WEST BRATTLEBORO -- Tuba Christmas returns to First Congregational Church on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Tuba, euphonium and low horn players are welcome to come and play Christmas songs, creating the unique and wonderfully warm sound that fits these tunes so well. Registration for players begins at 1 p.m., and rehearsal begins at 2 p.m. The registration fee for players is $10. Admission for audience members is free.

This year marks the 40th anniversary or Tuba Christmas concerts/events, which are presented throughout the world. Tuba Christmas was conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. Through Bell’s inspiration, the event honors all great artists/teachers whose legacy has given high performance standards, well-structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values and camaraderie.

The first Tuba Christmas was conducted by Paul Lavalle in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Sunday, Dec. 22, 1974. Traditional Christmas music performed at the first Tuba Christmas was arranged by American composer Alec Wilder who ironically died on Christmas Eve, 1980. Wilder composed many solo and ensemble compositions for tuba and euphonium. He was a loyal supporter of every effort to improve the literature and public image of our chosen instruments. Through Wilder, the event expresses respect and gratitude to all composers who continue to embrace these instruments with their compositions and contribute to the ever-growing repertoire for tuba and euphonium.

For more information, contact coordinator Bruce Corwin at 802-254-4157.