40th Anniversary of National Tuba Christmas

For the past month, tuba and euphonium players, dressed in festive colors and Santa hats and toting along decorated instruments, have been gathering around the United States and a handful of other countries for Tuba Christmas. Performances will take place this weekend and the coming week in many different cities, including Lexington, KY; Birmingham, AL; Chicago, IL; Wasilla, AK; Maui, HI; Phoenix, AZ; Anaheim, CA; Denver, CO; Hiawatha, KS; Alexandria, LA; Bel Air, MD; Grand Rapids, MI; New London; NH; Morristown, NJ; Rochester, NY; Akron; OH; Houston, TX; and many more locations. You can find upcoming performances in your state here. Registration is $10.00.

Founded in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day in 1902, Tuba Christmas benefits the Harvey Phillips Foundation, which is dedicated to “developing, expanding, and preserving the music arts.” According to the Kennedy Center website: “The Foundation facilitates its goals by providing scholarship assistance to selected established institutions which offer academic and music performance training, by assisting the commission of new compositions and other performing repertoire, by creating opportunities for public performances, by building public audiences which appreciate and support performances of all musical instruments, by presenting public lectures and clinics which impart knowledge and understanding of the urgent and special needs of the music arts and performing musicians, by offering consultant services and public relations expertise to music arts organizations.” The very first national Tuba Christmas was conducted by Paul LaValle in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on December 22, 1974.

View Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.) past performances here.

CA: “Tuba Christmas Toots Out One Last Time This Season at Disneyland

AL: “Dust off that tuba in the attic and haul it to the Stephens Center for the 2013 TubaChristmas on Saturday

FL: “Tuba Christmas in Zephyrhills brings loud holiday joy

Catherina Hurlburt, Special Assistant, December 20, 2013. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)