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Tuba Players Invited to Play at KSC Concert

KEENE, N.H. 11/20/01 - All area tuba and euphonium (baritone horn) players are invited to perform in a “Tuba Christmas” concert directed by Keene State College Professor of Music Douglas Nelson on Sunday, Dec. 2. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. with rehearsal starting at 11 a.m. to prepare for the 2 p.m. concert, which is free and open to the public. All events take place in the Mabel Brown Room of KSC’s Young Student Center.

Tuba and euphonium players interested in participating in the “Tuba Christmas” concert should bring their instruments along with a folding music stand or lyre to the registration. All music is march-size and will be furnished at the rehearsal. Players are encouraged to dress in festive green and red attire for the performance. Those wearing red and green clothing will be provided a pizza lunch at 12:30 p.m. Each musician is asked to pay a $5 entry fee, which will benefit the nonprofit Harvey Phillips Foundation. For further information, call 603-358-2177.

This is the 11th year that Nelson has gathered players of all talents in one location to herald the holidays with Christmas carols and hymns. Last year 40 musicians played to a large crowd at Keene State. Nelson launched the Monadnock Region’s “Tuba Christmas” tradition at Keene’s Colony Mill Marketplace, but he found that after six years it was drawing more players and larger audiences than could fit comfortably in the shopping mall. For the past several years, the concert has taken place at Keene State’s Student Center. “Tuba Christmas” concerts are held throughout the United States with as many as 300 players coming out each year for the Chicago performance. The first “Tuba Christmas” was conducted by Paul Lavalle in the Rockefeller Plaza ice rink in New York City on Dec. 22, 1974, to honor William J. Bell, whom many consider the father of the tuba.

The Keene State “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 is a wonderful instrument which 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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