Although TUBACHRISTMAS is a very real event, we have taken some creative liberties with its origins in the Chronillogical universe. Whereas we have TUBACHRISTMAS originating from John Philip Sousa’s crazed fever dream, the real-world story is slightly more mundane. From the official TUBACHRISTMAS website:
TUBACHRISTMAS was conceived in 1974 as a tribute to the late artist/teacher William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. Through the legendary William J. Bell we reflect on our heritage and honor all great artists/teachers whose legacy has given us high performance standards, well structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values and a camaraderie envied by all other instrumentalists. The first TUBACHRISTMAS was conducted by the late Paul Lavalle in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Sunday, December 22, 1974. Traditional Christmas music performed at the first TUBACHRISTMAS was arranged by American composer Alec Wilder who ironically died on Christmas Eve, 1980.
I will admit, I have never been to a TUBACHRISTMAS before. I was going to play in the Chicago event back in 6th grade, but for some reason it never happened. Alas! One of these days I’ll get to one. I swear it!