TubaChristmas is held in Trinity United Methodist Church on Bridge Street in Colebrook—which allows for a large amount of seating capacity. While admission is free, there will be a freewill donation box at the door to benefit the GNWCA. It is not known how many tuba players will be on hand until that day, but in years past there have been upwards of 21 or more taking part.
This year’s conductor will be Andrew Tobin. Tobin himself has participated in the event each year with former conductor Doug Nelson leading the band. Nelson has retired from conducting and Tobin, who lives in Lancaster and teaches in Groveton, has taken over the baton. This will be his second year as the TubaChristmas conductor.
Tuba players come from all over the Northeast and parts of Canada to take part in the Colebrook event—which is one of five TubaChristmas concerts in New Hampshire this year. TubaChristmas shows in New Hampshire began on Dec. 3 in Keene, followed on Dec. 9 in Wolfeboro, and then Dec. 16 in Plaistow and Dec. 17 in Manchester. (For a list of shows taking place around the world, visit tubachristmas.com.)
This is the 50th year of TubaChristmas, which was conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor, William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day 1902. The first TubaChristmas was conducted by Paul Lavalle in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Sunday, Dec. 22, 1974. Traditional Christmas music performed at the first TubaChristmas was arranged by American composer Alec Wilder, who ironically died on Christmas Eve 1980. Wilder composed many solo and ensemble compositions for tuba and euphonium. He was a loyal supporter of every effort to improve the literature and public image of the instruments.
Organizing the show again this year for the GNWCA is musician Brian Hathaway. Calex Environmental is sponsoring the TubaChristmas players for the Colebrook show. TubaChristmas is an organized, non-profit organization and performers are required to pay a small fee in order to participate. The sponsorship of Calex Environmental takes care of that fee for them.