Stephen Shoop

Geib Hist. Tuba Project

Fred Geib (1871-1950)

Fred Geib Historical Tuba Project

In 2003 I responded to a post in the tuba and euphonium website Tubenet.  Teri Nielsen, Fred Geib’s granddaughter, wanted to know where she might get her grandfather’s unpublished tuba solos published! I responded to her post and offered to publish the music in her possession.  This led to a major project on Mr. Geib that included fourteen previously-unpublished tuba solos, a book of etudes, a significant article published in the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA) Journal, a piece for solo tuba and percussion section, and two monographs! All of those materials are available through my publishing company (see Contact Information and Links). The ITEA article also appears on this website.

A New York Philharmonic Orchestra video of Tannhauser Overture, by Wagner, recently came to light.  The video is posted on YouTube.  Mr. Geib can seen and clearly heard on the video.  Of course, I was delighted with the find.


Background Information

Fred Geib was one of the most accomplished tuba players of the first half of the 20thcentury.  His career and artistic contributions included that of tubist, author, composer, and pedagogue.  Mr. Geib was born in Germany in 1871 and came to the United Statesin 1888.  His father taught him to play the tuba as a youngster in Europe .  Geib studied string bass and tuba with August Helleberg, Sr. shortly after his family immigrated to theUnited States .  



Fred Geib’s first major orchestra position was with the Philadelphia Orchestra during the 1904-1905 season, under conductor Fritz Scheel.  He was Principal Tuba in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from 1910 through 1928.  Geib performed under some of the great orchestra conductors of the early 20th century, including Willem Mengelberg, Josef Stransky, Gustav Mahler, Arturo Toscanini, Fritz Reiner, Richard Straus, and Jean Sibelius.  Mr. Geib was perhaps best known as tubist with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra from 1932 through 1947.  During the same time period, he also performed in a number of professional bands—including John Philip Sousa, Arthur Pryor, and Edwin Franko Goldman.  Geib designed a number of tuba mouthpieces marketed by Gratz and the C.G. Conn Company.



Geib authored one of the early method books for tuba.  The Geib Method for Tuba was published by Carl Fischer Music, Inc. in 1941.  Along with William Bell’s Foundation to Tuba and Sousaphone Playing (also published by Carl Fischer), Geib’s was one of the most significant methods for tuba during the first half of the 20th century.  


In addition to the method book, Geib published 10 tuba solos dated between 1939 and 1946.  These solos are unique in that they throw off the clumsy, awkward, and humorous image—typical of many tuba solos written during that era.  He also composed a number of etudes simply titled “Exercise.”



Fred Geib taught tuba at the Juilliard School of Music, in New York City .  His tenure at Juilliard began sometime during the 1930s and continued up until the time of his death in 1950.

Fred Geib and son (Fred) c. 1947

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