Thursday, November 20, 2008
Low Notes & High Spirits
Christmas carols and bells mark the arrival of Christmas, but at yearly musical gathering across the US, a different sound rings in the holiday season. Dedicated groups of brass instrumentalists gather together to celebrate the beautiful, if unwieldy, instruments they play and to present familiar songs in a different, deeper setting.
Tuba Christmas brings out tuba, euphonium, and baritone players for lively concerts of holiday music and puts those big instruments in the spotlight. The celebration was founded by famed tubist and educator Harvey Phillips, as a tribute to his teacher, the late William J. Bell and the first was held at New York's Rockefeller Plaza in 1974. Players performed four-part arrangements of Christmas carols and hymns arranged for two tenor and two bass instruments -- the higher parts filled by baritones and euphoniums, and the lower ones by tubas and sousaphones.
The sound of Tuba Christmas is massive and melodious, with ringing high notes and deep bass. Many players deck their instruments with lights and ornaments and wear decorative hats and scarves.
written by Dave Allen - Nov/Dec 2008 issue of 'Making Music' magazine
Our Big Bore Brass Tuba Choir will be playing at The First United Methodist Church (101 East Main - Route 20) in Westfield, NY on Sunday, 11/23/08 @ 3:00 pm.
It is an impressively powerful group.