Sioux City’s Tuba Christmas brings holiday carols Siouxland

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) -It’s the sound of tubas, sousaphones, euphoniums and baritones playing traditional Christmas carols that warms Mary Hammack’s heart.

“I love it. It’s perfect,” said Hammack.

A dozen Siouxland tuba players gathered to perform “A Merry Tuba Christmas” in Sioux City’s Betty Strong Encounter Center. It’s one of the 100 concerts around the world that pays tribute to the tuba sound.

Josh Calkin coordinated the 2019 Sioux City Tuba Christmas. He explained what this concert means to tuba players around the world.

“In symphony orchestra, there’s only one tuba player. In concert bands, there may be two or three of us and so to get a lot of us together, doesn’t happen all that often,” said Calkin.

The nationally known Tuba Christmas began in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell.

This year marks the 46th anniversary of tuba players gathering to honor the legacy, bringing together tuba players of all kinds.

This is 14-year-old Micheal Toben’s fifth year playing in Tuba Christmas and every year he said it gets better and better.

“We get to combine with people of all ages, all abilities. In this facility, we can play the melody and do things like that which we usually don’t get to do,” said Toben.

It’s a legacy that continues to bring the joy of Christmas carols through a merry and mighty instrument all across the world.

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