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Release: Nov. 22, 2000

Holiday season in Iowa City means tubas on the loose

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The holiday season approaches at the University of Iowa, and the truly informed know that means just one thing -- tuba players roaming the Pentacrest.

The Collegium Tubum ensemble, conducted by School of Music faculty member Robert Yeats, will continue its annual tradition of filling Iowa City’s frigid December air with popular holiday tunes. The group will perform at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, the final day of UI fall-semester classes, on the east side of the Old Capitol. The event is free and open to the public.

The ensemble has not decided which songs it will play this year, but Yeats promises the usual "mixture of Christmas carols and silly seasonal songs."

Don’t tell the children, but Yeats also plans to reprise his role as Santa Claus, once again donning the fluffy white beard and red suit. His students will be in costume too, though Yeats couldn’t say exactly what they have planned. In past years students have adorned themselves and their instruments with, among other things, assorted Christmas tree decorations and reindeer antlers.

"It depends on what kind of mood they’re in," Yeats said.

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.

Yeats has been a part of the Collegium Tubum ensemble’s annual holiday concert since 1973, when he joined the UI School of Music faculty. When he’s not portraying Santa, Yeats teaches tuba and euphonium.

For more information on this event, please contact the UI School of Music at 335-1603.

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