Ralph Hepola

Instrument: Tuba | Location: Minneapolis

The Southwest Minnesota Arts Council has awarded Ralph Hepola a five thousand dollar Individual Artist Career Grant. With this grant, Ralph will make recordings and videos of his work as an improvising tuba player.

Updated: December 9, 2017

Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the United States, Ralph Hepola studied piano before starting on the tuba at age twelve. At seventeen, he was chosen to play before the British Royal Family in the Manitoba All-Province Band at Brandon, Manitoba in Canada. While still in high school, Ralph began performing as an extra musician with the Minnesota Orchestra, which later included recordings, and tours to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. While still a teenager, Ralph won a position with The United States Army Band of Washington, D.C. At age twenty, he won a full scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music in the Young Artist Competition of the Minnesota Orchestra/WAMSO.

Ralph earned his music degree at Northwestern University where he studied with renowned musician and teacher Arnold Jacobs. Five books have been published covering Mr. Jacobs’ celebrated career, which included forty-four years as Principal Tubaist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. At Northwestern University, Ralph played and soloed with Jazz Ensemble I, which twice won Best Big Band at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival.

Subsequently, Ralph won an international audition for the Basel Symphony Orchestra. Basel is Switzerland’s third-largest city. There he performed under renowned conductors including Pierre Boulez and Antal Dorati. During five years in Europe, he performed as a soloist on Swiss Radio, and played in the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Music Festival in Austria under Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, and Lorin Maazel. Ralph then freelanced for two years in New York City with various jazz and classical ensembles.

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”People are still talking about the show you did and how great it was.” “Evansville is still talking about Route 3. If they aren't praising the show you guys, did, they're bemoaning the fact that they missed it!' - Karen Howell, President, Evansville Arts Coalition

“Ralph Hepola and Route 3 performed “On the Sunny Side of the Street: Uplifting Songs from the 1930s” to a sold out house in the Bloomington Center for the Arts Black Box Theater. The musicians were great and the audience loved it!” - Jim Urie, Center for the Arts Manager

“You were terrific, we've had such a great response to your night…You brought in a great crowd and the “reviews” have been outstanding.” - Sue Franchere, New Richmond Heritage Center, Wisconsin

“The Independence Day concert was a huge success

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Primary Instrument

Tuba

Location

Minneapolis

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

Clinic/Workshop Information

Ralph Hepola also serves as a teaching artist and clinician. He provides highly- informative educational presentations, which are suitable for any age level: • Which Instrument Do You Want to Play? • How to Compose Your Own Music • Improvisation in Jazz, Rock and the Blues • How Do You Play a Brass Instrument? • A Very Special Instrument: the Tuba! Ralph also mentors music students in clinics, workshops, rehearsals and a final concert. All children deserve access to arts-related, educational experiences of the highest quality

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Web Links

Recordings