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What's Totally Tubular? Carol Jantsch's Pop Music Tuba Cover Band!


When Carol Jantsch was still an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, she made musical history by winning the principal tuba position of The Philadelphia Orchestra. 

Michigan’s School of Music threw her a pizza party to celebrate, and invited all of her fellow tuba students and her Ultimate Frisbee teammates.

Twelve years later, the party continues in the form of Tubular, Carol’s awesome tuba cover band, made up of some of her closest classmates from her days in Ann Arbor.

Tubular covers pop songs from Michael Jackson to Nirvana to Lady Gaga. Their goal? Make fun music that gets the audience dancing and singing along. Their next gig is at Franky Bradley's in Center City on Feb 1st at 7:30 pm, 1320 Chancellor Street.

Credit Greg Battista
Left to right: Michael Brown (euphonium), Carol Jantsch (tuba), Andy Emerich (drums), Greg Battista (euphonium), Scott Devereaux (tuba) Credit: Greg Battista


As an orchestral musician, concerto soloist, and teacher (at Temple University and at Yale University), Carol’s mastery of high art is indisputable. She came up with the idea of Tubular to expand the chamber music repertoire for tuba in a fresh way.

Tubular covers pop songs from Michael Jackson to Nirvana to Lady Gaga.

Carol writes all the arrangements for the band, which is a complex process that involves transcribing pop music by ear.

Her bandmates include former U. of Michigan classmates who are now serving in the U.S. Army Field Band, the U.S. Navy Band, and the U.S. Naval Academy Band.

They’re Scott Devereaux, tuba, Greg Battista, euphonium, and Michael Brown, euphonium. Their drummer, Andy Emerich, whom Carol calls their “authenticator,” serves in the U.S. Army Field Band, and provides the infectious beat for the band.

Do concert artists like Carol Jantsch—who can also connect with audiences through pop music—provide an important link for the future of classical music? 

“I think so," says Carol. "I think there are a lot of different ways to appreciate music. It’s a really visceral thing to be able to participate in the activity. I know some of my favorite musical experiences were things I got to participate in. It’s more memorable if you can allow people in (through pop music) — you form a different kind of connection with the player who’s there in person.”


Debra's last day on the air at WRTI was September 21st, 2021. She's now the radio host for The Metropolitan Opera. Read more here.