TubaChristmas 2012 echoes

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It was a warm and sunny day at Polk County High School.

The stage was filled with more than 73 tuba and euphonium players and one grand piano.

The auditorium was filled with about 700 eager concert-goers.

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After a welcome by Coordinator Stan Howell and several Christmas carols, there was a tribute to former conductor Walter Moore. Host conductor, Cindy Gilbert, led the band in two more carols.

The first soloist was Kent Dyer, a student at Western Carolina University who played the traditional “O Holy Night.”  We were also introduced to some of the tuba family that look very different from the big brass to which we are accustomed.

After some more Carols, with Jean Howell leading the audience in a sing-a-long, it was time for the second soloist.  P. Blake Cooper is a professional tubist from Los Angeles. He was here to honor his grandfather, Phil Cooper, formerly of Tryon, who had passed away in September. He played “White Christmas,” accompanied by Ellie Roemer, of Tryon, at the piano.

Commissioner Ray Gasperson presented the Howells with a certificate of appreciation for their commitment to TubaChristmas and the community on this the 15th anniversary on TubaChristmas in Polk County.

Howell introduced Manfred Walter of Mill Spring who will be coordinator in the future. Walter said he is looking for those that would like to be a part of the concert in the future.

After several more carols the concert culminated with the “Hallelujah Chorus”

In all, it was a joyful time and a great way to start the Christmas Season.

– article submitted by Betsy Zeek