Thursday, December 17, 2015


It had been five years since my last TubaChristmas concert — which I learned by checking the archives of this blog (now there's a scary thought!)  — so that when I arrived at the Kennedy Center last night I looked for a crowd at the Millennium Stage, the free performance venue where the event had been held in the past.

That corner of the place was dark, though, because this year TubaChristmas made the big time. Still free, still an hour long, but gloriously housed and staged in the Concert Hall. There were tubas and sousaphones and euphoniums on the stage. There were tubas and sousaphones and euphoniums in the balconies. There were tubas and sousaphones and euphoniums everywhere.

Tiny lights glistened from their ample bells. Wreaths bedecked them. There were Santa hats aplenty, too — these on the players rather than their instruments. And the carols played by these lower brass were a spirited and at times out-of-sync cacophony.

It was Appolinaire's first concert at the Kennedy Center, his first American concert of any sort. (Just about everything is his first these days!) No stern, snooty longhairs for him. Now he will think that all concerts are free, all concerts are singalong — and all concerts are joyful. Not a bad introduction!
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