SAN ANTONIO – A Christmas music tradition is returning to downtown San Antonio this holiday season.
Returning for its 42nd year, the Tubameister Christmas concert will take place noon Saturday at the Arneson River Theater.
Ray Grimm, one of the founding members of the Tubameisters, said he’s played in the concert for all those 42 years, except last year, when the tradition was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But this year, it’s back, and dozens of tuba, euphonium and baritone horn players are invited to the theater to play Christmas favorites.
Tuba Christmas events have been happening across the country since the 1970s, when tuba players gathered to play holiday classics.
But why tuba Christmas, and not flute or clarinet Christmas?
”It’s a powerful sound, but not as penetrating, if you will, like a trumpet is,” Grimm said. ”We’re the foundation of most ensembles. If you listen to whatever kind of music you do, you take away the bass and it’s kind of unfulfilling.”
Grimm said in years past they’ve had more than 200 players join them. This year with the pandemic, he hopes they can get at least 100.
Registration will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 502 E. Nueva St. Rehearsal will be from 10:30-11:30 a.m., and then the public can enjoy the free concert at noon at the Arneson on the Riverwalk.
”The sound is kind of surprisingly wonderful,” Grimm said. “And for the tuba players, it’s we get to have a little spotlight.”