NEW BRITAIN - TubaChristmas returns in one more day.
The sounds of countless tubas will fill Trinity-on-Main Saturday for the third annual TubaChristmas.
TubaChristmas is a 43-year-old nationally celebrated tradition that was created by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor, William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas day in 1902. It has since transformed into an annual program of well-loved Christmas songs played by tuba players of all ages and levels.
Last year more than 350 people packed the venue to watch 60 tuba players take the stage decked in holiday colors and festive attire.
A total of 14 songs will be performed including classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night,” under the direction of Walter Gibson, principal tubaist of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra.
While a student at Manhattan’s Mannes School of Music, Gibson was actually in attendance at the first TubaChristmas held in 1974 at the Rockefeller Plaza skating rink in New York City.
Local attorney Anne Marshall brought the musical event to New Britain in 2015, which at the time TubaChristmas was only held in one other city in Connecticut-Old Saybrook.
Marshall immediately fell in love with the event, which she knew would provide great family fun considering her grandchildren enjoyed it so much too.
“What could be more fun than a stage full of tubas and tuba players dressed for the holidays, merrily playing Christmas carols with families singing along? It just makes me smile,” Marshall said.
Associate professor of English at Central Connecticut State University, Mary Anne Nunn, will narrate and lead the audience in a traditional sing-a-long.
In addition, publisher of the New Britain Herald and Bristol Press, Michael Schroeder, will be making his yearly cameo appearance sporting wings and a halo during the performance of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”
Those interested in performing can register the day of the event beginning at 11:45 a.m. for $10. Performers will rehearse together at 12:30 p.m., and the concert will begin at 3 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded for youngest musician, oldest musician, musician who traveled the farthest distance, school district with the most participants and best decorated instrument (by audience applause).
The concert is free and open to the public. For more information and visit nbtubachristmas.com.