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broodings from the burrow

December 12, 2023

virtual advent 2023: day 12
posted by soe 8:00 am

Today marks the end of the first half of our Virtual Advent Tour, so I’m offering you a glimpse into another of our favorite annual traditions — the Merry TubaChristmas.

2023 Merry TubaChristmas

This year marks the 50th TubaChristmas, which was created by Harvey Phillips in memory of his tuba instructor, William Bell, born at Christmas in 1902. The very first “caroling” tuba concert was held in New York City in 1974, and they have been held annually ever since, in a growing number of cities around the country. This year there were 212 concerts.

2023 Merry TubaChristmas

In D.C., it’s held at the Kennedy Center, and 250 tuba and euphonium players from around the region were in attendance. The two youngest performers were 10 and the oldest was 82. The newest player had started playing within the last year. This fellow with the green book had the oldest tuba, which was more than 100 years old:

2023 Merry TubaChristmas

Many people come in festive outfits and bedeck their instruments.

2023 Merry TubaChristmas

My favorite of their songs is always “Joy to the World,” which sounds very impressive when played by that many deep brass instruments:

2023 TubaChristmas

If you can find a TubaChristmas near you, I highly recommend checking it out!

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