The annual Tuba Christmas concert brought a large crowd to Victoria’s Market Square on Saturday afternoon as community members were treated to a free, fun concert with popular Christmas tunes.
About 120 tuba and euphonium players from across the region came together for one of Victoria’s holiday traditions that has been taking place for over 40 years.
Some musicians came in costume and dressed up their instruments with lights and tinsel to get into the festive spirit.
Magnus McElroy, who was dressed as a reindeer, has been participating in the event for 10 years.
“To me it feels like it’s the start of the Christmas season,” McElroy said. “It’s not Christmas until there’s Tuba Christmas.”
The conductor and regional coordinator of the event, Paul Beauchesne, said Tuba Christmas dates back to 1974 where it originated in New York City. The event was started in Victoria by his teacher, Gene Dowling, in 1978.
Beauchesne said he was glad there were blue skies and a fantastic audience Saturday afternoon as the brass players took to centre stage. He said Tuba Christmas is a chance to celebrate the season and an opportunity for over 100 tuba, euphonium baritone and sousaphone players to come together.
“In most ensembles there’s maybe two or three tubas and maybe two or three euphoniums,” Beauchesne said. “It’s really just a fun community event that we can share with our friends and community members.”
The event also doubled as a fundraiser for a local charitable fund.