So yet another school has lost its sousaphones to thieves who apparently will spare no effort, and overlook many other valuable items, to make off only with the tubas.
San Fernando High School’s marching band had its only two tubas stolen last month. The thieves broke into one band room, stole nothing, then broke into another and stole nothing but the tubas — overlooking guitars, violins, trumpets, drums, etc.
It’s all about banda music and the tuba’s newfound popularity here in LA, where it’s really the emblematic instrument of the era, much like the guitar was in the 1970s.
Once again, tuba thieves have struck. This time: Whittier High School. Four sousaphones.
Last time, Saturday Night Live did a Weekend Update bit on the phenomenon.
Lightheartedness aside, I find the topic interesting because tubas are the emblematic popular instrument of our time in Southern California — just like the electric guitar was in the 1970s.
A reporter could probably have fashioned a whole beat writing about the culture surrounding electric guitar during those years. (In Claremont, where I grew up, there were easily 20 guys in my high school class who played guitar, and, if memory serves, six guitar stores within a few-mile radius.)
I think the same is true today of tubas. Their popularity says a lot about the region and the time.