Merry Tuba Christmas celebrates 39th anniversary Dec. 1

Published 9:58 am Friday, November 9, 2012

Merry Tuba Christmas is celebrating its 39th anniversary.

Created by Harvey Phillips, Merry Tuba Christmas 2012 concerts will be presented in more than 250 cities throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.

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Phillips was inspired to create Tuba Christmas as an annual event honoring his teacher, the late great tubist William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day, 1902.

Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages, from specific geographic areas, gather to pay respect – through William J. Bell – to all the great artists/teachers who represent their heritage.  EveryTuba Christmas performance features traditional Christmas carols especially arranged (for the first Tuba Christmas, Dec. 22, 1974 on “The Rink at Rockefeller Center”) by American composer Alec Wilder (died Christmas Eve, 1980).  Through Wilder, Tuba Christmas concerts show that players are grateful to composers who have embraced the noble instruments with solo and ensemble compositions.  Depending on the population of any given geographic area, Tuba Christmas ensembles may attract multiples of 100 participants aged 8 to more than 90 years.

The warm, rich organ-like sound of the tuba-euphonium choir has won the ears and hearts of every audience. It is no wonder that Tuba Christmas has become an established Christmas tradition in cities throughout the world.

Tuba Christmas will be performed this year on Dec. 1, at 1:30 p.m., at the Polk County High School.

– article submitted by Betsy Zeek