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More than 60 players take part in TubaChristmas event

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Updated: December 3, 2012 11:10AM



VALPARAISO — Mark Maze didn’t wear an elf hat or a Santa suit to participate in TubaChristmas on Sunday in the Chapel of the Resurrection on the Valparaiso University campus.

Instead, he wore his dress uniform as a lieutenant of the Valparaiso Fire Department.

It was all part of a surprise for the Wheatfield resident’s daughter, Nina, 17, a senior at Kankakee Valley High School — a surprise that also included Nina’s brother, Dakota, 19, coming up from Indiana State University.

Nina planned on playing in TubaChristmas, but the event became a family affair when her dad and brother joined in.

“I didn’t even realize this was happening,” a pleasantly pleased Nina said before the concert of holiday music got started.

Maze decided on the dress uniform because he doesn’t get to wear it often and to honor all those who aren’t here for Christmas. It’s been awhile since he picked up his tuba, too.

“This is the first time I’ve played in a band in 20 years,” he said, adding all the effort and playing was for Nina. “It’s her senior year. I wanted to give her some memories. It’s something a dad can do for his daughter.”

More than 60 players took part during the third annual TubaChristmas, decorating themselves and their brass instruments for the occasion. Many players sported TubaChristmas knit caps in red or green, or Santa hats, and their instruments were decorated with tinsel and lights.

The event, which almost filled the chapel, is one of more than 250 TubaChristmas performances taking place this season, said Jeff Doebler, VU’s director of music education and bands.

This is the 39th year for the Christmas-themed festival, which at VU included a sing-along for each song that was performed. The late Harvey Phillips, a music professor at Indiana University-Bloomington, started the tradition in honor of his music teacher.

The concert drew first-timers Matt Boswell, 15, a sophomore at Hobart High School, and Jonathan Romes, 14, a freshman at Hobart. Matt came for the experience, particularly to play at the chapel with Doebler as director. He and Jonathan agreed the concert gave them the chance to let their brass shine.

“You’re not with your traditional band. You’re playing with people who know your instrument,” Jonathan said.



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