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TubaJohn Christmas concert returns Dec. 5 in Williams Lake

The concert will raise funds, accept perishable food donations for the food bank
The late “TubaJohn” Sykes’, for whom the TubaJohn Concert is named. His enthusiasm for the Christmas concert made this event a holiday favourite. (Tribune file photo)

Organizers of the TubaJohn Christmas Concert are excited to see its return after the COVID-19 pandemic put it on hold for a couple of years.

A beloved tradition, music will fill the rafters of St. Andrew’s United Church Monday, Dec. 5 with performances by Tuba Christmas Brass, Quintent Plus and the Just for Fun Choir.

Rocco Catalano, who plays the tuba, said the tradition started when local musicians decided to order Tuba Christmas, which had been created by an American to feature the tuba and euphonium as solo instruments.

It was first performed in New York city in 1974.

“We ordered it around 1997 and it was pretty informal at first,” Catalano said. “In 2006 we started to organize a more formal event.”

In 2007, the late John Sykes, already known as TubaJohn took over as the event’s organizer.

“With his youthful, effervescent personality he really energized the concerts every year,” Catalano recalled.

Sykes died in 2013 and for about three or four years the concert was called the TubaJohn’s Memorial Christmas Concert in his memory.

There will also be a sing-along in between the performances and singing of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah with help from a few members of the Cariboo Men’s Choir who will add their bass and tenor voices.

Admission is by donation, with proceeds going to the Salvation Army Food Bank. The public is also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items.

Sharon Hoffman, a member of Quintet Plus, said there will also be one of the Salvation Army kettles on site if people want to make monetary donations.

“Rental of the church is being made possible through support from the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake and Area,” she added.

The concert begins at 7 p.m.

The church is located at 1000 Huckvale Place.

“We hope to see as many of the public as possible and for those who have never been before we encourage you to try something new,” Catalano said.

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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