Arts & Events

Tubachristmas brings Christmas atmosphere



Although a short event, Tubachristmas was so highly anticipated and so crowded that people were sitting on the floor, standing against the wall and even listening in from the hallways.

The audience was full of students, family members, community members, even children.

The ensemble of tubas and euphoniums played 16 classic Christmas songs, including “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells” and “Pat a Pan.”

An ensemble of tubas and euphoniums is not one that is commonly heard. People are more used to hearing an entire symphony or orchestra, where those instruments simply provide the lower bass notes, giving the songs a fuller sound.

Despite the ensemble’s lack of a full symphonic sound, the songs came out sounding beautifully: powerful and soft at the same time, with their deep bass sounds ringing throughout the room.

The songs themselves were simple but that did not matter. Every song was met with well-deserved applause and cheering.

During the concert, guest conductor and Puget Sound sophomore music education student Stephen Abeshima spoke about the history of Tubachristmas.

This year was the 40th anniversary of the first performance.

Harvey Phillips, in 1974, wanted to pay tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, who had been born on Christmas Day, and thus, Tubachristmas was born.

The concert was a huge success, with people young and old enjoying themselves thoroughly.

“I…think that Tubachristmas went well! It was a lot of fun, both for the performers and the audience. I haven’t ever talked to anyone after Tubachristmas who didn’t enjoy it. There was one person who talked to me afterward and said that she really enjoyed hearing the performance, because she had never really heard tubas and euphoniums before, and she really enjoyed the sound of the ensemble,” Abeshima said.

The ensemble only had one rehearsal as a group before the performance. It was a short 45-minute rehearsal, but Abeshima was not worried.

“I thought we were pretty ready to perform at the end of the rehearsal—it is the same music books every year and at all events, and many people had played in a Tubachristmas event before,” Abeshima said.

In fact, if the crowd had not been told of their short rehearsal time, they probably would not have been aware that they had spent very little time working on it together.

It was a group of extremely talented musicians.

The concert went off without a hitch, and the whole audience was thrilled.

Christmas is a time of joy and celebration and this concert definitely succeeded in creating that Christmas spirit.

“I mostly just hoped that people enjoyed themselves hearing our music—and Christmas music is always fun. Additionally, I wholly agree with Harvey Phillips’s vision of spreading appreciation for the musical and melodic capabilities of our often overlooked instruments. I think Tubachristmas events do that very well, because people always enjoy themselves, and they get to hear a fairly uncommon ensemble—but an ensemble I think has a very cool and unique sound,” Abeshima said regarding his thoughts on the concert’s purpose and outcome.

As this is an annual event, if you missed the performance this year, you can always attend next year’s performance.

You will have the chance to thoroughly enjoy yourself and get into the Christmas spirit.