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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Growing up in Naperville – TubaChristmas returns to downtown Naperville


When I first learned to play the tuba in third grade, I never imagined one day there would be a “TubaChristmas,” a special concert designed just for my great big brass instrument with the low-pitched tones.

After a brief hiatus, TubaChristmas returns to downtown Naperville at 11AM Sat., Dec. 10, in front of US Bank along Jefferson Avenue at Washington Street. This year I’m sharing leadership with Dr. David Carroll. And in the future, TubaChristmas will be his special event.

For now, here’s the news about the 2022 concert. I hope to see you there. Bring your kids so they can have another memory of growing up in Naperville.

Here’s a shout out to all tuba and euphonium players!

“You are invited to participate in this very fun activity, available only to you!” notes David Carroll, a band and music instructor in School District 203 for more than 25 years.

Though the Naperville tradition is more recent, the first TubaChristmas was held in New York City at Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Sun., Dec. 22, 1974. The idea for the popular concert was conceived by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. Traditional Christmas music performed at that first concert was arranged by American composer Alec Wilder who ironically died on Christmas Eve in 1980.

Details for participants and attendees

“We use the same music every year, so once you buy it, it is yours to keep and reuse every year,” explained Carroll. “You can also purchase TubaChristmas hats, scarves, buttons, and other cool items.”

All music and some assorted hats and scarves will be available for purchase at the Concert Center. Anyone who wishes to purchase items early may visit the website, www.tubachristmas.com/order.pdf, but orders must be mailed or via phone call. Be sure to ask about turn-around time.

Purchase music labeled “Bass Clef – 6; or buy the ENLARGED Euphonium/Baritone/Tuba in C – 4 parts in score form.

“Both adults and students participate, so be prepared to rehearse it only once before we perform it,” added Carroll. “I would recommend that students wait until at least 5th grade because the music can be a bit difficult. Feel free to decorate your instrument!”

Registration begins at 9AM Sat., Dec. 10, at the Community Concert Center, located at 55 Concert Lane, behind US Bank. Rehearsal begins at 10AM inside the Community Concert Center.

Under the direction of Dr. Keller and Dr. Carroll, the TubaChristmas performance will begin at 11AM on the south side of US Bank.

Participant registration fee is $10 per musician. Music is $23. Cash only.

Parking is available in the City Parking Deck just south of Concert Center or in spaces around Central Park.

The public is invited to fill the front yard in front to US Bank for this one-hour holiday tradition that includes seasonal songs and Christmas carols. Bundle up and enjoy!

One more thing…NMB Holiday Concert is set for 3PM Dec. 11

Find Wentz Concert Hall at 171 E. Chicago Avenue, just steps from downtown Naperville.

The Naperville Municipal Band will host its annual Holiday Concert featuring traditional songs of the season and Christmas carols at 3PM Sun., Dec. 11. The song fest will appear on stage at Wentz Concert Hall in the North Central College Fine Arts Center.

The concert is free of admission charge with open seating.

For more information about the Naperville Municipal Band, visit www.napervilleband.org.

In the spirit of the season, thanks for reminding family, friends and neighbors about these holiday happenings set to music during this most wonderful time of the year.

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Ron Keller
Ron Keller
Ron Keller is a lifelong Naperville resident, tuba enthusiast and has been conducting the Naperville Municipal Band for over 50 years.


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