On Saturday afternoon, tubas won’t just move to the front of the band.

Tubas will BE the band.

Tamarack will host TUBACHRISTMAS at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Gov. Hulett C. Smith Theater. The concert, featuring a band totally composed of tubas and euphoniums playing Christmas tunes, is free.

Cindy Whitlock, marketing director for Tamarack, said the event has taken place at Tamarack for several years.

“If we don’t have it, we’re asked why,” she said. “People really, really like it, and they expect it.

“It’s fascinating to me to have a group of musicians composed of all tuba players. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ takes a week to put a show together. The ladies and gentlemen who play in TUBACHRISTMAS practice for just a few hours before the show.”

Whitlock said anyone interested in performing in the show, conducted by Oak Hill High School band director Mark Schrader, only needs to show up for rehearsal at 10 a.m. Because the show is open to “walk-ins,” organizers really never know how large the band will be until showtime.

“The musicians are seasoned performers of all ages — from all walks of life — who have a list of songs usually on the program,” Tamarack events director Chris McLaughlin said. “With little time to rehearse, they mesh together quickly into a spirited concert which is certain to give everyone a holiday lift.”

TUBACHRISTMAS is both a local and national event.

Nationwide, 164 tuba bands will play during the holiday season, according to Tamarack. Three other West Virginia cities, Charleston, Harpers Ferry and Huntington, also host the concert.

TUBACHRISTMAS was conceived in 1974 as a tribute to the late artist/teacher William J. Bell. Bell was born Christmas Day 1902. The first TUBACHRISTMAS took place at the New York City Rockefeller Plaza ice rink in 1974.

Whitlock noted TUBACHRISTMAS is one of several live performances scheduled for Tamarack’s Christmas season. Others include “A Christmas Carol” at 7 p.m. Dec. 12-13.

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