First lady of the tuba has died, aged 88

First lady of the tuba has died, aged 88


norman lebrecht

September 08, 2020

Connie Weldon, who has died in Miami, was the first woman to play tuba in world-class orchestras.

In 1954, she played under Leonard Bernstein’s baton at Tanglewood Music Festival and never looked back. Next stop was Arthur Fiedler with the Boston Pops. After a stint in the North Carolina Symphony she won a Fulbright Fellowship to study with Adrian Boorsma, principal tuba of the Concertgebouw. While in Amsterdam, she was named principal tuba of Netherlands Ballet Orkest and acting principal of the Concertgebouw.

She later joined the Kansas City Philharmonic, followed by the Miami Philharmonic Orchestra under Alain Lombard, teaching tuba at the University of Miami and forming her own campus ensemble.



  • I spent many practice room hours working on the volume of Bower Murphy’s “Advanced Tuba Etudes” she edited.

    It had that same picture inside it.

  • Connie was a great lady. She will be missed by many. I met her when she was on tour with the Boston Pops in 1955. I had started my first year of university studies, and was very fortunately playing tuba in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. She came to my home and enchanted my entire family with her genuine warmth. I loved her, and I love her precious memory.