The 33rd Annual Merry TubaChristmas was held in Aberdeen on December 9. This year, musicians ranged from fifth-graders to those in their 70’s. The six Milbank students who played in the event included: (Back l. to r.) Trystan Fischer (MHS tuba), Drake Rogers (MHS tuba), Dave Stengel (MHS alumnae euphonium) and Brandon Hansen (MHS tuba). Front row, Joe Harstad (MHS euphonium), Ben Harstad (MHS euphonium), and Ian Liebe (MMS euphonium). They were accompanied to the event by Susan Karels, MHS 6-12 band instructor.
The students practiced in the morning and later performed at the Lakewood Mall, Walmart, KO Lee Library, and Shopko. In the annual Christmas dress-up contest, Drake Rogers received second place for his lighted sousaphone. Milbank also received a 2017 TubaChristmas Restoration grant. “This grant renovated the tuba, held by Brandon Hansen, with two thirds of the cost provided by Taylor Music of Aberdeen and the TubaChristmas free will offering,” stated Karels. “The remaining one third cost was covered by the Milbank School District.”
TubaChristmas was conceived in 1974 as a tribute to the late William J. Bell, born Christmas Day, 1902. The annual holiday celebration offers respect and gratitude for the contributions of many great performers, teachers, and composers and to dazzle audiences with “Heavy Metal” sounds they don’t often hear. TubaChristmas performances have helped gain recognition and respect for the tuba and euphonium and their musical potential.