Kristen Nies, wearing a bright green Christmas vest and scarf, paused from practicing her tuba. Her daughter, Nola, wanted to give her a hug for good luck.

On Saturday, Nies sat among about 80 other musicians holding tubas and euphoniums in the Columbia Mall. They were warming up for the annual TubaChristmas concert, which brings together musicians of all skill levels to play a public concert and "improve the literature and public image" of the instruments, according to its website.

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