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TUBACHRISTMAS

The Ludington Guard Band will perform a TUBACHRISTMAS program Sunday, Dec. 9 in Menomonie.

The seventh annual TUBACHRISTMAS-MENOMONIE will be performed in Menomonie on Sunday, Dec. 9.

“We are happy once again to be able to offer this special treat to our community and surrounding area,” said Dr. Carroll Rund of Menomonie, a past band president.

The free, hour-long concert is scheduled for 4 p.m., St Joseph’s Catholic Church, 910 Wilson Ave., about a block east of the band shell. Free parking is available in the church parking lot.

The ensemble will be directed for the first time by Carol Halpaus of Ellsworth, a longtime Ludington Guard Band member and section leader of the clarinet section.

The Joyful Noise Singers, under the direction of Linda Bark, will lead the audience in the traditional singalong during the show. There will be other special features for audience members and performers, plus souvenir items available for purchase.

Potential concert musicians must play the tuba, sousaphone, euphonium or baritone.

All ages are welcome to play in the concert, including grade school, junior high, high school and college players. Registration starts at 1:30 p.m. and is $10 per person (performers will receive a souvenir button), and the mandatory rehearsal is 2:30-3:30 p.m. The registration fee is $10 per person, and every performer must purchase their own official music book online or when they register. Photocopies will not be permitted.

Performers who want to purchase music books at the event are asked to contact event coordinators at tubachristmas.menomonie12@gmail.com and request a book be reserved for them.

To buy the music book online in advance, visit www.tubachristmas.com as soon as possible.

Once performers purchase a music book, it is good for all future events. Souvenir merchandise—stocking caps, scarves, head bands, souvenir buttons from the past six seasons and any remaining buttons from this year—will be available at registration.

Performers should contact coordinators at the email address above for updates, and are encouraged to dress themselves and decorate their instruments festively for the Christmas holiday season. Many musicians have already committed to playing.

“We always have some potential performers come just to see what our event is all about, but they do not perform. I wish they would because after seeing the event, they wish they had participated. We expect them to be back this year and be part of the ensemble,” Rund said.

Created by tuba player Harvey Phillips, TUBACHRISTMAS concerts have been held annually since 1974 in over 300 cities throughout the United States and several foreign countries. Phillips was inspired to create TUBACHRISTMAS as an annual event honoring his teacher, the late great tubist William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day in 1902. Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages gather in their respective geographic areas to pay tribute through Bell to all great artists/teachers who represent their heritage.

Every TUBACHRISTMAS performance features traditional Christmas carols, especially those arranged by American composer Alec Wilder, who died on Christmas Eve in 1980. Through Mr. Wilder, TUBACHRISTMAS concerts pay grateful tribute to composers who have embraced these noble instruments with solo and ensemble compositions.

The warm, rich and organ-like sound of this low brass choir has won the ears and hearts of many audiences.

Coordinating the event are Rund, a tuba player; Anita Keeler of Menomonie, band member and baritone player; Jessica Keeler of Menomonie, band member and trombone player; and Bill Baldwin of Amery, retired band director, band member and euphonium player.

“This is the only concert of its kind in the area and a fitting way to celebrate this great holiday. I think we can safely say it has become a holiday tradition here and will take place for many years,” Rund said.

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