Greater Seattle TUBACHRISTMAS Announces Partnership with Music Center of the Northwest to host 2015 Seattle, WA TUBACHRISTMAS

SEATTLE, WA (October 30, 2015)—Music Center of the Northwest is pleased to announce that TUBACHRISTMAS 2015 will be at Music Center.  2015 is the 42nd anniversary for TUBACHRISTMAS concerts/events which are presented throughout the world. TUBACHRISTMAS was conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. Through the legendary William J. Bell we reflect on our heritage and honor all great artists/teachers whose legacy has given us high performance standards, well-structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values and a camaraderie envied by all other instrumentalists. The first TUBACHRISTMAS was conducted by Paul Lavalle in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Sunday, December 22, 1974. Traditional Christmas music performed at the first TUBACHRISTMAS was arranged by American composer Alec Wilder who ironically died on Christmas Eve, 1980. Wilder composed many solo and ensemble compositions for tuba and euphonium. He was a loyal supporter of every effort to improve the literature and public image of our chosen instruments. Through Alec Wilder we express our respect and gratitude to all composers who continue to embrace our instruments with their compositions and contribute to the ever growing solo and ensemble repertoire for tuba and euphonium.

Music Center Director of Educational Outreach and Partnerships, Ryan Schultz, founded the “Greater Seattle TUBACHRISTMAS” with help from colleagues from the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, conductor Cathy Cole, and some of his students.  Over the last decade, the “Greater Seattle TUBACHRISTMAS” has performed in Redmond, Bellevue, at Seattle Pacific University and now, in its current format, in Tacoma at the University of Puget Sound (12/1/2015) and at Music Center in Seattle on December 19th at 7:30PM.  The performance is free and open to the public.  Performers, please visit our Facebook page for more details:

The event will be conducted by Music Center Executive Director and brass faculty member Michael Alstad.  Alstad is an international band conductor and has led TUBACHRISTMAS events throughout North America.  The event is free and open to the public; seating is first come first served with doors opening to the public around 7:15PM.  “Our Seattle event continues to evolve in positive ways,” says Ryan Schultz.  “I am still working toward a future performance at Seattle Center and having a well-run event in 2015 is a great step toward that.”  “I really appreciate the help of my colleagues at Music Center and Co-Coordinator Emily Lunde’s efforts as well.”  Music Center is located at 901 North 96th Street, Seattle, WA 98103.  There is a small parking lot and some free street parking nearby.  

Steven Mead to Visit University of Puget Sound, Perform with Tacoma Concert Band

TACOMA, WA  (October 20, 2015)

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 | Noon–1:30 p.m. | Free
Schneebeck Concert Hall | University of Puget Sound School of Music

Englishman STEVEN MEAD needs no introduction to brass enthusiasts around the world, as his playing and teaching have become known to virtually all who have a love for the euphonium.

As a soloist Mead’s career continues to break new ground, with more than 75 performances a year, prompted by his success as a member of several of the U.K.’s leading brass bands. In addition he has appeared with celebrated brass and military bands around the world and performed solo concerti with renowned symphony orchestras. Many commentators suggest it is Mead’s vocal background (from the age of 6) that is responsible for the truly unique beauty of his euphonium tone. His concerts and recitals are marked by a unique communication between artist and audience, and his rich, expressive approach to musical performance is universally admired. As a result he now tours regularly, performing with some of the globe’s finest brass, wind, and symphonic ensembles and orchestras.

Mead has been described as one of the world’s most-recorded solo brass artists, with more than 65 CDs produced since 1990. He is the owner of the Bocchino Music label, which produces and distributes his albums. He is professor of euphonium at The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, U.K., and also at teaches at several specialist schools across Europe and Japan.

Steven Mead will appear as euphonium soloist on the Tacoma Concert Band’s concert Hands Across the Sea, Saturday, Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m., Pantages Theatre, tickets available through the Broadway Center Box Office.

Master Class sponsored by Hoover Music Performance and Lectures Funds, University of Puget Sound School of Music, and Tacoma Community College Music Department.

