A steady drizzle rained down on the annual TUBACHRISTMAS performance, held Friday on the south steps of Texas Capitol Building.
Two hundred tubas played brass versions of Christmas classics to a small but appreciative crowd, who was undeterred by overcast skies and falling temperatures.
“I love it, it’s so much fun,” said coordinator Geno Gottschall. "It’s such a big spectacle too.”
Gottschall, who has served as coordinator since 2014, said the performance attracts players of all kind, from amateurs to old-time professionals. Costumes are encouraged and embraced.
The tuba spectacle began in Austin in 1975. According to the TUBACHRISTMAS website, the event was conceived a year prior by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher William J. Bell to "reflect on our heritage and honor all great artists/teachers whose legacy has given us high performance standards, well structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values and a camaraderie envied by all other instrumentalists.”
Back on the South steps of the Capitol on Friday afternoon, audience members, shivering and soaked, broke into a hearty applause after the tuba-rendition of Silent Night.
“I like the rain,” said Andrea Maher, who has been attending TUBACHRISTMAS for the past 10 years with her family. “It adds an interesting element to the show.”
Despite rain-soaked music sheets and tubas, the show went on.
“It’s another way to spread the joy of Christmas,” said Gottschall, “and spread the joy of the tuba."
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