Two musical instruments, that, in my opinion, are very undervalued, are the euphonium and the clarinet. The euphonium, a tenor tuba, has a mellow sound, and is quite a bit easier to get a nice sound out of than, say, a french horn. Every year around Christmas, the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association (now known as International Tuba-Euphonium Association) has gatherings around the country, called Tuba Christmas, where tubists of all types, ages and abilities get together, and, after a short rehearsal, play a holiday concert for the public. The first and last time I attended one was with my husband, a euphonium player, 21 years ago in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. If you want to get yourself in a holiday mood this year, consider attending Tuba Christmas. This clip is not from me, but from theBaltimorehon and is part of Tuba Christmas in the Inner Harbor 2006.
The other instrument that is often ignored despite its ubiquitousness in school bands, is the clarinet. Played correctly, the clarinet can have a beautifully mellow tone that lends itself quite nicely to jazz. I admit to being perplexed when my son's high school music director would not allow clarinets in the jazz band. Benny Goodman, anyone?!