OcTubaFest adds new spin to Oktoberfest

Tre' Jones

The Low Brass Ensemble players participated in the first OcTubaFest performance in Akin Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 30. Christopher Vivio, assistant professor of music, said this clever name is a play on the German celebration of Oktoberfest.

Vivio said, “OcTubaFest was invented many years ago — we play polkas and we do sort of German music and embrace the German Oktoberfest, but instead we just call it OcTubaFest.”

This is the first year the university has had this event, and it brought in about 35 people from MSU and the Wichita Falls community. The program included 11 musical pieces played by the Low Brass Ensemble with different members giving a brief history of the music in between songs.

The first song performed was “Musica Festiva” by Vaclav Nelhybel, and it was played by just a trombone trio to get the program started.

The program was full of upbeat, loud music that had the audience giving loud applauses after each song. One of the ensemble members said she was excited to perform in front of the crowd.

Ana Leach, trombone player and music education junior, said, “I was most looking forward to playing the last piece ‘Mars’ because it is a very fun piece to play, it’s very complex and it’s very challenging.”

The song Leech was eager to play, “Mars, the Bringer of War,” was the last and the longest song the ensemble performed for the audience. With its loud approach and “Halloween-esque” sound, the song brought the crowd to its feet with a well-deserved cheer when the song finished.

Vivio wanted to host OcTubaFest for more than just another take on Oktoberfest. He had the opportunity to have four high school students from Hirschi and Henrietta high schools come up on stage and perform with the ensemble.

“I was most looking forward to having fun and inviting high school kids to come and perform with us, and it gives the students a good opportunity to come and perform in front of their peers,” Vivio said.

The piece that included the high school students was called “Beer Barrel Polka.” The song brought the audience to a loud applause and put a big smile on the high school kids’ faces along with the fellow university ensemble players.

Along with the well-performed music came audience approval, and Tay Roper, criminal justice junior, gave his input on the program.

“I came for the extra credit for one of my classes, but I would come and check it out if it wasn’t for extra credit. The music wasn’t bad. I really liked the last piece of music that the ensemble played,” Roper said.

Vivio seemed pleased with the overall outcome of OcTubaFest and said he is looking forward to starting a new tradition by having this music program every year.

“It’s a traditional thing that they do around the country and many universities have OcTubaFest, and I just wanted to bring it here,” Vivio said.



In an earlier version of this article, music education junior Ana Leach’s name was spelled incorrectly and her grade and major were misidentified. The Wichitan regrets this error and the information has been corrected.