Office of Public Events

Music Center of the Northwest Announces Appointment of Director of Educational Outreach and Partnerships

September 1, 2015

SEATTLE, WA (September 1, 2015)—Music Center of the Northwest Executive Director Michael Alstad has announced the appointment of Ryan Schultz to the position of Director of Educational Outreach and Partnerships. “Ryan will be a resource to music educators in our area and will help students in local music programs make connections to opportunities that will supplement their school experience.” said Alstad. “We are thrilled to add such an outstanding performer and educator to our staff.”

Schultz has a diverse career as a performer, educator and an administrator. As Director of Publicity and Associate Director of Operations for the 56th Army Band he organized, managed, and performed in hundreds of performances during his tenure. After completing his Army Band term, Schultz spent a year in the corporate music business at before beginning his tenure as principal tubist with the nationally acclaimed Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and the critically acclaimed Auburn Symphony. From 2000-2015 Schultz was also principal tuba player of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra; in that role he performed extensively throughout Central Washington, was a soloist with the Y.S.O. for educational outreach concerts, and also took his turn directing the orchestra’s educational brass outreach to elementary schools. From 2000-2009, Schultz worked for Music Works Northwest where he served as low brass faculty and in a variety of administrative roles including acting director of the children’s summer camp and founder and co-director of the Bellevue Brass Camp.

Schultz also serves on the faculty of the University of Puget Sound, Seattle Pacific University, Lakeside School, Midsummer Musical Retreat, and is a coach for the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he was on the faculty of Central Washington University and the Lawrence Academy of Music. His students have won numerous awards and top prizes in international, national and other competitions.
“I am tremendously excited to be joining Music Center,” says Schultz. “This is a great opportunity to bring music and musical instruction into the lives of students who might not otherwise be able to afford it; I am very thankful for this opportunity.”


(Issaquah, WA) Andy Abel is admitted to prestigious International Honors Ensemble!

(excerpt below from

Think of it like lightning striking twice or the same store selling two jackpot national lottery tickets on the same day—the odds feel sort of like that, although Issaquah sophomores Andy Abel and Caleb Crouse can tell you that years and years of practice and dedication made their recent tandem windfall highly unlikely but not a whim of fate.

Every year, thousands of top high-school musicians across the country audition for a chance to participate in the Western International Band Clinic; of those, 600 are selected; of those, four are awarded entrance and scholarships to play in the prestigious Pacific Honors Ensemble Program in Brisbane, Australia. This year, the scholarships were announced during the clinic’s final concerts on November 22 at SeaTac’s DoubleTree Convention Center. That’s when Abel and Crouse—both sophomores, both from the same school—discovered they had swept half the awards.

“Just being one out of four people to win is incredible,” said Abel. “That’s why Caleb and I both winning is unbelievable.”

Added Crouse: “This is a great achievement for our high school and the music programs in our area. Students came from many different places and many were incredible, so it was such a surprise and honor” for two scholarship winners to be from Issaquah High.

Crikey! The pair will now fly Down Under next September to add their wind power to an all-star high-school ensemble directed by a team of eminent international conductors at the Queensland Conservatorium in Griffith University. Their scholarships will cover everything—registration, meals, lodging—except airfare.

Abel, a tuba player, and Crouse, a clarinet player, credit excellent instructors, hard work, and an extreme passion for music for this opportunity.

“Music is not just a part of my life, it is my life,” said Abel. “Everything I do relates to music and my instrument.”

Crouse plans to major in music in college. “Hard work, patience, determination, and a love of music have gotten me this far, and that’s how I plan to keep improving and preparing to play with new groups like the Pacific Honors Ensemble,” he said.

Issaquah School District music teachers— band instructors Brian Casper, Patrick Holen, and Jeff Miller and orchestra instructor Doug Longman —have been particularly “instrumental” in their development, according to Abel and Crouse. They both participate in Issaquah High’s wind ensemble, jazz band, and marching band. Abel also plays in the Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra and Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra.


(Seattle, WA)  Seventh grader Clayton Dungey is one of four finalists in international solo competition!

When Clayton Dungey was accepted as one of the international semi-finalists for the 2010 International Tuba and Euphonium Association’s “19 and under” tuba solo competition it was quite an honor.  His hard work took him to Arizona where he was one of four finalists to advance from the semi-final round of the competition.

