Tuba Chrismas began in 1974 as a tribute to the late William J. Bell who as born on Christmas day 1902. The first performace was at New York's Rockerfeller Plaza Ice Rink. The music was traditional Christmas music that had been arranged for Tuba and Euphonium.
Our son, Jared has told us the fun he's had for years participating in the Merry Tuba Christmas concerts in various places he's lived and worked. This year we saw the notice that the 3rd Annual Tuba Christmas Concert was taking place December 16 at St. Cecilia's Royce Auditorium, so after church we went out for a nice lunch and made our way at the appointed hour to see what all the fuss was about. I'm glad we did.
We saw +- 40 performers (age range 13-65+ we're told) on the stage. Tubas, Eupohoniums, Sousaphones of every finish and description. And for about 34-minutes we enjoyed Christmas standards played like we've not heard them before.
For those of you who only think of a tuba as the ompapa of a polka band, you owe it to yourself to make this a part of your holiday tradition.
The most fun moment was the audience participation on Jingle Bells. We were asked to take out our car keys and jingle along at the appropriate time.
It's not as dignified (perhaps) as a performance of the Messiah or Nutcracker, but what a hoot!
Dan Clouse conducted and was quoted in the Press today with these thoughts on the subject:
When asked, how many tuba players does it take to change a lightbulb he said "Three. One to hold the bulb and the other two to drink until the room spins"
What's the range of a tuba? "Twenty yards if you have a good arm."
Two tuba players walk past a bar. Hey, it COULD happen!
Dan is a tuba player and teacher in residence at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI.
Check their website for a location near you. It's a holiday event that's now spread all over the world, and there are many dates between now and Christmas. Maybe one near you.
If you go, or if you've been, please report back to let me know if you thought it was some great fun.
Merry Tuba Christmas to you!
Photos and information from www.tubachristmas.com