The spirit of Christmas is a strong one in Williams Lake that’s brought to vivid life with the annual Tuba Christmas concert.
Being held this year at St. Andrew’s United Church on Wednesday, Dec. 11, the event draws dozens of lakecity music lovers each year and an equal amount of musicians and musical groups who take part and show off their talent.
The Cariboo Men’s Choir, Quintet Plus, the Williams Lake Community Band and Synergy Quartet, amongst others, all take to the altar to carol, perform jaunty Christmas tunes and generally share with one another the joy of the holiday season.
Longtime participant and organizer Sharon Hoffman, a lakecity resident with deep involvement in the arts community, said that this year marks 14 years of Tuba Christmas, or Tuba John Christmas as it was formerly known, in Williams Lake. It initially started, she said, as a chance for all the brass groups in Williams lake to come together and put on a “wonderful show” and was organized by John Sykes before his passing in 2013.
As time went on, however, Hoffman said they wanted to get some of the local singing groups involved in the show, she herself a member of both Quintet Plus and the Synergy Quartet, so Rocco Catalano, one of the event’s main organizers, invited some of the local choirs to perform. They then called it ‘Tuba Christmas with Friends’ and as one of the friends, Hoffman has been taking part in it ever since.
Admission to this event is by donation of non-perishable food items food or money with all donations going straight to the Salvation Army. The show begins at 7 p.m. and will go until around 9 p.m., Hoffman said, although before the main show a children’s choir will be performing for those who arrive early.
Read More: Tuba Christmas concert this evening
The Cariboo Men’s Choir will open up the night followed by Quintet Plus and Hoffman’s Synergy Quartet to end out the first half of the show. The second half of the show will consist of a 15-member brass ensemble performance directed by Dena Baumann and made up of both high school students and adult players. The night concludes with a couple of mass numbers that feature all the musicians performing that night, Hoffman said.
“It’s just a wonderful tradition we’ve had for the 14 years bringing together wonderful choirs and brass musicians to really just showcase what we’ve been doing,” Hoffman said. “(People should come) just to hear some absolutely wonderful music, to get into the Christmas spirit and to support the people in the community who are not as fortunate as others.”