Yesterday afternoon I went to the spring concert of the Kennebec Performing Arts Company, a fine show that included a wind ensemble's pops performance, a set of choral selections, and a swinging jazz combo.
The wind ensemble was especially impressive, as it included an instrument I'd never seen (or at least, never noticed) -- two musicians playing something called a euphonium.
Wonders of technology: I had an iTouch and a wireless connection, so looked it up at intermission. Imagine my relief to find that Wikipedia describes it as "possibly the least popularly-known Western instrument of all," and says that most Americans need it to be described as a small tuba or a baritone horn. Not that I know what a baritone horn is...
Anyway, the fingering on a euphonium is the same as on a tuba or a trumpet, but apparently it's a more challenging instrument to play: "beginning euphoniumists will likely experience significant problems with intonation, response, and range compared to other beginning brass players."
So it's really cool that we have not one, but two performance-level euphoniumists here in the Kennebec Valley.
Euphoniumist. I'm tempted to take it up myself, just so I can use that word to describe myself.