RODNEY HOLMES
Bb Bass


Instrument:
Holton 345, which is a four valve, 5/4 or 6/4 BBb (depending on whom you ask)

Mouthpiece:
Conn Helleberg, not because I am cheap, but because it is a fine mouthpiece for a big horn

Music Heroes:
Oh, dear, this really dates me. Why don't we say Copland, Nielsen, Bernstein, and BS&T... and call it day
Bred and born in the hometown of Buddy Holly and Mac Davis, and graduated high school in the sausage and music land of Jimmy Dean, Rodney Holmes is living out his midlife crisis in a tuba fantasy world of classical music. After earning a M.S. from the Biomedical Engineering Center of Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Rodney is now a tenured biology instructor at Waubonsee Community College. He also teaches a graduate course in anatomy through the Radiology Department of the University of Chicago.

Rodney founded the Chicago Gargoyle Brass quintet during his days at the University of Chicago as a post-doctoral fellow in neurobiology and a Sr. Lecturer in the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division. In addition to maintaining his quintet and proud membership in the Chicago Brass Band, Rodney has been a member of the South Suburban Jazz Orchestra, and has played with the Prairie Brass Band, Illinois Brass Band, and the DuPage Symphony, Evanston Symphony, and Wheaton Symphony Orchestras. He currently sings in the Camerata Vocal Ensemble, and is principal tuba in the University of Chicago Wind Ensemble and Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra.

Rodney's good word is simple: Never quit music. He was first-alternate All State tuba in high school, but put down his tuba almost for good. Twenty years ago he heard Chuck Daellenbach on NPR explaining the difference between a handmade professional and a cheap student line tuba. The next day he contacted his local community band, borrowed a tuba, and has never looked back. "Rex Martin taught me more about tuba playing and musicianship in five years than I had learned in my life. Charlie Schuchat patiently and persistently nudges me forward. I am happiest in the middle of a long rehearsal with my York tuba in my lap, mouthpiece on my face, surrounded by fine musicians, ears full of Bach, and head in a transcendent place."


Auditions