This sure beats that tuba toothpaste you get in your stocking every Christmas!
A Merry Tuba Christmas is coming to the Morristown Green on Dec. 22. The historic square will become a festive sea of tubas and euphoniums (euphonia?).
Tubists and euphonists from far and wide are invited to play carols starting at 2 pm, and the public is encouraged to sing along.
More than 250 of these brassy concerts are scheduled around the world for this Yule season.
Conceived by Harvey Phillips, Tuba Christmas got its start in 1974 at New York City’s Rockefeller Center as a tribute to Harvey’s teacher, the late tuba legend William J. Bell (born Christmas Day, 1902).
Composer Alec Wilder (died Christmas Eve, 1980) arranged traditional carols for the instrument.
Morristown High School Band Director Doug Rutan, who is coordinating the local presentation, anticipates that as many as 100 tubists (tubers?) and euphonists (euphonistas?) will show up.
Baton honors fall to guest conductor Matthew Paterno, director of instrumental music at Wayne Hills High School. The Rutgers graduate also coaches the Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble at William Paterson University, where he is an adjunct faculty member.
Doug, who played the euphonium in college, has participated in the New York holiday tubafest and always wanted to bring it home to Morristown.
“The Green is a perfect setting for this event. People usually don’t associate the tuba and euphonium as melodic or melodious instruments but the sound they achieve together is very organ-like,” Doug said.
“It also is a good way to put these instruments in the limelight, so that hopefully more students will want to play these very often overlooked instruments,” he said.
Doug is looking forward to performing with his daughter, who just switched to the baritone last year. Her grandfather will be visiting from California for Christmas, and plans to catch the Rutan duo on the Green.
Performers should register at noon on show day at Morristown High School. A rehearsal will follow. The fee to play is $5, plus $20 if you require sheet music. Tuba players from middle school age through adults are welcome. The sing-along for the public is free.