The auditorium of the Liverpool Excessive College rumbled ferociously Saturday with the sound of 80 jolly horn gamers.
This was the twentieth annual “Tuba Christmas,” a seasonal occasion that brings collectively low brass gamers for a vacation live performance every year. There are Tuba Christmas teams throughout the U.S., and the founding group in New York Metropolis gathers on the Rockefeller Heart ice rink every winter.
“Tubas don’t often get the highlight,” mentioned Melissa Fulmer Cannan, Liverpool Central College District instrumental music trainer and the organizer for the Syracuse tuba occasion.
Cannan performs the euphonium, one of many smaller horns current on the day. Along with the tubas and euphoniums, there have been a pair specialty devices — one tuba onstage was made in 1911 and had performed in John Philips Sousa’s band, one other was a gleaming horn with two separate bells.
The thunderous 80 gamers had been greater than Cannan hoped for post-Covid hiatus, with a robust displaying of lecturers and highschool band gamers. There have been variety of common fans as nicely, and a smattering of school college students and elementary faculty children.
“We regularly have anyone from 8 to 80,” mentioned Cannan. “We’ve band lecturers and individuals who simply play for enjoyable.”
The live performance is a one-day affair, beginning a few hours earlier than the present with an hour-long rehearsal. The gamers then break for snacks and regroup for the ultimate efficiency. About 200 individuals confirmed up.
There was good cheer and loud sweaters throughout, plus tinsel garlands looped across the twisting barrels of the horns.
“There’s sufficient individuals right here to cowl your errors,” mentioned Pat Cowburn, a tuba participant within the again row, laughing. The viewers actually didn’t thoughts the imperfections, breaking into laughter and applause when one participant trailed off awkwardly after lacking a closing cutoff.
It’s uncommon to get to listen to tubas and euphoniums take heart stage, mentioned Cannan. It’s a low, majestic sound and the hodgepodge band had some actually stunning moments within the clarion marches.
“It permits the low brass, often the undertone of the band, to actually shine,” mentioned Cowburn.