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Release: Nov. 24, 1999

UI tubas ensemble to present holiday concert Dec. 10

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Collegium Tubum, a tuba and euphonium ensemble, will present its annual outdoor performance of holiday music at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, on the steps of the UI Old Capitol.

For at least 25 years the Collegium Tubum and its friends among the community's tuba and euphonium players have gathered on the UI Pentacrest on the last day of fall-semester classes to celebrate the season with holiday music under the direction of UI faculty member Robert Yeats.

Over the years the ensemble has accumulated 30-40 tuba arrangements of carols and other holiday music, both secular and sacred. The repertoire includes not only familiar Christmas carols and secular songs of the season, but also music from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and Christmas TV specials by the Chipmunks.

Depending on the weather, from 15 to 30 tubists and euphonium players participate in the performances. Yeats estimates that a cumulative total of 200-300 students and community members have played in the annual events, including some working people who take the day off to join forces with the Collegium Tubum.

To heighten the festive spirit of the event, ensemble members customarily decorate their instruments, and some wear costumes. Yeats traditionally leads the ensemble in a Santa Claus suit.

The nature and duration of the event depends to some extent on the weather. Frigid temperatures in some years have forced the group to perform in tag-team fashion, with members periodically retreating indoors to warm up and un-freeze their valves. Yeats promises, however, that the Collegium Tubum will deliver regardless of the weather. "If it's too cold, look for us huddling out of the wind on the leeward side of Old Cap'," he said.