College to present 14th annual Merry Tuba Christmas with a twist

Close-up of the tuba valves

When Marietta College presents the 14th annual Merry Tuba Christmas this December, there will be a new addition to the performance.

Horns A Plenty, the French horn version of Tuba Christmas, will perform prior to the tubas at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, December 1st, in the Alma McDonough Auditorium.

Both ensembles will be performing traditional Christmas carols in quartet style. For many people, this type of performance is very unusual but has become a holiday favorite for many. This family-friendly event, which lasts between 30-45 minutes is open to the public and is free of charge — and Santa Claus will make a stop as well.

“This is a great way to kick off the Christmas holiday season,” said Marshall C. Kimball, Music Department Chairman. “For some families, this event has become the ‘official’ beginning of their holiday season. It’s a very informal concert and is enjoyed by all in attendance. Beautiful fun music is created with laughter and fellowship included. The atmosphere is one of joy and peace. 

A collection will be taken up at the end of the event to assist Gospel Mission Food Pantry.

Merry Tuba Christmas is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. Created by Harvey Phillips, Merry Tuba Christmas 2018 concerts will be presented in more than 300 cities throughout the United State and in several foreign countries. Phillips was inspired to create Tuba Christmas as an annual event honoring his mentor/teacher, the late great tubist William J. Bell (born on Christmas Day 1902).

Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages, from specific geographic areas, gather to pay respect-through William J. Bell. Each Tuba Christmas performance features traditional Christmas carols especially arranged by American composer Alec Wilder. Horns A Plenty follows the same type of format as Merry Tuba Christmas but with Christmas carols specifically arranged for French horns.

Both Merry Tuba Christmas and Horns A Plenty are open to participation from musicians around the Mid-Ohio Valley. Annually participants range in age from middle school students to senior citizens. People interested in these events can register at the Band Rehearsal Hall, 208 Third St., Marietta, between 1:00-1:30 p.m., Saturday, December 1st.  Rehearsals are being held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. with the concert beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Any individual wishing to participate in either Merry Tuba Christmas or Horns A Plenty is encouraged to contact Kimball at or (740) 376-4686.