GALLIPOLIS — Musicians from all over the region will be gathering this Saturday, Dec. 14, at the historic Ariel Opera House in Gallipolis for the annual Ariel Merry TubaChristmas.
This 2 p.m. concert is part of a nationwide celebration of low brass music created by Harvey Phillips. Now in its 46th year, Merry TubaChristmas is presented in over 250 cities throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. In an unusual turn of events, the concert itself is free to everyone but the participants pay to perform as per the request of Phillips, himself, to provide funding to continue the tradition throughout the country.
Phillips was inspired to create TubaChristmas as an annual event honoring his teacher, the late great tubist William J. Bell who was born on Christmas day in 1902. Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages gather to pay respect to all the great artists and teachers who represent their heritage. Every TubaChristmas performance features traditional Christmas carols especially arranged for low brass by American composer Alec Wilder who died on Christmas Eve, 1980. Through Wilder, TubaChristmas concerts pay tribute to composers who have embraced these instruments with solo and ensemble compositions.
TubaChristmas ensembles attract players from eight to 80. The warm, rich, organ-like sound of the tuba-euphonium choir has won over the ears and hearts of audiences.
No tickets are needed for this free event at the Ariel located at 426 Second Ave. in downtown Gallipolis. For more information, visit our website at arieloperahouse.org and participants are encouraged to register online for the event.