First Trombones, and Now Tubas
‘Tis the season for deep-pitched brass instruments, apparently.
Last Thursday I went to see the Penn State Trombone Choir do its annual Christmas concert in Eisenhower Chapel. The next day, the Alumni Association had its annual holiday party, and the entertainment turned out to be … the Penn State Trombone Choir! (Or a subset of it, anyway.) Then, on Saturday, I saw a notice on Facebook about something called TubaChristmas, a free performance to take place that afternoon in the Business Building Atrium on campus, so I figured, “Why not?”
Turns out that TubaChristmas happens all over the world every year, and has been going on since 1974. There’s been a TubaChristmas at University Park since the 1980s, I think, and this year marked the 13th TubaChristmas at Penn State Behrend. Basically, all local tuba and euphonium players (a euphonium is similar to a tuba, only smaller) are invited to join in a program of Christmas carols arranged specifically for those instruments. Here’s a short clip of them playing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” in the Business Building on Saturday:
The woman conducting the 35-some players is Velvet Brown of the Penn State School of Music faculty. We profiled her in the magazine some years back. Since Saturday, I’ve discovered that she conducts the Penn State Tuba/Euphonium Studio in other specialty concerts during the year, like OctTUBAFest and TUBAWEEN. Who knew?
Saturday’s performance included not only Penn State students but also people from the community—there was at least one 11-year-old and one 14-year-old among the musicians, and the prize for the oldest performer went to a guy who’s 78.
Below are a few photos from Saturday’s concert.
Tina Hay, editor