By Martin Taylor, Bb Tuba Player & UK HosaReporter(tm) on special assignment
OXFORDSHIRE--The first UK performance of Codetta in C for Hosaphone(tm), Piano and Bass, comp(h)osed by David A. Roth, took place at the bandhall of Wantage Silver Band, in Wantage, Oxfordshire, on Sunday 13th April 1997, before a bemused but enthusiastic audience. The hoser on this occasion was Graham Cross, a 17-year-old trumpeter and cornettist who plans to join the Army as a musician later this year. He was accompanied very competently at the piano by David Taylor, and quite "incompetently" on the tuba by Martin Taylor, who deemed it his duty to throw enough wrong notes in to make up for the technically polished performance of the other two. The performance was awarded "best in class" in the Entertainment class of Wantage Band's annual band contest by adjudicator Helen Wright, sometime solo cornet of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. Helen was last seen retreating rapidly from the bandhall, still shaking her head.
The photograph (pictured above) was taken by Ann Chadwick, who has very artistically left the tuba player out of the picture, including only his music stand: this leads to an interesting tension among the elements of the picture. Is the tuba player real? Is he expected momentarily, perhaps to sit down just as the final note is played by the hoser? (This would, in fact, have been musically the best solution in the circumstances.)
Leaving these interesting, but non-hosaphonic digressions aside, those with eagle eyes and a mathematical turn of mind may be able to detect that the hose used in the Hosaphone(tm)'s construction is in fact of half-inch bore rather than the 3/8 inch recommended. This is consistent with the trend in British brass bands to move towards wider-bore instruments, and may possibly lead to a specifically British interpretation of the Hosaphone(tm)'s unique sound, aided by the understated (indeed, second-hand) nature of the bell used on the instrument. Such a proposition is no doubt capable of generating a huge amount of impassioned advocacy on brass-related mailing lists.
Photo courtesy of Ann Chadwick