TubaChristmas in Downey for Apollo Lighting Event

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Jaelyn Delos Reyes

Children and families were able to attend the lighting event for the holidays on Dec. 10.

Jaelyn Delos Reyes, Community Editor

The Columbia Memorial Space Center hosted the Apollo lighting featuring Tuba Christmas with conductor Dr. Anthony Mazzaferro in the City of Downey on Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Apollo lighting was a free event where local residents and families can watch TubaChristmas as well as watch their Apollo capsule lighting, one of Downey’s newest traditions.

Most of the activities were held inside which included making holiday cards with an LED light, a parachuting snowman and a snow plow robot lab.

Jeaneen Carlino, an artist and illustrator, attended the event and gave away signed copies of her artwork.

Coffee was sold by @helpinghands.coffee and @ffroasters and the TubaChristmas was held in front of the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

Laura Brim, the Program Coordinator for Columbia Memorial Space Center, said, “It was my idea to bring TubaChristmas to this area. TubaChristmas has been hosted by multiple cities since the first one in Rockefeller Plaza, New York in 1974.”

“I used to play tuba in high school and college and participated in the Los Angeles TubaChristmas,” Brim said, “About five years ago, my son started playing [the] tuba. His band director mentioned to me that it would be nice to have TubaChristmas in this area.”

Brim is hoping to make TubaChristmas an annual event with the Apollo Lighting event.

Children activities at the Space Center
Zeke Blanco shares his thoughts about the Apollo Lighting event on Dec. 10. (Jaelyn Delos Reyes)

TubaChristmas played many holiday songs such as “We Three Kings,” “Joy to the World“, “Adeste Fideles” and many more.

Lennie Lopez, Trumpet Euphorium instructor, shares his thoughts about the Apollo Christmas event.

“I am actually a Tuba Christmas performer and this is the inaugural Tuba Christmas here in the museum,” said the instructor, “This is amazing. This is so important for kids. Obviously, they’re having fun.”

Zeke Blanco, the intern for Columbia Memorial Space Center, shares his opinions about the lighting event.

“Events like this are very important because it allows the kids to explore creativity and come do something communal,” said Blanco.

Blanco added, “A lot of the people here come to these events annually. They’ll meet people. The whole point for the Columbia Memorial Space Center is to inspire critical thinkers.”

Trumpet Euphorium instructor said, “Oh my gosh! I already talked to Laura, she’s the coordinator for this event. We’re already looking forward to next year, for sure.”

Blanco and Brim share their goals and final thoughts for the Apollo Lighting event.

“To invite the people in during the holidays and conduct science. It’s an informal learning center, so you want to have people coming in exploring what there is in the science center,” Blanco said.

Brim added to what Blanco said, “We always strive to connect to the community and give them an opportunity to interact with fun STEM activities. I wanted to attract some of the TubaChristmas veterans that have played at other locations.”

“I think we did pretty good for an inaugural event with 50 tuba and baritone players, ranging in ages from 10 to 83! There is something surprisingly joyful about hearing low brass play holiday music,” said the coordinator.

If anyone is interested in the Tuba Christmas, they will have another event at 400 Disney Way, Anaheim, CA on Dec. 17 at noon.