Dueling banjos made pitting player-against-player -- and their plucking, fast-finger-tipped mad skills -- a trend for a good long while. It's an admittedly entertaining trend, too, one that comes around again and again when pianos go against pianos and harmonicas compete against other harmonicas.
But ukuleles and tubas? It's an instrument-funky duo one rarely considers in the instrument-vs.-instrument realm. And yet consider this: Two of Southern California's biggest single-instrument holiday shows, if not the biggest, fully focus solely on tubas -- that's TubaChristmas, which pops up here and around the nation -- and the Ukulele Christmas Orchestra, which is a Music Center tradition.
Nope, ukes and tubas don't go head-to-head in a single concert, because truly? That might get a little intense.
You can, however, enjoy both in the coming weeks, and, better yet, play in both shows, if you have the talents, the tuba and/or ukulele, and the time to sign up.
Ukulele Christmas Orchestra, which strums the gentle strings at the Music Center on Friday, Dec. 12, is now open to sign-up. Slots are ready for the filling through Nov. 30, but note this: If they fill up prior to that date, they fill up, and you and your uke are out of luck, at least for this season.
Don't let your ukulele down.
Registration is ten bucks. The glory, the adulation, and the fun and joy of playing along to yuletide carols on the gorgeous instrument of the islands? No price shall be put upon those things.
As for TubaChristmas? The dates are lining up, in Huntington Beach, Anaheim, and Los Angeles, which'll tuba it up on Sunday, Dec. 7 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.
Cheers to SoCal tuba players and uke aficionados alike, and please oh please may there be a few multi-instrumentalists out there, ready to rock both shows, one blow and string-pluck at a time.