Brandon’s brassiest Christmas concert to celebrate fifth anniversary

Take in some classic holiday music in unforgettably deep fashion this Saturday, at Tuba Christmas.Brandon University’s Dr. Aaron Wilson arranges the annual event, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary in Brandon this year. The event began in New York in 1974, and Wilson brought it to Brandon in 2014.

“People go all out. We say deck your tuba in holiday apparel and dress as festively as possible,” says Wilson, an assistant professor of low brass at the BU School of Music. “People decorate their tubas in garland, wrapping paper, even lights. We also have Tuba Christmas hats — those sell out every year.”

Anyone who can play tuba or euphonium is welcome to participate. There is a nominal registration fee of $10, and another $10 for the book of carols as arranged for tuba. Pre-registration is available online, or players can register the day of starting at 10 a.m.

Wilson expects 30–35 players at this year’s event, which he credits to strong tuba instructors around Brandon and Westman.

“Teachers at schools throughout the area do a fantastic job recruiting players into tuba and euphonium, and they do a great job teaching them,” Wilson says. “Many of the teachers join their students and play at Tuba Christmas as well.”

The show will feature two ensembles: a main ensemble starting at 2:30 p.m. that will play six to eight tunes, followed by a beginner ensemble, which is led by students from the BU School of Music.

This year’s Tuba Christmas will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. There is no admission charge, however there is limited space in the gallery.

“There’s room for about a hundred people and it’s standing room only,” he says.