Over 150 tuba players gathered on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol this week for Austin’s annual Tuba Christmas. Concerts were held in 257 locations this year, including four overseas and twenty in Texas.
Tubists included middle school, high school and college band members, as well as quite a few adults. The group was conducted by University of Texas director Anthony Marinello. He explained that, besides tubas, players were also using euphoniums and sousaphones (marching band instruments named after John Philip Sousa).
For almost an hour, we were treated to lovely arrangements of religious and secular Christmas songs with low bass harmonies. Several times the director tried to get the large crowd to sing along but everyone just wanted to listen. Hearing all these tubas play songs like Carol of the Bells and O Holy Night was definitely a unique experience!