A first for female tuba players

Carol Jantsch holds a tuba chair with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Adjunct professor Carol Jantsch is the first woman in the United States to hold a principal tuba chair in a major orchestra.

From an early age, Jantsch said she was participating in both competitions and auditions in the United States and around the world. Jantsch said her first international solo tuba competition was in Finland when she was 16-years-old.

“I have been traveling for music for a long time,” Jantsch said.

She said she shares many colleagues in both the orchestra and on faculty at Temple.

“Especially in the woodwinds and brass, a lot of the people in the orchestra are also on faculty at Temple,” Jantsch said. “A couple years in after I got the job [in the orchestra], I had a student who wanted to study with me and so I was added to the faculty.”

In addition to performing in The Philadelphia Orchestra, performing solo recitals and giving master classes, Jantsch is a faculty member at Yale University School of Music.

“I am a very limited faculty member [at Temple],” Jantsch said. “Temple has multiple faculty for every instrument. Basically, I carry one student at the music school and I teach him. How much [faculty do] is based on how many students they have.”

Jantsch said teaching and performing are complementary to each other in personally valuable ways. The relationship between performance and teaching, she said, is symbolic.

“The teaching enhances the performing, and the performing enhances the teaching,” Jantsch said. “[Teaching] is a very different kind of challenge than performing in the orchestra. You get to know a person and help them develop their musical voice and that’s something really exciting and creative. It’s such a different thing than playing in the orchestra that I can’t imagine having one or the other. I love having both.”

As a teacher, Jantsch said she experiences first-hand the lack of credit given to music education.

“I think the state of music education in general in this country is kind of sad,” Jantsch said. “People aren’t focused on quality-of-life-based education. [It is important] to learn skills like teamwork and communication, [which are] things you get from playing in an ensemble that you don’t get somewhere else. You learn how to hold yourself accountable and be apart of something bigger than yourself.”

Jantsch said that music programs in schools are not “directly profitable,” so music education is not widely appreciated.

“I like that music programs still exist, but I think we need to all do better helping a lay person understand why this is relevant,” Jantsch said. “Just because you are not into classical music, per se, doesn’t mean that learning an instrument or studying [music] isn’t of extreme value.”

Jantsch said that her own experiences with music as a kid helped defined her lifelong career. She spent five of her childhood summers at an arts camp in Michigan.

“When I was a kid, I had a lot of interests and music is one of the things that my parents definitely encouraged,” Jantsch said. “My brother and I actually ended up going to summer camp at this camp called Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, and I loved it there. … That’s when I knew that I would focus on music. It was always apart of my childhood.”

Tim Muhlern can be reached at tim.muhlern@temple.edu

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