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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby Art Hovey » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:57 pm

Old Saybrook, Connecticut, conducted by Gary Buttery. We fill the stage, but there is room to breath. Some new arrangements appear every year. Some excellent players show up, including several from the Coast Guard Band and from local colleges. Gary invites selected participants to demonstrate the various types of instruments. Young children are invited to join in with bells to jingle in the grand finale. Pizza, sandwiches, and cider are provided between the rehearsal and the performance, and there are no stupid tuba jokes.
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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby wisekwai » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:03 pm

This year, I attended TubaChristmas in Kansas City, Mo. It is sponsored by the KC Symphony and they prefer you pre-register to play in the event, as they have two performances with around 350 to 400 players each. That’s a lot of schoolkids with big horns for the usher staff to keep a lid on.

The setting in KC is very nice, as it is in the symphony hall downtown. The euphoniums were put in the organ loft, and the tubas down below on the stage. Not sure how it sounded to the audience, but it was neat. Not sure I’ll be back, though.

In the past, I’ve attended TubaChristmases in Chicago, in the ritzy downtown hotel with Harvey Phillips and Frederick Fennell present to lead us. I’ve done St. Louis, with around 150-200 players in a shopping mall.

I organized a couple TubaChristmases in the 1990s in Carbondale, with around 50 players or so in the shopping mall. Years later, after I drifted away from Carbondale, I came back and there were around 8 tubas and 8 euphoniums playing in that same mall. Nice tight sound, though.

I played in Pulaski, Tennessee last year, in a downtown church with around another 8 and 8 players. And barely any audience. But still fun. The next day I played in Nashville, TN in the First Baptist Church, with around 175 or so musicians. They do two noontime shows because so many people want to come hear us.

Not sure which I prefer – the mall setting, where you have a chance at impressing a random person who knew nothing about tubas, or a proper concert setting. Advantages and disadvantages to both.

All this experience has taught me that TubaChristmas is special, no matter what.
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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby jpwell » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:00 pm

411 at Tuba Xmas Chicago!!!
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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby Three Valves » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:19 pm

I say more than 50 is too much,

Fewer than four is too few!!

:tuba:
Who needs four valves??

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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby alfredr » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:19 am

I always wanted to get four adequate players (2 + 2) (Fewer than four is too few.) and ride around in a van and commit random acts of TubaChristmas.

Don't know if Harvey Phillips would have approved.

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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby tubacharlie » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:05 pm

It's not the best Tuba Christmas I have played at but I'm so happy that after 15 years without a Tuba Christmas in Lansing Michigan it returned. 30 + of us braved the cold weather to perform Tuba Christmas on the steps of the state capitol building. I want to thank everyone that organized the event for their hard work. Next years I'm sure it will be larger and have more people enjoying this event.
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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby bloke » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:44 pm

"The music" is (certainly) not it.
The H.P.-esque "promotion of the tuba" isn't it.

This is it:

becoming-reacquainted-with, meeting-new-to-me local tuba players, seeing a really-old-guy local tuba player that I only see on fb - and seeing that he's still getting around and doing OK (...as I'm never involved in any gig that involves more tuba players than...well...me), meeting their spouses, meeting their kids, shaking their hands, smiling, chatting, and wishing them all a Merry Christmas...
...i.e. It pulls bloke off bloke's beaten path, if only for a couple of hours...
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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby JCalkin » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:48 pm

bloke wrote:"The music" is (certainly) not it.
The H.P.-esque "promotion of the tuba" isn't it.

This is it:

becoming-reacquainted-with, meeting-new-to-me local tuba players, seeing a really-old-guy local tuba player that I only see on fb - and seeing that he's still getting around and doing OK (...as I'm never involved in any gig that involves more tuba players than...well...me), meeting their spouses, meeting their kids, shaking their hands, smiling, chatting, and wishing them all a Merry Christmas...
...i.e. It pulls bloke off bloke's beaten path, if only for a couple of hours...


Indeed.

I would add to that: the TubaChristmas in Sioux City rehearses in the morning and then takes the show on the road, playing three times. The 2nd and 3rd times are in public places: at the mall, and at a local cultural/historical center (with a decent stage and :shock: chairs) , but the first one is far and away my favorite: we always play in a senior/assisted living center. Bringing live music into a place like that where folks don't have the option of getting out to see any on their own is always a rewarding experience, and for me it puts the "Christmas" into TubaChristmas far better than the carols or festive hats.
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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby iiipopes » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:51 pm

Community. The low brass community in SW MO is growing. This year's Tuba Christmas was the best yet, with the most players ever, with room to grow. We had players from 12 to 72, all the way from school band, college, amateur, weekend warriors, band directors, and professional players. The camaraderie and fellowship are what it is all about, and I am confident in the future of our chosen instruments after participating last December.
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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby mbell » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:28 pm

I did TubaChristmas in Washington, DC in the middle 1980s for a few years. Those were pretty special, mainly because they were led by Harvey Phillips. Many folks from the military bands participated. The overall playing level was very high. We did those at the National Christmas Tree and had a good audience. One year we had a little bit of snow coming down. After one performance I encountered a woman from the audience who was just overjoyed and beside herself by what she had heard. She insisted on taking a photo of my friend and I with the Washington Monument in the background.

Some years later they moved the DC TubaChristmas to the Kennedy Center foyer. I am guessing because it could be a bit too cold doing them outside. I've never been to one of those.

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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby Charlie C Chowder » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:30 am

I have only played in Portland, OR. We do a lot of things beside just playing the TC book. We have other music from different sources, the audience sings along with the help of a lead singer on a microphone, local music shops give gift certificates for best this, or worsted that competitions, oldest, youngest. We show the many varieties of instruments. There is a lot going on besides just playing music. Everybody seems to go away happy, even if the weather has not been great. We average 250 musicians.

A new player in this area thought we were weird. So I was wondering What do other TCs do?

Charlie C. Chowder AKA the TubaChristmas E

I cannot compete in costume anymore as mine is too good. Now I get to help present the different contestances. Kind of like a "Vana White" of TubaChristmas, but short and fat.
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Re: The BEST Tuba Christmases

Postby Slamson » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:12 pm

I'd have to say 1998.

A small bunch of us were playing outdoors. The owner of the bar across the street says "all of you that are over 21 - come on over! If you keep playing, I'll keep pouring!"

Never knew I had that much stamina.
sorry, I don't do signatures.
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