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Thanks, Harvey, from a You-PHONE-ee-um Player

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TubaChristmas is an event created by Harvey Phillips to help foster better recognition of the tuba. He also included euphoniums in the event, even though they aren't part of the title (sure makes the ensemble pieces sound better, though!). I haven't heard Harvey speak of this concept recently, but he must have the feeling that it was very successful indeed.

I have a Google agent looking for mentions of "euphonium" in the news or on web sites. This time of year I am bombarded by notices about news articles for one TubaChristmas event or another. And as I talk to people from various parts of the country they often mention having seen one in person, seen one in the news, or played in one.

The cool thing for us euphonium players is that the news accounts usually say that the event is a gathering of tuba and euphonium players. Then they explain what a euphonium is. Granted we are not getting the exposure that "tuba" is, but nevertheless a lot of people are seeing the word "euphonium" in print or seeing videos of euphoniums on TV.

Ah, but I hear some of you saying, "But all those horns playing in the cold, with some good and some 'rusty' players, sound out of tune and muddy!" Maybe so. But that's not the point. Although the sonorities produced by so many large-bore conical instruments can be impressive, the event is not intended to create a fine arts experience. The point is to give players a chance to do something fun, and at the same time to spread Christmas cheer in an unusual way and to gather publicity for our instruments. Invariably the participants I've spoken to have a wonderful time. They dress themselves and/or their horns in creative ways and meet some other nice folks. Sounds like a party to me!

Here is a representative news quote:

"...Christmas carols arranged for tuba and euphonium players. The euphonium, often called a baritone horn, looks like a tuba but is slightly smaller."

In other articles I saw the name "euphonium" spelled out phonetically: "You-PHONE-ee-um Player" (as I have explained to people countless times).

So, Thank you, Harvey! We need the publicity!