what is tubachristmas?


TUBACHRISTMAS was conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902 in Creston, Iowa. Through the legendary William J. Bell we reflect on our heritage and honor all great artists/teachers whose legacy has given us high performance standards, well structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values and a camaraderie envied by all other instrumentalists. 2019 is the 46th anniversary for TUBACHRISTMAS concerts/events which are presented throughout the world.

Is TUBACHRISTMAS only in Des Moines?

NO, TUBACHRISTMAS events are presented all over the country and a few international under the organization and guidance of the Harvey Phillips Foundation. The first TUBACHRISTMAS was performed in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Sunday, December 22, 1974. Click the button below for a list of other events in Iowa and throughout the country.

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purpose of tubachristmas

  1. Bring together tuba and euphonium players of all ages to rehearse and present free public concerts of Christmas Carols; provide players with a rewarding musical experience; instill in us a sense of pride and dedication to music an our chosen instruments; and illustrate the beauty of the tuba/euphonium choir to a public experience.
  2. Bring about a better understanding and appreciation of the tuba and euphonium by generating an audience which will recognize and support these instruments in solo and ensemble recitals and concerts.
  3. Pay respect and tribute to the late William J. Bell (born Christmas Day 1902 in Creston, Iowa), and through him, to honor other tuba/euphonium artists/teachers who have contributed to our musical heritage.
  4. Honor and acknowledge American composer Alec Wilder (died on Christmas Eve 1980) for his compositions and for arranging CAROLS FOR A MERRY TUBACHRISTMAS, and through him pay respects to all composers who have contributed to the repertoire of the tuba and euphonium.
  5. Celebrate the Season and have a might good time!!

TUBACHRISTMAS® concerts are sponsored by and presented with the permission of the Harvey Phillips Foundation, Inc.

des moines orginizational team

  • Gary McCurdy
    Gary McCurdy Conductor

    Gary taught a total of 25 years as a band director in the Washington, Iowa schools. His love for the tuba resulted in the creation of the persona of The Tubador in 1989. Since then he has performed as a strolling solo tuba on his 100 year old helicon at many fairs and festivals around the Midwest, including many of the stops on RAGBRAI and at the Cultural Center at the Iowa State Fair.

  • Brian Kinnan
    Brian Kinnan Event Coordinator

    Brian is the Director of Information Technology at DPT Group, Inc. in Urbandale. He can be seen and heard playing tuba in the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble, Des Moines Community Orchestra, and the Sax n Brass.

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