In the heart of Allen, Texas, a harmonious celebration unfolds each year, drawing together budding musicians and seasoned players. This festive gathering, known as Allen TUBACHRISTMAS, echoes the enduring legacy of its founder, Harvey Phillips, who envisioned an annual homage to his esteemed mentor, William J. Bell, the legendary tubist born on Christmas Day, 1902.
Originating from the vibrant spirit of the inaugural TUBACHRISTMAS at "The Rink at Rockefeller Center" in New York City on December 22, 1974, Allen TUBACHRISTMAS proudly stands as a registered event under the aegis of the Harvey Phillips Foundation. Facilitated by the Allen Philharmonic since its inception in December 2017, this musical initiative has kindled a shared enthusiasm, beckoning students and adults from Collin and neighboring counties to participate in this grand seasonal spectacle.
A striking facet of Allen TUBACHRISTMAS is the intergenerational camaraderie it fosters, as both novices and seasoned performers grace the stage. Their collective passion breathes life into the festive atmosphere. One noticeable aspect is the profound camaraderie and mentorship that permeates the event, as veteran performers, some of whom have joined the event since the 1970s, warmly embrace and guide the next generation of musicians. Notably, the tradition of collecting commemorative buttons, a cherished memento akin to a musical trading card, has become a hallmark of the event. These buttons, proudly displayed on vests and sashes, serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of camaraderie and musical commitment.
In an orchestral or symphonic context, tubas and euphoniums often operate in the background. In this cherished TUBACHRISTMAS, these instruments take center stage, garnering participants' and attendees' undivided enthusiasm and support.
Scheduled for Saturday, December 9, this year's Allen TUBACHRISTMAS promises an afternoon of merriment and musical revelry. Registration starts at noon, followed by a spirited rehearsal from 1-2 p.m. at 945 Garden Park Drive, culminating in a joyous performance on the Village Green, with the majestic tree providing a picturesque backdrop. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and revel in the captivating melodies as they echo through the air.
The Allen Philharmonic, the proud sponsor of this jubilant affair, has magnanimously instituted prizes for the best-adorned tubas and euphoniums, a gesture aimed at recognizing the remarkable creativity and dedication exhibited by the participants. As the event continues to flourish, the Allen TUBACHRISTMAS stands as a testament to the enduring power of music, community, and the joy of sharing a timeless tradition.