YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A lot of holiday traditions look different this year with the pandemic. One event affected was Tuba Christmas.
Stambaugh Auditorium hosted its sixth annual Tuba Christmas Concert Sunday.
Normally, 100 musicians fill the stage and play for a packed concert hall.
Last year, about 1,200 showed up to watch the free concert, but this year, only about 30 tuba players were on the stage and the auditorium seats were empty.
Instead, people could watch the concert on a live stream for free from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
“Trying to get creative and look at ways that we can still present events for the enjoyment, education and entertainment of the community. That’s our mission. But we want to make sure that we’re doing everything in a way that is safe for our staff, for our audiences and the community at large,” said Joann Stock, chief development officer at Stambaugh Auditorium.
In response to questions regarding the safety of the tuba players on stage, Stambaugh Auditorium released this statement:
The staff at Stambaugh Auditorium took many precautions for the safety of the musicians on stage. We followed every state and local protocol in place for musical performances. The musicians were required to wear masks when not actively playing their instruments, their temperatures were taken before entrance to the concert hall and all were encouraged to stay home if they felt ill. As far as the instruments themselves, research has been done to understand the risk of the virus being spread by various instruments. We have done our homework to understand these studies as best as possible.
Tuba Christmas was first started in New York City at Rockefeller Center in 1974, where 300 musicians dressed like Santa to play.
Since then, the tradition has spread all over the world.