The best reason for experiencing TubaChristmas is that it's just plain fun. The instrumentalists play with such obvious pleasure, and the conductors lead the group with such infectious enthusiasm that it would be hard not to be drawn into the joy of the experience. The bulk of the concert is a sing-along, with song sheets provided for the audience; there's nothing like being embedded in a group of people singing just for the pure fun of making music together. Whether you sing or simply listen and absorb the sounds around you, the experience is exhilarating.
TubaChristmas is a great event for audiences of all ages and attention spans. It lasts about an hour, it's informal enough that you can come and go at your leisure, and it's held under a tent, so you aren't exposed to unpredictable early December precipitation. It's also very much a family affair. Kids are encouraged to participate--at the 2012 concert, Thompson's daughter Lauren, then in kindergarten, led one of the carols.
Tuba and euphonium players interested in participating this year may register (not necessary, but you'll get additional information) by contacting George Thompson at (734) 395-9544 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Originally published in December, 2013.]