Holiday tubas and dance at OU

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published December 5, 2012

 TubaChristmas performed at The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township in 2009. The event will be held at Oakland University’s Varner Recital Hall Dec. 15.

TubaChristmas performed at The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township in 2009. The event will be held at Oakland University’s Varner Recital Hall Dec. 15.

Provided photo

ROCHESTER HILLS — Two upcoming Oakland University concerts celebrate the season with music and dance.

The Point Academy Dance Center performs a Holiday Benefit 3 p.m. Dec. 9, and Merry TubaChristmas fills an OU stage with sounds of the season 11:30 a.m. Dec. 15. 

Tuba and euphonium players of all ages are invited to join the Motor City Brass Band as they perform in Merry TubaChristmas 2012.

“Anyone who plays the tuba or euphonium can come,” said Jill Overacker, event marketing associate. Held in OU’s Varner Recital Hall Dec. 15, the free concert welcomes musicians and music lovers.

“Tubas and euphonium hardly ever get solo time, so it is an interesting take on traditional holiday music,” Overacker said. “The concert has songs everyone knows.”

Merry TubaChristmas, created by Harvey Philips to honor tubist William Bell, is celebrating its 39th anniversary. Every December, tuba and euphonium players of all ages gather to pay respect to Bell and artists who represent their heritage around the country with Merry TubaChristmas.

In addition to the OU concert, Michigan Merry TubaChristmas concerts are planned in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Engadine, Flint, Grand Rapids, Howell, Traverse City and White Lake Township.

The event is co-sponsored by Oakland University. Kenneth Kroesche, professor of low brass at OU, will conduct the all-volunteer ensemble. Event check-in for all players is 8:00 a.m. Rehearsal will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the concert begins at 11:30 a.m.

Kroesche is recognized throughout the country as a leading performer, clinician, conductor and teacher of low brass. Participants must attend the rehearsal to perform at Merry TubaChristmas and bring their own music stand. More information is available at

“It is our first time at OU and the first time inside,” Overacker said. The concert “is typically done outside at malls and in downtown locations. It is a really fun event. People love it.”

Visions of sugar plums will dance in your heads at The Pointe Academy Dance Center’s Fifth Annual Burt Meisel ALS Holiday Benefit.

“Over the past three years, we have raised over $11,000 for ALS of Michigan, an organization that helps people with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and their families right here in Michigan,” said Pointe Academy dance instructor Dori Ranck in a statement. Ranck’s father, Bert Meisel, died from ALS in 2009.

“We are thrilled and very grateful to once again team up with Dori Ranck and The Pointe Academy Dance Center on this incredible show,” said Executive Director of ALS of Michigan Sue Burstein-Kahn in a statement. “Their continued commitment exemplifies their genuine concern and heartfelt understanding of the challenges that these individuals face day after day.”

Tickets for Holiday Benefit, held in OU’s Varner Hall, are $15. Advance tickets are available by calling (248) 852-2585 and tickets may also be purchased at the door. All proceeds benefit ALS of Michigan. Oakland University is located near the intersection of Walton Boulevard and Squirrel Road.