Free concert takes place in Storke Placita Plaza
Santa Barbara’s annual Christmas Brass Extravaganza brought holiday cheer Saturday to Storke Placita Plaza.
The core of the group is Santa Barbara’s City College brass players, along with brass players from other local schools, members of the community and even musicians from across the globe.
“This annual event was begun at SBCC in the late ’80s or early ’90s by the band director at the time, Dr. Charles Wood. We still use SBCC brass players as the core of the group. We are also joined by junior high, high school, UCSB (students) and any brass players in the community,” Eric Heidner, director of bands at SBCC, told the News-Press.
“We even get some people from out of town. We have had people play with us from as far away as Switzerland and Australia,” he said. “Our players range in age from elementary school children to senior citizens in their 80s.”
Songs performed included classic holiday favorites such as “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells,” “Angels We Have Heard On High,” and “Holly Jolly Christmas,” as well as a few exotic ones such as “Mele Kalikimaka” and even a few Hanukkah tunes, according to Mr. Heidner.
Participation was open to all brass players (trumpet/cornet, horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba). The rehearsals began at 9 a.m. Saturday in the SBCC Band Room and wrapped up around 11 a.m. Then everyone headed over to Storke Placita Plaza, in the 700 block of State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. The free concert started around noon and ended around 2:30 p.m.
The full brass choir played first, followed by the Trombone Choir, followed by the Tuba Ensemble.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Mr. Heidner said. “There are people participating of all levels and ages. We always have a very enthusiastic crowd. There are always a lot of people just walking by that don’t even know about the concert.”
“It’s our way of giving back to the community who have supported us,” he said. “We love giving back with this free concert and spreading a little holiday cheer at this time of year. We all could use it, especially this year.
“Brass players love playing during this time of year so keep a look out for us.”