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20131206 TubaChristmasChristmasmediaThe public is invited to The University of Texas-Pan American to celebrate the sounds of Christmas in an oompah-terrific way this year at the annual RGV TubaChristmas concert scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. at the UTPA Fieldhouse.

Taking center stage at TubaChristmas, which is free to the public, will be instruments in the tuba family, including sousaphone, baritones and euphoniums played by musicians ages 8 to 80.  With many of the horns decorated for the Christmas season, concert goers will enjoy traditional holiday favorites—from “Silent Night” to “Jingle Bells.”

This year's special guest artist for the concert is Dr. Jerry Young, professor emeritus of music at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and president of the International Tuba Euphonium Association.

"TubaChristmas is a music concert held in cities worldwide that celebrates those who play, teach and compose music for instruments in the tuba family," explained Dr. Scott Roeder, UTPA assistant professor of music, who co-coordinates the annual event with Jim Egger, head band director at McAllen High School.

The first TubaChristmas was founded in 1974 by legendary tubist Harvey G. Phillips to honor his tuba teacher and mentor William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day. More than 300 musicians played that day at New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink and started a tradition that continues to grow. Any musician can play in a TubaChristmas as long as they play an instrument in the tuba family.

The RGV TubaChristmas has been held annually for more than 25 years. The event, previously held in the McAllen High School auditorium, was moved to the UTPA Fieldhouse in 2012 drawing more than 800 concert attendees. More than 350 high school and junior high school students and educators from almost every public school district in the Valley participate, making it one of the largest TubaChristmas events in the country.

All 14 UTPA tuba and euphonium majors will also assist and play in the event.

For more information or special accommodations, call 665-3471. 

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