Mike Forbes

  • An artist of widely diverse musical talents, Dr. Mike Forbes’s career has encompassed all aspects of composing, performing, teaching, and conducting. He began his writing career creating hundreds of arrangements and compositions for brass and winds, many of which are performed by today’s foremost ensembles. His works for the Sotto Voce Quartet and the Isthmus Brass (groups he co-founded and currently manage), have also gained him worldwide acclaim. His most popular and profound works for tuba/euphonium quartet, “Consequences” and “Bridge: A Mini-Requiem for Countertenor and Tuba Quartet” have especially distinguished him in the low brass community. The Sotto Voce Quartet’s recordings feature Dr. Forbes’s many compositions and arrangements for the genre, all of which can be found on his website: www.eBrassMusic.com.

    Following international publication, Dr. Forbes began to compose for other genres as dozens of commissions from well-known brass artists and band directors began to come in. He has also had success in composition competitions having won the Dallas Wind Symphony Fanfare Competition multiple times, been awarded 3rd Prize at the Humboldt Chamber Brass Composition Competition, and has been awarded the International Tuba/Euphonium Association’s “Harvey Phillips Award for Composition” for his work for solo tuba and band, “Tapestries.”

    Dr. Forbes is now in high demand as a writer especially for brass instruments, band, and orchestra. His works appear regularly on the J.W. Pepper “Editor’s Choice” list. He has recently received notable commissions from university wind ensembles, orchestras, and today’s most prominent solo brass artists. A determined advocate of music education, Dr. Forbes regularly conducts honor bands and gives composition clinics to middle and high school students around the United States. During his residencies he often works with students in creating and developing motives, later intertwining them into larger works for band and string orchestra.

    Dr. Forbes began his career as a tubist in the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” where he also composed and arranged for the various ensembles in that prestigious unit. His efforts did not go unnoticed, and he was awarded an “Army Commendation” medal for his writing during his enlistment. He left the band for a career in academia, and served for a period of time as the chair of the composition and music theory area as well as low brass professor at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. He has also served in similar capacities on the faculties of the University of Nebraska – Kearney and Illinois State University. He then downsized his university commitments to teaching low brass at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in order to put more time into his writing and numerous commissions.

    He is an active freelance tubist and in high demand performing throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe as a soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician. He has also performed in popular styles with Mama Digdown’s Brass Band and with the Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band on the popular radio program, “A Prairie Home Companion.” He has recorded for Summit Records, Nexos and Mark Records and has over a dozen solo and chamber albums to his credit.

    Dr. Forbes studied with some of the most well-known tuba pedagogues in the world including critically acclaimed composer/tubist, John Stevens. He received his DMA at the University of Maryland, MM at the University of Wisconsin and a BM at the Pennsylvania State University. He has also engaged in additional music studies in the United Kingdom at the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music. His time in England afforded him the opportunity to grow intimately familiar the British Brass Band Tradition—from which he draws a great deal of his compositional influence.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    FPS105 Battle Quest
    2:17 Concert Band
    YPS126 Celtic Dreams
    3:04 Concert Band
    YPS66 Firetower
    Concert Band
    YPS173 Glacier Canyon
    4:27 Concert Band
    CPS133 A More Perfect Union
    5:55 Concert Band
    BPS53 Quadritium
    (A Fantasy On Four Notes)
    Concert Band
    SPS30 Tapestries
    Concert Band
    20323 Tapestries
    for Solo Tuba and Symphonic Band
    15:00 Solo Tba.; 2 2 2 2 B.Cl. 2A.Sax. T.Sax. B.Sax. – 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 1 Euph.; Timp. 3Perc.
    W2653 Tapestries
    For Solo Tuba and Piano
    tuba, piano
    YPS79 Whispering Pines
    Concert Band
    String Orchestra
    BAS39 Quadritium
    String Orchestra
    BAS59 Battle Quest
    String Orchestra
    YAS62 The Slider (March)
    String Orchestra
    YAS63 Polka.com
    String Orchestra