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Tuba Players Invited to Play at KSC Christmas Concert

KEENE, N.H. 11/20/03 - All area tuba and euphonium (baritone horn) players are invited to perform in two Tuba Christmas concerts organized by Douglas Nelson, professor of music at Keene State College, on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 1 p.m. at Keene State College and at 2:45 p.m. at Keene High School preceding a 3 p.m. Keene Pops Choir concert.

Registration begins at 10:45 a.m., with rehearsal starting at 11:15 a.m. to prepare for the 1 p.m. concert, which is free and open to the public. Registration, rehearsal, and the concert take place in the Mabel Brown Room of the L. P. Young Student Center at Keene State. After the concert, musicians will ride in their own vehicles to the Keene High School auditorium for a 2:45 p.m. short program preceding the 3 p.m. Keene Pops Choir concert. Santa Claus (a.k.a. John Manning) will perform a tuba solo during the Pops concert.

Musicians interested in participating in Tuba Christmas should bring their tuba or euphonium and a folding music stand or lyre to the registration. All music will be march size and furnished at the rehearsal. Players are encouraged to dress in festive green and red attire for the performances and will be provided a pizza lunch.

Each musician is asked to pay a $5 entry fee to benefit the Harvey Phillips Foundation, the nonprofit organization that sponsors Tuba Christmas concerts nationwide. For further information, call 603-358-2177.

Renowned American tubist Harvey Phillips organized the first Tuba Christmas concert in New York City on Dec. 22, 1974, to honor William J. Bell, whom many consider the father of the tuba.

This is the 13th year that Nelson has gathered tuba players of all talents in one location to herald the holidays with Christmas carols and hymns. He launched the Monadnock Region’s Tuba Christmas tradition at Colony Mill Marketplace, but after it began to draw more players and larger audiences than could fit comfortably in the shopping mall, he moved it to Keene State. Last year nearly 50 musicians played to a large crowd at the Student Center.

The Keene Tuba Christmas is meant to expose people to the sounds of the tuba and the euphonium, which are not usually heard as solo instruments. Nelson, who plays the euphonium, says it’s a wonderful instrument that has the same range as the trombone but more mellow tones. The tuba is recognized by everyone for its size, but few people have heard its deep bass pitch as the only sound to fill a concert hall.

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