Gary McCurdy

Gary McCurdy taught a total of 25 years as a band director in the Washington, Iowa schools.   He left teaching for 8 years to work for West Music, but returned to teaching and retired in 2000.   After retirement he worked for Griggs Music for three years.   His love for the tuba resulted in the creation of the persona of The Tubador in 1989.   Since then he has performed as a strolling solo tuba on his 100 year old helicon at many fairs and festivals around the Midwest, including many of the stops on RAGBRAI and at the Cultural Center at the Iowa State Fair.

When I was in college at the University of Iowa the Iowa Band played a concert in Humboldt, Iowa, just north of Fort Dodge.   I believe it was in 1967.   The highlight of the concert was having Karl King conduct his march “The Melody Shop”.    I was impressed by Mr. King in many ways, but I was most impressed with his unassuming humor.

Band director Fred Ebbs introduced Mr. King to the band by saying; "You should know that Mr. King wrote The Melody Shop when he was 17 years old and the difficulty of the euphonium part is an indication of what a great euphonium player he was."

Mr. King mounted the podium and said; Thank you, Mr. Ebbs for that introduction, but I want you to know that I was 19 when I wrote The Melody Shop and I was a lousy euphonium player.