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In 1974 musician Harvey Phillips organized an unusual Christmas concert at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. He commissioned composer Alec Wilder to arrange Christmas songs for a tuba and euphonium choir. The event, Merry TubaChristmas, has been held annually ever since, and has spread to cities across the country. This year Merry TubaChristmas concerts will be staged in 180 cities, including Juneau.
TubaChristmas 2001 will be performed at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Nugget Mall. Maralee Guiher, a euphonium player and Harborview Elementary School music teacher, has coordinated the Juneau performance. She played in one of the first TubaChristmas concerts in the mid-1970s.
"I played in two of them in Chicago when they first started," Guiher said. "It was really exciting and I wanted to do it again. It was really fun, 100 tubas and euphoniums together - what a sound."
About a dozen musicians will perform Sunday, and musician Rick Trostel will direct. The concert is free.