Event will be at Rowe High Dec. 3

It’s the largest concert of its kind in Texas and one of the largest in the world.

Hundreds of performers will take part in the 29th Annual Rio Grande Valley TUBACHRISTMAS Concert set for 2 p.m. Sunday, December 3, in McAllen. This concert is free and all are encouraged to attend this truly unique and entertaining concert of Christmas music.

The Rio Grande Valley TUBACHRISTMAS Concert has grown in the recent years to become the largest TUBACHRISTMAS event in the state and one of the largest worldwide. The event will be at the Nikki Rowe High gym, located at 2101 N. Ware Road in McAllen.

TUBACHRISTMAS is an ensemble of more than 350 Tuba and Euphonium players from throughout the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. This ensemble will include members of the Rio Grande Valley Symphony Orchestra, the McAllen Symphonic Band, Valley band directors, and the finest High School and Middle School students from many Valley schools.

Last year’s Concert featured students from McAllen, Mission, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, Donna, La Joya, Edinburg, Rio Grande City, Mercedes, Sharyland, Edcouch-Elsa, Weslaco, Harlingen, Los Fresnos, Hidalgo, Santa Rosa, Brownsville and Port Isabel.

This year’s guest artist will be the Deanna Swoboda, Associate Professor of Tuba/Euphonium at Arizona State University. Prior to joining the ASU music faculty, Swoboda was Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Western Michigan University where she was a full time member of the Western Brass Quintet. Prior to WMU, she was tubist of the Dallas Brass, a 6-piece ensemble that travels the United States and Europe presenting hundreds of concerts each year and working extensively in the public schools and at colleges and universities. She is also the creator and performer of a motivational recruiting video and music workshop called “Band Blast Off.” Her performance is made possible by a grant from Melhart’s Music.

One of the most popular features of the RGV TUBACHRISTMAS Concert is the tuba-decorating contest. Several of the performers have very extensive decorations for their instruments. This is one of the reasons that this concert is unlike any other Christmas Concert.

TUBASCHRISTMAS is a nationwide concert event that begins each year after Thanksgiving and continues until Christmas Day. There are more than 150 concerts in 46 different states plus Canada and Switzerland. These groups include from four to 500 members.

The first TUBACHRISTMAS was December 22, 1974, on the Ice Rink Stage of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. More than 300 tuba and euphonium players gathered to honor the memory of William Bell (born Christmas Day, 1902) and to celebrate his considerable achievements as a performer and teacher. Bell was a member of John Phillip Sousa’s Band, the Goldman Band, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and was on the faculty of the Julliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music and Indiana University. Arturo Toscanini, conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra, considered Bill Bell to be the world’s greatest tubist.

Anyone who has heard a TUBACHRISTMAS Concert will never forget the experience. It is no wonder that since 1974, TUBACHRISTMAS has become a tradition in cities throughout the world.