Tuba Christmas 2021 at Rockefeller Charms the Crowds with Classic Holiday Songs
Story, Videography and Photography by Luis Diaz
Video editing by S. Soikam
On December 12, 2021, we all gathered at Rockefeller Center Plaza besides the world famous Ice Skating Rink to listen to scores of Tuba Players. These musicians, who came from distances far and wide, belted out classic Christmas songs on their instruments. Many were the numbers of people distanced off on the sidewalks; standing behind police guarded barricades. They stood there listening and savoring the spirit of the Christmas season on this beautiful Autumn Day with brisk temperatures in the 40s being warmed by the gorgeous sun above.
Highly acclaimed conductor Chris Wilhjelm led the large crowd of performers through numerous Christmas classics. He’s been in this annual role since 2000 when he was appointed by the legendary tuba player, Harvey Phillips. Mr. Phillips is the man who put together the Annual Tuba Christmas nearly 50 years ago.
Interestingly, this year’s event took place directly underneath the Christmas tree contrary to the way it’s been carried out for years on the skating rink below; thus allowing for folks to glide on the ice to the sound of the music emanating from the tree above.
This annual event not only takes place in New York City but as well in cities throughout the nation. At Rockefeller Center it’s second only to the Annual Tree Lighting in as far as being the longest running annual event to take place at this location.