Two Nebraska cities are hosting Tuba Christmas events on Sunday, part of a global holiday event that both celebrates the season and puts a spotlight on an often-forgotten instrument. One organizer is Jeff Kirkpatrick who is says they’re among about 200 similar celebrations throughout the United States.
Kirkpatrick says Tuba Christmas was originally started by Harvey Phillips, a professor of tuba at Indiana University with the local celebration starting in 1985 with only six players. It’s now an annual international event with many thousands of musicians. Kirkpatrick says people normally wouldn’t think of tubas as the best choice for playing Christmas music.
“The image of tuba players is the large instrument that sits in the back of the band and just goes ‘boop, boop, boop,’ but we want to dispell that myth that tubas can’t play beautiful music, because they can,” Kirkpatrick says. “Tubas produce gorgeous tone, wonderful sounds.” He says tubas are basically the Rodney Dangerfield of instrument that get no respect.
He says what Tuba Christmas does is promote that low brass instruments can produce wonderfully rich sounds, that can’t be created any other way. The events begin at 2:30 PM on Sunday at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha and at 3 PM at the Monument Mall in Scottsbluff.
Another Tuba Christmas event was held earlier this month in Kearney. For more information, visit: www.tubachristmas.com