Special to The Explorer

No doubt many have never heard their favorite holiday and Christmas tunes played quite like this.

This Saturday, Dec. 5, area tuba and euphonium players gather at Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley to ring in the season with classic holiday tunes. The performance featuring these low-pitched brass instruments is organized through the international group TubaChristmas.

TubaChristmas was founded more than three decades ago as a tribute to the late artist/teacher William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day, 1902. The first-ever TubaChristmas took place on New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Dec. 22, 1974. The traditional Christmas music played that day was arranged by American composer Alec Wilder, who happened to die on Christmas Eve, 1980.

The Harvey Phillips Foundation's TubaChristmas has volunteer coordinators throughout the country, Canada and Europe, who every year recruit players for a variety of tuba/euphonium performances.

The performance set for Steam Pump Ranch takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, and marks the end of two days of holiday-themed festivities sponsored by the Town of Oro Valley at the historic property.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, events include an appearance by Santa Claus, children's activities sponsored by area businesses, a non-profit expo and other musical/dance performances by local schools.

The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance will have an information table at the non-profit expo. The arts group is selling copies of its book, "Excellence by Design: A Visual History of Public Art in Oro Valley, Arizona."

Steam Pump Ranch is located on the west side of Oracle Road, between First Avenue and Tangerine Road.

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