Music

Tuba Christmas

Saturday, Dec. 1

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What says the holiday season better than Black Friday, twinkling lights, excuses for eating things you know aren't good for you and evergreen wreaths hanging everywhere? Tubas, of course.

Each year, tuba and baritone players from area high schools and colleges, and assorted community members join forces to present Tuba Christmas—a series of mini concerts that prove the instruments can do far more than just play the bass line. In fact this group of brass players will perform more than 20 traditional carols during two concerts Saturday, Dec. 1.

First up is a concert on Grove Plaza next to Boise's community holiday tree. The performance begins at 3:15 p.m. The tuba crew then heads up Capitol Boulevard for a 4 p.m. concert in the Capitol Rotunda. Each concert is scheduled to last roughly 30 minutes.

Why tubas at Christmas, you ask? Well, Tuba Christmas is part of a national event that has been showcasing the unsung hero of the lower register since 1974. The original event was created as a tribute to the late musician and teacher William Bell, who was born on Christmas. The first Tuba Christmas concert was performed that year on the ice rink at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

Since that first gathering of tuba players, the event has spread across the country with concerts in nearly every corner of the nation.

This year's Boise concerts feature traditional tunes like "Silver Bells," "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" and "Deck the Halls," so it's just the thing to kick-start you into the holiday season. Better yet, both concerts are free and open to the public.