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Kenneth Amis performs with Wind Ensemble

Kenneth Amis
Kenneth Amis

Is it the world's longest tuba concerto? Frederick Harris, director of MIT's Wind Ensembles, and composer-tuba player Kenneth Amis believe the 30-minute long "Concerto for Tuba," composed by Amis on a commission from the MIT Wind Ensemble (MITWE), might hold that record.

Amis will perform his concerto with MITWE on Saturday, March 17 at 8 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. The concert titled, "MITWE Celebrates Its Own," features ensemble members as soloists and as composers.

"I didn't set out to write something that long," said Amis, who is also assistant conductor of MITWE. Noting that he'd been commissioned to write a piece only half as long, Amis said, "The notes just kept coming and the various motifs and musical ideas needed time to develop."

The concert will also feature Lori Huberman, a senior in biology, as soloist in the Boston premiere of "Concerto for Flute and Wind Orchestra" by Mike Mower. In addition, Scott Stransky, a graduate student in earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, will conduct the premiere of his "Suite from an Imaginary Movie."

Tickets are $5 at the door or from

Amis is a longtime member of the Empire Brass Quintet and holds the International Brass Chair at the Royal Academy of Music in London. A former member of the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra and the New World Symphony and soloist with the English Chamber Orchestra, he has served on the faculties of several Boston-area universities and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. In 2003, he received the New England Conservatory of Music's Outstanding Alumni Award. An active composer, Amis has been commissioned to write for both professional and collegiate ensembles. This summer, he will be the composer-in-residence at the South Shore Conservatory's Summer Music Festival.

Prior to the MIT concert, Amis and MITWE performed the same program at Foxborough High School (FHS), concluding with Aaron Copland's "Down a Country Lane" (1962), performed with the FHS Wind Ensemble.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 14, 2007 (download PDF).

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