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TubaChristmas new on Sharon Circle

11/21/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Alex Karwowski practices his tuba in anticipation of Sharon Township’s first TubaChristmas event.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Karwowski
SHARON — With the 40th anniversary of the first TubaChristmas this year, Sharon resident Christopher Karwowski thought there was no better time to bring the holiday musical tradition closer to home.

The first Sharon Center TubaChristmas will be Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. at the Gazebo on Sharon Circle, at the intersection of state Routes 94 and 162. The event is free for listeners.

Any tuba, euphonium, sousaphone and baritone player interested in performing at the event is welcome, Karwowski said. They are to arrive at noon for registration in the basement of Sharon Town Hall, and rehearsal will begin at 1:15 p.m. Musicians are to bring their own tuba, sheet music, music stand and clips to keep music attached during the outdoor performance. The participation fee is $10. TubaChristmas sheet music can be purchased for $20 ($25 for large print) at registration.

Karwowski said he has played at 15 other TubaChristmas events, including 13 at The University of Akron and one at the original site, Rockefeller Center in New York City.

“If you’re a tuba player, you always remember that,” he said of the New York event.

It was there in 1973 that Harvey Phillips organized the first TubaChristmas to honor his teacher, the late William Bell, who was born on Christmas day in 1902. Today, more than 250 TubaChristmas events take place around the United States and in some other countries.

Karwowski said organizers of TubaChristmas do not want to have too many events close to each other, so he had to ask Tucker Jolly, organizer of the Akron event, for permission to host an event closer than 50 miles away. Jolly gave his blessing, Karwowski said, but the Sharon event had to be scheduled a month before the Akron event, which will take place Dec. 21.

For the Sharon event, Karwowski is working to promote the concert through local high schools and community bands. Set to conduct is George Rosin, a Bath resident, who Karwowski said is the brass choir director at Bath Church — United Church of Christ.

The set list includes nearly 20 songs, he added.

“We’re hoping to get about 40 musicians,” Karwowski said. “We’ll never be able to get the hundreds we get at Akron. That event is so big. If we get 40 people, I’ll be happy.”

He’s also hoping to make it an annual event.

In case of rain, snow, heavy winds or ice, the event will move indoors to the Town Hall.

Karwowski said he hopes local residents will come out to support the event.

“It’s just the greatest music ever written and the greatest instrument ever played,” he said. “It’s awesome seeing so many similar instruments do a concert. As a tuba player, it’s your mecca.”

Participants are asked to park at Sharon Elementary School, 6335 Ridge Road. Musicians may drop off their instruments before parking.

For more information, go to www.tubachristmas.com or call Karwowski at 330-239-8814.

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