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broodings from the burrow

December 20, 2013

virtual advent tour: merry tubachristmas!
posted by soe 4:24 am

Virtual Advent Tour logoWelcome visitors, both new and old! Today is my day to participate in the Virtual Advent Tour.

After you finish here, please make sure you check out today’s other featured blogger, Maria.

For the last four years, Rudi and I have attended the Merry TubaChristmas concert at the Kennedy Center’s free Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C. It is exactly what it sounds like — a carol concert performed by tubas, sousaphones, and euphoniums.

One of the impressive things about this concert is that these aren’t musicians who play together normally. They come, singly or in groups, together at 3 p.m. on the afternoon of the concert and then, three hours later, they’re on stage performing as one.

This year’s concert, D.C.’s 40th, was the biggest one yet, with nearly 400 musicians in attendance ranging in age from 8 to 89. It was conducted by Colonel Timothy J. Holton, of the U.S. Army Field Band, and emceed by David Bragunier, the principal tuba of the National Symphony Orchestra.

This is not the only tuba Christmas concert. In fact, they occur in 280 cities nationwide. I’d suggest you see if there’s one close by. The first one was held in 1974 on the ice rink at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza.

The Kennedy Center is very generous in that they record fully most of their free shows. They don’t enable embedding, though, so if you want to be see the concert, click over here.

Thanks to the tour’s organizers, Marg and Kailana, for all their hard work. I’ve enjoyed for the past five Christmas seasons, when I’ve reviewed a Christmassy book, shared a song, a weird Canadian cartoon of the ’70s, and a cookie recipe, offered insight into making a Christmas mix, and took you along on for a pictorial tour of D.C.’s Christmas scene (including the first year we attended this tuba concert).

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