy!
Dave
Played an F. E. Olds 4-valve BBb in high school (late '70s)
Led the USC Trojan Marching Band tuba section (early '80s)
Now playing an F. Schmidt (=VMI) 3301 and goofing around
on a 1927 Pan American 64K Sousaphone Grand
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Re: Sam Pilafian playing the Harvard tuba in 1979

Postby groovlow » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:13 pm

Definitive 8/4 BAT
Performance

Put a goofy smile on my face
Thank You
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Re: Sam Pilafian playing the Harvard tuba in 1979

Postby tylerferris1213 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:22 pm

I can only imagine what a bear that thing would be to play!
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Re: Sam Pilafian playing the Harvard tuba in 1979

Postby lost » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:03 pm

Once again Dave, thanks for your contributions.

I gave a few toots on it a couple years back. That performance was an amazing feat.

My tuba embouchure for a low BBb got out a middle D on the staff.
J.W. York & Sons Artist

http://www.tubaist.com
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Re: Sam Pilafian playing the Harvard tuba in 1979

Postby Paul Scott » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:13 am

Resistance is not futile......
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William Paterson University
Wayne, NJ
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Re: Sam Pilafian playing the Harvard tuba in 1979

Postby mikebmiller » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:08 pm

Does that beast take a regular sized mouthpiece?
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Re: Sam Pilafian playing the Harvard tuba in 1979

Postby Dave Detwiler » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:04 am

mikebmiller wrote:Does that beast take a regular sized mouthpiece?


According to Tom Everett, the Harvard Band director from 1971-2013, the original mouthpiece had gone missing, but they created a replacement with the proper sized shank, but it was playable. Tom thinks that's what Sam used for the performance, although he had initially practiced with his own mouthpiece, along with a shank adapter.

Dillon Music is just about finished with the full restoration of that historic horn, and they created a new mouthpiece for it. I'll be seeing that soon, and will report back.
Played an F. E. Olds 4-valve BBb in high school (late '70s)
Led the USC Trojan Marching Band tuba section (early '80s)
Now playing an F. Schmidt (=VMI) 3301 and goofing around
on a 1927 Pan American 64K Sousaphone Grand
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Dave Detwiler
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:20 pm
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