ERIE, Pa. - On Saturday, Dec. 7, 20 adults and students from the Westfield and Chautauqua Lake communities attended the 10th annual TubaChristmas event in Erie, Pa., on the Penn State Behrend Campus.
A total of 75 tuba and euphonium enthusiasts gathered that morning for rehearsals in preparation for a concert in the afternoon. The group was conducted by several area college tuba and euphonium teachers, who are also members of the quartet "Undercurrents." The concert was entirely arrangements of Christmas tunes, and many of the participants and their instruments were decked out with Christmas wreaths, lights and bows. Players ranged in age from middle school to retired people, and some came from as far away as South Carolina.
TubaChristmas was conceived in 1974 as a tribute to the late artist and teacher William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. The first TubaChristmas was conducted by the late Paul Lavalle in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Sunday, Dec. 22, 1974. Traditional Christmas music performed at the first TubaChristmas was arranged by American composer Alec Wilder who ironically died on Christmas Eve, 1980. Wilder composed many solo and ensemble compositions for tuba and euphonium.
Students and teachers from Westfield Academy and Central School and Chautauqua Lake Central School recently participated in the 10th annual TubaChristmas event in Erie, Pa. Front row, left to right: Roger Chagnon III, WACS; Miranda Warner, WACS; Nina Manzella, WACS; and Stephen Howes, WACS. Second row, left to right: Robbie Hoitink, CLCS; Rebecca Silliman, CLCS; Luciana Sena, CLCS; Emily Means, CLCS; Chris Kelley, WACS; Jennifer Skelly, WACS; and Alex Michels, WACS. Third row, left to right: Richard Lundquist, CLCS instrumental music teacher; Dave Lloret, CLCS instrumental music teacher; Luke Smith, CLCS; Alec Freyn, WACS; Iain Cockram, WACS; Jacob Freyn, WACS; and Steve Cockram.