Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Tantalizing Prospect: Tuba Christmas

I think we can all agree that tubas are the coolest instrument in the brass section. Big, bossy and full of character, tubas give an orchestra the oomph it needs to connect. Of course, tubas have a funny side to them as well, and have been the butt of many jokes (though not always to their detriment).

With the holiday season in swing, I've become aware of an annual event of tuba players performing Christmas songs en masse, called Tuba Christmas. I'd never heard of it before, and their website is despairingly lacking in details (or, crucially, YouTube videos, which I found later). From what I can gather the event is staged in both official, sanctioned settings, such as at Rockefeller Center in New York City, and somewhat randomly, flashmob style, where many, perhaps dozens of tuba players assemble in a public place to belt out Jingle Bells and Silent Night.

Apparently this is a tradition, as it's been going for more than 30 years, which is terrific. Brass music in general seems to be making a resurgence in recent years. Hopefully we'll explore that more in detail in 2009.

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