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Get your tuba on 

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When you think of Christmas music, you probably think choirs of angels, Mannheim Steamroller, Vince Guaraldi or maybe even that Jessica Simpson holiday CD that 7-Eleven has been trying to push since the first of October. But a band of over 70 tubas and euphoniums (the tenors of the tuba family) bhomp-bhomp-bhomping away in Acacia Park may not be the first thought that comes to mind. A choir of tubas playing carols may seem, well, out of place, like an elephant in Easter bunny ears. But TUBACHRISTMAS is a thriving and popular event worldwide, and this year's will be the 14th annual performance in Colorado Springs.

TUBACHRISTMAS has been something of an international phenomenon for 31 years, with three performances in Colorado alone, as well as in over 180 other cities in the United States and concerts in Switzerland, Austria and Canada. Today tuba and euphonium players from elementary school to senior-center ages gather to pay homage to the musicians who represent their collective tuba heritage.

The event began in honor of tubist William J. Bell, the late artist/teacher born on Christmas day. TUBACHRISTMAS has developed its own traditional carol arrangements from the first concert in 1974, arranged by Alec Wilder, a prolific composer and activist of the tuba who died on Christmas Eve. Using Wilder's compositions, TUBACHRISTMAS honors composers who have contributed to the growth of tuba music popularity.

click to enlarge TUBACHRISTMAS Baltimore, MD - Harbor Place 2003
  • TUBACHRISTMAS Baltimore, MD - Harbor Place 2003

Your family will find this delightful holiday concert at Acacia Park on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. Go early to get a parking spot before the masses of parade-goers flock to the area for the Festival of Lights parade that begins at 5:50 p.m. The tubas and euphoniums will bhomp-bhomp-bhomp their way into your heart, guaranteed.

-- Sara Gallagher

capsule TUBACHRISTMAS

Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave. (corner of Tejon and Bijou streets)

Sat., Dec. 4, 4 p.m.

For more, contact Grant Johnson 573-9320

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