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Tuba Christmas returns but will be at UVic recital hall; admission by donation to Christmas Fund

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Tuba Christmas in Market Square in 2019. This year, the event is being held at the University of Victoria. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The stage for Tuba Christmas 2021 will be a little smaller this year, but the instruments will be as big and brassy as ever.

And the age-old carols pouring forth from tubas and euphoniums Saturday afternoon will delight those lucky enough to be in the audience at Victoria’s 43rd Tuba Christmas in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall at the University of Victoria.

“The sound will be really nice in the recital hall,” said conductor and UVic professor Paul Beauchesne, who is also principal tubist with the Victoria Symphony. “I think the people who are there to hear us will be warm and comfy and will really enjoy it. I know a lot of people are really excited that we are actually going to be able to have an audience this year.”

Beauchesne hoped to bring his musicians back to their usual venue. But Market Square was unable to get the tent they usually put up to protect the musicians and their instruments from inclement weather. There were also concerns about crowds and the COVID-19 virus.

“They decided it would be better to wait until next year,” said Beauchesne. “Still, I’m glad it’s going to happen even though it won’t be the same.”

Sixteen musicians — nine tubas and seven euphoniums — will play traditional favourites such as Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and We Three Kings. Eight music students will be joined by members of the Naden Band, UVic trombone instructor Scott MacInnes and Marcus Hissen, who plays trombone with the Victoria Symphony.

“We have some really good musicians,” said Beauchesne.

The recital hall can accommodate 180 people. About 60 seats are left. The concert will also be live-streamed through the UVic events calendar. Admission is by donation to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund.

“There are more people than ever struggling to get by,” said Beauchesne. “We’ve had two years of COVID and the cost of living is going up and up. The TC Christmas Fund is perfectly positioned to help those most in need through its well-established network of partners throughout the island. I know that by supporting it, help will get to those who really need it.”

The concert will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

HOW TO DONATE

You can donate by going to timescolonist.com/donate. The site is open 24 hours a day and provides an immediate tax receipt.

Or mail a cheque to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, 201-655 Tyee Road, Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5.

You can also use your credit card by phoning 250‑995-4438 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.