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CBS show to feature Wichita tuba players

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, at 8:45 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, at 8:45 p.m.

Spirit of the Season holiday concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Century II Convention Hall

Admission: Free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for concert-goers who got tickets online. Those without tickets will be admitted beginning at 7:20 p.m. The deadline to get online tickets has passed.

Donations: Bins will be set up in the lobby for canned goods, which will be donated to the Kansas Food Bank.

Tuba Christmas: The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last until about 7:10 p.m.

Phillip Black remembers when the phone call came.

He was pulling into the parking lot one day last week at Wichita State University when his cellphone rang.

“I thought it was one of my kids asking for money,” Black said.

It wasn’t.

It was Amol Mhatre, a field producer from the “CBS Sunday Morning” show, Black said, and Mhatre wanted to film Wichita tuba players as they perform before Tuesday night’s Spirit of the Season holiday concert by the Wichita Symphony.

“I was stunned with the call,” said Black, the principal tuba player for the symphony and a faculty member at WSU. “They always cover the Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center in New York City. It was quite a surprise.”

Why Wichita? That’s unknown at the moment. Mhatre did not return phone calls from The Eagle on Monday.

Nevertheless, Black said, the Wichita tuba players will be part of a segment on the national phenomena known as Tuba Christmas. Black and Don Reinhold, executive director of the Wichita Symphony who has also been in correspondence with Mhatre, said the segment is expected to be broadcast on the Dec. 22 show.

Tuba Christmas has been a tradition in Wichita for 28 years.

“We’ve happily had our Tuba Christmas every year, even during the four years in a row of ice storms,” Black said. “As long as the streets are clear, we are good.”

The group consists of 30 tuba players, ranging from professional to amateur.

“We welcome tuba players from seventh grade to 70 years old,” Black said.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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