“TubaChristmas” Returns to Salina Saturday

A  long-time celebration comprised of tuba and euphonium players, returns to Salina this weekend, The Kansas Wesleyan Department of Music will coordinate the “TubaChristmas” event Saturday at the Central Mall.

“TubaChristmas” is a worldwide celebration of tuba and euphonium players that began in 1974 to celebrate famed tuba instructor William Bell. The Christmas carols are specifically arranged for tubas and euphoniums.

This tradition began in Salina in 2010.  TubaChristmas in Salina has been performed for the public at Central Mall every Christmas since then, except for 2020 during the pandemic. 

The Kansas Wesleyan Department of Music will host the TubaChristmas ensemble, which will rehearse Saturday morning at the Friendship Center, 746 Commanche Ave. The group will then play at Central Mall at 12:30 p.m. Area tuba and euphonium players are encouraged to attend and perform.

Last year the performance in Salina had 28 tuba and euphonium players. They have come from the towns of Sublette, Garden City, Riley, Beloit, Concordia, Rose Hill, Wichita, Ellis, Hays, Junction City, Salina, Lindsborg, Ellsworth, Bennington, Minneapolis, Pratt, Augusta, Hutchinson, Kingman, Hesston, Perry, Enterprise, Scandia, Almena, Abilene, and Ozawkie. More players welcome. 

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On Saturday, Dec. 9, registration for euphonium and tuba players starts at 8:30am, and rehearsal time is from 9 to 11am. The TubaChristmas music book has 33 Christmas songs, compiled and arranged by Alec Wilder and Norlan Bewley. Past performances have been as the south end of Central Mall near the Penney store, but this year the performance is being moved to the food court of Central Mall. Costs for players are  $10 registration (includes the 2023 participation pin), plus one-time book purchase of $20. There will be TubaChristmas hats and scrarfs for $15, and headbands for $10, which may be worn while performing. Also, for this year, 2023, the 50th anniversary of the original “Tuba Christmas”, there will also be available for purchase the gold and white 50th Anniversary hat ($17), scarf ($25) and headband ($10).