“I am really pleased with Clayton’s efforts,” said Ryan Schultz, Dungey’s tuba teacher.  Dungey is the second of Schultz’ students to make it to the finals of the competition in the last three years (the other was 2008 winner, Brandon Davis).

Dungey is a member of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras and a regular soloist at Seattle area low brass events.


Music Works Student wins International Solo Competition

(Bellevue, WA) Bellevue Christian Alumni and long time Music Works student Brandon Davis was recently declared winner of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association’s tuba solo competition for the 19 and under age group. Davis, now a student of Norm Pearson and Fritz Keanzig, at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, recently came home for the summer and returned to Music Works to put the final touches on his competition preparations.  Davis took a lesson, performed in a Master Class and gave a recital.

“It is an absolute pleasure to watch Brandon grow into his own type of musician,” said Ryan Schultz, Davis’ long time teacher at Music Works. “He got a lot done in L.A. and it was great to get a chance to work with him again before the I.T.E.C. competition,” Schultz said. Davis was competing against dozens of other tubists from all over the world. Congratulations to Brandon.


Ryan Schultz Music reaches tentative agreement with North Seattle Community College to host Seattle Brass Camp

(Seattle, WA)  Ryan Schultz Music is please to announce that a tentative agreement has been made with North Seattle Community College Continuing Education to host the 2008 Seattle Brass Camp at NSCC. This was facilitated in part by Mr. Schultz’ recent appointment as low brass instructor at North Seattle.

This will be the first offering of the Seattle Brass Camp but similar offerings have to made in the past two summers by Mr. Schultz and his colleague, Dr. Judson Scott in Tacoma and Bellevue.


Adam Guzek wins Eastshore/Bellevue Tuba Solo Contest and Advances to State Solo Competition

(Bellevue, WA) Bellevue High School Senior Adam Guzek won the Eastshore Music League’s Tuba Solo competition on Saturday.  This is the second year Adam has advanced to the State Solo competition. Earlier this year, Adam was selected for the the top spot in the Washington All-State Chamber Orchestra.

Adam is a student of Ryan Schultz, Principal Tubist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, at Music Works Northwest in Bellevue.  This is the second year in a row that one of Schultz’ students has won the competition.


Playing the Tuba Pays

17-Year Old Bellevue Brass Player Wins Full Ride, Leaves High School Early for Los Angeles

(Bellevue, WA) Local high school musician Brandon Davis spent the month of March on planes. He flew around the country (with his tubas checked safely below) to audition for two of the most coveted music scholarships in the country against some of the finest young tuba players in the world.  Davis, a junior at Bellevue Christian School, was accepted at Los Angeles’ Colburn Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship which covers tuition, room and board. Colburn Conservatory, while relatively new, has established itself as an institution on the level of the most prestigious conservatories in the United States.

Like being drafted straight out of high school to the major leagues, Brandon will have to quickly complete his high school education this summer while practicing several hours each day to stay in shape for the start of school.  Why leave high school early? Colburn accepts just one or two tuba students every four years or so. Besides Colburn, only one other college conservatory, the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, guarantees a full ride for four years for all of its students.

According to Brandon's mom Pia, "As a young child we always thought Brandon would be a preacher or a politician because he was constantly talking and excited about life. Later when he first took up music, the talking morphed into whistling.  Now Brandon’s lips are still moving, but he makes his tuba sing for all to enjoy."

For the last five years, Brandon has studied the tuba with Ryan Schultz, Principal Tubist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, at Music Works Northwest in Bellevue. Mr. Schultz describes Davis as, "a phenomenally talented young man who worked very diligently to accomplish his goals. I couldn’t have asked for a more conscientious student!"

Brandon has won several regional and national awards and was the tuba solo winner of the Washington Music Education Association’s State Tuba Solo Competition. He has appeared with "All-State" and "All-Northwest" Honors ensembles, most recently as the Principal Tubist of the All Northwest Honors Orchestra.  For a young tuba player, Brandon's accomplishments are exceptional and one of a kind. The tuba is a difficult musical medium to master and Brandon is well on his way to achieving the highest levels of musicianship.