By: Dorie S. Whittenburg
Succasunna, NJ – Neither rain nor sleet nor snow could deter them from their purpose. Although this adage has been attributed to the fine men and women who faithfully deliver the mail, the determination and focus to see an undertaking through was exhibited by many low brass student musicians from Roxbury High School this past Sunday, December 15, 2013. The group, along with family members and friends, braved the elements to participate in TubaChristmas, a tradition that has been taking place in New York City for 4 decades.
Boarding the chartered bus with a mix of brass instruments, including sousaphones and euphoniums, they travelled to the hub of holiday activity, and home to the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink and colossal Christmas Tree. The Roxbury contingency, which was 23 members strong, represented the largest group to participate in this historic event. They joined over 400 other musicians, of all abilities and experience levels, to play popular holiday songs for the enjoyment of those visiting the area.
In 1974, Harvey Phillips, renowned tubist, organized the first TubaChristmas in New York City in honor of his teacher and mentor, William J. Bell, who was born in 1902 on Christmas Day. This year marked the 40th Annual TubaChristmas in Rockefeller Center, a celebration of musical accomplishment and the low brass tones of the tubas which are sometimes eclipsed by the more melodic instruments in conventional ensembles. Over the years, hundreds of cities throughout the United States have initiated similar gatherings. To learn more about TubaChristmas, visit http://tubachristmas.com/.
Although this trip was organized by parent volunteers and was not a school sanctioned event, the Roxbury Board of Education, School Administrators and members of the District’s Instrumental Program are extremely supportive of the performance arts endeavors of its students. To find out more about the Roxbury High School Instrumental Program, visit http://roxburybands.org/.
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