The holidays bring many, many traditions. Classic Christmas movies are on TV and live performances of “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” are plentiful. Choral groups put on their festive seasonal shows. But Saturday, I enjoyed a performance that set a very low tone – hundreds of them, actually – as the Music Department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney put on a “Merry Tuba Christmas.” The “Low Brass” section of the student orchestra was joined in the effort by musicians from the surrounding community who played the tuba, or euphonium, or any of their deep-voiced partners in mirth.
It was quite a sight…and quite a sound….as they led the audience through several holiday favorites. The crowd was invited to sing along, and many in attendance did — although who the heck would know??!! The merry musicians, numbering more than 50 and ranging in age from 12 to 82, seemed to be having a good time tooting away (musically speaking, of course). Some wore colorful scarves, others Santa caps, but all made a major contribution to the holiday spirit. (The Christmas cookies and hot chocolate after the show were an extra-nice touch.)
It’s just hard not to smile when you hear a tuba. It really put ME in the spirit. Good thing for my colleagues that my accordion is such a long way away at the moment….