image of invitation card

The Betty Strong Encounter Center will present “Merry TUBACHRISTMAS,” a concert featuring Siouxland tuba and euphonium players, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

The audience will hear traditional Christmas carols arranged by American composer Alec Wilder who died on Christmas Eve 1980. In addition to composing music for the tuba and euphonium, Wilder was a loyal supporter of efforts to improve the literature and public image of these instruments.

The Encounter Center concert will be one of almost 300 “Merry TUBACHRISTMAS” programs across the country and abroad this holiday season.

The first “Merry TUBACHRISTMAS” was presented on Dec. 22, 1974, at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink under Conductor Paul Lavalle. The warm, rich organ-like sound of tuba-euphonium choirs has been entertaining audiences each Christmas season ever since.

“Merry TUBACHRISTMAS” was conceived by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor, the late William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day 1902.

Bell’s legacy inspires tuba and euphonium players to honor great artists and teachers who inspire high performance standards, well-structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values and a camaraderie envied by all other instrumentalists.