Michela Comparey

Tuba

Michela Comparey

How many years have you played with EPO?

I'm actually not sure! I think I started playing with EPO in 2016 or 2017.

How did you start playing the tuba?

We were assigned band instruments in grade 8. I had my heart set on another instrument so I cried when I got stuck with the tuba. My brother, who was at a different school, started band the same year and got to pick his instrument - he chose the tuba to be like his big sister! I couldn't let him be better at it than me, so I started practicing (my dad says it sounded like there were whales communicating in the house), got kind of good at it, and fell in love with the instrument.

What is your experience as a musician?

I grew up listening to a lot of jazz and classical music and played piano and sang in lots of choirs as a kid. I did a BMus at Mount Allison University, followed by a Masters in Tuba Performance and Pedagogy at Memorial University in Newfoundland. I've played with all kinds of groups - everything from military bands and classical orchestras to a funk band and a conch shell ensemble.

What do you do outside of the orchestra?

I play with a few different groups, but most regularly the Weston Silver Band and the Euba Quartet - a tuba quartet that I co-founded.

What do you think is special about the tuba?

It doesn't often play the starring role, but if it's not there you really miss it. The sound is just so warm and encompassing, I find something about it really comforting. And of course - how low it can play!

How do you feel the tuba is best used in the orchestra?

Like a secret ingredient or special sauce. You don't want it to always be there, but when you use it in the right place it adds an extra little something that brings the music to the next level.

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