The Ludington Guard Band of Menomonie, founded in 1888, has announced the eighth annual TUBACHRISTMAS 2019 is planned for Sunday, Dec. 8.
“We are happy once again to be able to offer this special treat to our community and surrounding area,” Dr. Carroll Rund, past band president said.
The event will again be held at 4 p.m. at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, located at 910 Wilson Avenue, which is about a block east of the band shell, and there will be plenty of free parking and lots of room to accommodate players and the expected large audience.
To potential audience members: The approximate one hour TUBACHRISTMAS concert is free to the public. The St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Bell Choir will be performing before the concert starts this year. Once again the TUBACHRISTMAS Ensemble will be conducted by Carol Halpaus, a longtime member of the Ludington Guard Band and section leader of the clarinet section. Carol hails from Ellsworth. Joyful Noise Choir, under the direction of Linda Bark, will lead the audience in the traditional sing-along during the show. There will be a number of other special features that day for audience members and performers, plus some souvenir items available for purchase as well.
To potential performers: To play in the concert performers must only play tuba, sousaphone, euphonium or baritone. All ages are welcome including grade school, junior high, high school and college players. The registration starts at 1:30 p.m. and the mandatory rehearsal is from 2:30-3:30 p.m.. The registration fee is $10 per person (performers will get a souvenir button for this, which they must wear during the show). Performers will also get a special bag of “goodies” for participating in this event and have access to lots of dessert foods before the concert.
Every performer must purchase their own official music book online or when they register. Photocopies will not be permitted. To make sure there are enough music books at registration, performers desiring to purchase music books at the event are asked to contact event coordinators at TUBACHRISTMAS.firstname.lastname@example.org and request a book be reserved for them. Once performers purchase a music book, it is good for all future events wherever they are held.
There will also be some souvenir merchandise (stocking caps, scarves, head bands, souvenir buttons from the past seven seasons and any remaining buttons from this year) available at registration. More items are available online. Performers desiring to purchase music books and/or merchandise online in advance need to go to www.tubachristmas.com as soon as possible. Prices are listed there. Performers should contact coordinators at the Gmail address above for updates and are encouraged to dress themselves and decorate their instruments festively for the Christmas performance. Emails have been sent to every school and university within a 50 mile radius of Menomonie and the coordinators have already received commitments from many musicians wanting to play.
“We always have some potential performers come just to see what our event is all about, but they do not perform,” Rund said. “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. So our event always gets better.
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Photos taken the past seven years are available online at https://tubaxmasmenomonie2012.shutterfly.com. A group photo will be taken prior to the concert and if possible every player will get a copy.
Created by Harvey Phillips, a very well-known tuba player, TUBACHRISTMAS concerts have been held annually since 1974 in over 300 cities throughout the United States and several foreign countries. This is the 46th year of such concerts. Harvey 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 William J. Bell — to all great artists/teachers who represent their heritage. Every TUBACHRISTMAS performance features traditional Christmas carols especially 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.
Depending on the population of any given geographic area, TUBACHRISTMAS ensembles may attract multiples of 100 participants aged 8-90 years. The warm and rich, organ-like sound of this low brass choir has won the ears and hearts of every audience. It is no wonder that TUBACHRISTMAS has become an established Christmas tradition in cities throughout the world.
“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,” Dr. Rund said.
The event is co-coordinated by Dr. Carroll Rund, past president of the Ludington Guard Band and a tuba player; Anita Keeler, Ludington Guard Band president-elect and euphonium player; Jessica (Keeler) Lynn, band member and trombone player and Bill Baldwin, retired band director from Amery and band member and euphonium player.
“This should be another great, very special, fun and festive concert”, Rund said. “We wish you all a very merry TUBACHRISTMAS and hope you will kick off your holiday season and get into the holiday spirit by attending the eighth annual TUBACHRISTMAS-MENOMONIE.”