Oct. 11, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University tuba performance major Jacob Taitel ’18 was the only undergraduate student among 10 semi-finalists in the Tuba Artist Division of the recent 2016 Leonard Falcone International Tuba and Euphonium Competition.
The event is considered to be one of the premier solo competitions in the world for tuba and euphonium. It is an extremely rare feat for a rising junior undergraduate to be named a semi-finalist, according to Tuba and Euphonium Instructor of Music Ed Risinger, who is also Taitel’s advisor and director of the Titan Band. Many of the other semi-finalists had already completed master’s degrees.
Taitel is no stranger to competitions, having received first prize in the Young Artist Tuba category at the ITEA Midwest Regional Tuba and Euphonium Conference in 2015. ITEA is the International Tuba and Euphonium Association. Competitions are held every other year in each of nine regions. Taitel was selected as the winner after performing Sonata for Tuba and Piano by Alec Wilder and Ricercar by Giovanni Gabrieli, arranged by Morris.
Taitel is a member of the Illinois Wesleyan Wind Ensemble, the Illinois Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra, the Titan Band, Tuba Quartet, Brass Quintet and also participates in Suspended, the men’s a cappella vocal group; Quickies! sketch comedy troupe, and treasurer of Phi Mu Alpha national music fraternity. He is also executive assistant for the Illinois Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble. This past summer he studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, with instructors from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna; the Vienna Symphony Orchestra; and Wilfried Brandstotter, tubist for Mnozil Brass, a renowned Austrian brass septet.