There’s been less street music in Eureka as of late. But if you happened to be doing some masked Christmas shopping in Old Town Thursday, you may have noticed some horn-blown Christmas carols wafting into your ears. Usually this time of year, Joyce Carter is playing numerous gigs around the county as a member of TubaChristmas, but obviously this is a bad year to be gathering near groups of people emptying spit valves. So it goes. Instead, Carter decided to bring her euphonium down to the Old Town Gazebo and blow out some holiday favorites solo for passersby. Clarinet is her main instrument, but for this setting she likes the way the euphonium sound carries through the streets better. 

“The sound bounces off the buildings. And everybody needs some Christmas cheer right now,” Carter told us on her motivations for today’s performance. “The music scene has been sheltered, so unless it’s just your family you can’t play with people. You have to be safe.”

Her family and a couple other properly socially distanced friends have been playing some music recently, though. Weather permitting, they’ve been playing Dixieland jazz tunes most Sundays around 1:30 p.m. in front of their home on Santa Clara Street under the moniker “The Myrtletown Driveway Band.” 

“It’s really fun because some of the neighbors will come out. They wear their masks, sit and listen. Some of them dance,” Carter explained. “We’re just trying to keep spirits up.”