Blaine Cunningham

Principal Tuba

Jared and Carol Hills Chair

Blaine Cunningham teaches on the faculty of the Orchestra Iowa School and Kirkwood Community College. He is also a founding member of the Iowa Brass Collective. In addition to his active performance schedule with Orchestra Iowa, Blaine is also the orchestra librarian and personnel manager. Blaine can be heard on Mike Forbes’ new solo album Forbes Plays Forbes (available at Blaine has also performed with the South Dakota Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony, Sheboygan Symphony, Oshkosh Symphony, and the Northwest Arkansas Symphony. He has performed as a featured soloist with the Northwest Arkansas Symphony, Texas Woman’s University Wind Ensemble, University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra, University of Iowa Concert Band, and the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band. Blaine is a Miraphone Artist. (


Cedar Rapids, IA

Education & Teachers:

BM, University of Arkansas, 2004
Artist Certificate, University of Arkansas, 2008
MM, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2006
ABD, University of Iowa (Doctoral Coursework)

Kabin Thomas, Dr. Russell Pettitt, Dr. Benjamin Pierce, John Stevens and John Manning

Favorite Symphonic Piece:

Shostakovich Symphony No. 10

Favorite Memory With Orchestra Iowa

Without a doubt, my favorite memory with Orchestra Iowa is our performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

How did you start playing your instrument?

My first instrument was actually the saxophone, mostly because my dad played sax and we already owned one. But when I got to high school, I wanted a new challenge and the big shiny tuba seemed like it would be the most fun. I think I was right.

If you weren’t a professional musician, what career would you have?


Who would play you in a movie?

Jim Gaffigan