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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby caa62 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:14 pm

Freshman year of high school I played a big bell forward 3 banger that was kept in a stand in the back of the band room. I soon learned to give it a couple spins before each rehearsal. I found: fruit, paper wads (many), coins, empty and full lunch bags, text book, women's handbag, piece of wood, rubber foot off chair, used gum, pen, cracked reed and dead flys. :roll:

Played in a community college band as an adult for awhile. Grabbed my horn and rushed to rehearsal, tossed in the mouthpiece and blew a good blast to start warm up. Heard a metallic clang and rattle go trucking through the horn. Discovered that my 2 year old son had shoved a paper fastener in the lead pipe. Same routine the next week, and discovered that my first valve was stuck because there was a pen cap in it. Took 10 minutes to get it out. I put a cap-plug in the receiver after that when the horn wasn't in use. :idea:

Borrowed a 3/4 horn from the local high school to play in my college pep band. Sounded stuffy, even for a 3/4, and the G and F# at the bottom of the staff were way off. Did a flush back at the dorm and found a 2" soft rubber ball that had been in there long enough for part of it to rot away where the water collected behind it. I wonder how many kids quit because the band teacher told them they sounded awful? :x

A euphonium player showed up for a middle school concert freaking out because his little **** brother didn't like his practicing and chucked a golf ball down the bell hard enough to go around the bend and stick. Our band teacher got the hose hooked up on the janitor's sink, slipped it onto the pipe past the main slide, and blew out the ball. Concert saved! 8)

My own little **** brother set his tuba bell-down on the floor so as to completely cover and hide a clarinet on a floor stand. Caused quite a panic for a few minutes right before another middle school concert. :twisted:

Never found a croaked critter yet, but I do keep my horns in the basement where mice have been known to roam. I guess I'll keep the cases shut. :shock:
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby bloke » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:58 pm

' found some o' these in one once...
' got 'em outah there...
' plays more "open" now.

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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby tubacrow » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:15 am

Keys to a 63 Chevy. Granted they were my keys, but they had been lost for three months. you have to love when your little niece gets a hold of your keys and hides them.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby WilliamVance » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:14 am

Back in 2006 I bought a silver Conn 20K on eBay. I shined that horn up and went to play it after giving it a bath and full cleaning only to find it was stuffy. I stuck a computer "webcam" in to it to try and figure it out. After buying a plumbing snake I just gave up and took it into a repair tech. I came back a couple days later to pick it up and there was a glass, "Patio" cola bottle next to it, that was lodged inside. After researching the dates, Patio cola was the precursor to Diet Pepsi in 1960-62. The Sousa was from 1946 and its great condition lent its self to being clogged with a bottle in 1962. I still have the bottle but I sold the 20K.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby WilliamVance » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:50 am

Northernlb wrote:I have found a lot over the years but the weirdest was a balled up piece of music someone had lit on fire and thrown into the horn.


Perhaps it was burnt from a tech making a repair? What was the title of the piece?
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:16 pm

Just as when my mouthpipe tube needs cleaning...and I ask myself (before REMEMBERING that my mouthpipe tube needs cleaning), "Hey bloke, Is it - maybe - about time to hang up this 'tuba playing' biz?"...

...once (maybe 20 years ago) I was playing a gig with a brass quintet and a choir. Things really just weren't going right, and (yup) I asked myself, "Hey bloke, It is - maybe - about time to hang up this 'tuba playing' biz"?

One of my kids had dropped a small stuffed toy down the bell...It was around the corner in the bottom bow. :oops:
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby The Big Ben » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:54 pm

Some of these tuba screens might be a good investment for the MS/HS band director:

http://www.wwbw.com/Ferree-s-Tools-Sous ... 39418.wwbw
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby Jess Haney » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:08 pm

I found parts and pieces to a clarinet and bari sax once (specifically barrel, 1st clarinet joint and bari mp) in a high school sousaphone when I was student teaching but the rat, mice, and bird stories win hands down.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby Jess Haney » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:10 pm

And a rotten and gross plastic tone booster in an Eb besson tuning slide.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby Dan Schultz » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:09 pm

I found a few bad notes in mine this afternoon! :)
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby PWtuba » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:54 pm

I work at an instrument repair shop. We get lots of tubas and sousaphones from local high schools, and needless to say they contain many interesting things. My favorite was a fully assembled and mostly intact balsa wood toy airplane that came out of a sousaphone.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby eupher61 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:05 am

Tucker Jolly bought a York Eb, front 3valves, for almost nothing. It was really stuffy...but a few days later he just reared back and blew as hard as he could...something popped loose, and upon spinning it became known that Tucker also owned a red rubber ball. Monty Burch in GR added a valve and it played great.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby dmeacham5 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:59 pm

I was at the kent state honor band this weekend and someone told me they have a sousaphone cleanout day and when they turned over the sousa they found a whole dead bird that just kinda plopped out after playing it the entire marching season. how idd it get in there i have no clue, at my high school someone tried trowing candy down the bell at a parade, or always fun putting piccolos in the bell
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby TubaRay » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:02 am

Although not about a tuba, I have one other disgusting story(since that seems to be one of the themes of this thread):

Some years ago, when I was a high school band director, I was going through all of the school-owned instruments, preparing for summer repairs, when I came across a tenor saxophone. When I attempted to remove the reed from the mouthpiece, I met with some resistance. It was seemingly glued to the mouthpiece. After a bit of a struggle, the reed came off, only to reveal maggots inside the mouthpiece. Probably the worst thing I ever came across while doing that job.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby JALLEN » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:51 pm

tstryk wrote:
JALLEN wrote: a rat had crawled down the bell, round and round, where it stops nobody knows, got stuck and perished.

I would hate to live in HIS home! Nasty!


This was nearly 60 years ago. These houses were old then, poorly insulated, mostly unair-conditioned, and back then on the edge of civilization in the Texas hill country. Encountering critters was an every day occurrence, not always rats, of course, bugs of all kinds, scorpions, snakes, and more besides. More of my classmates rode to school ON Mustangs than IN one.

I could never be sure of course, but I often imagined that the tubas we had probably came from Santa Ana's army band as they passed through San Antonio on the way to San Jacinto, or maybe on the way back(!), thrown in the river, then discovered some 100 years later, dried out and given to the schools, leaky, beat up, odoriferous, discolored, uncertain in operation. You had to really want to be in the band to play those things! They had newer, much nicer, tubas, sousaphones actually at high school and playing those was easy by comparison.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby Steve Marcus » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:31 pm

From a similar thread that circulated on TubeNet in late November 2011:

Re: What's The Weirdest Thing Found In Your Tuba?

Post by Steve Marcus » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:01 am

When I had just acquired my Conn 48K Grand Jumbo sousaphone in the summer of 2010, it was black with soot and the bottom bow was almost completely banged in. It had obviously been neglected for literally decades.

When Lee Stofer and his staff skillfully removed the bottom bow, they discovered a Harper High School (Chicago) newsletter dated April 1, 1951 (it was indeed their "April Fool's Day" edition) and a Wrigley's gum wrapper from the same time period as evidenced from the old logo.

For reference, the horn had originally been built in 1930.
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby Tom Holtz » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:22 am

There was one fiberglass sousaphone in high school that nobody would use because it sucked so bad. When I finally wised up and dumped it out, there was a ski mask covered in leaves, serious "uh-oh" there... There was also a Texas Instruments calculator that I used for the rest of high school and a few years of college.
      
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby Matt Walters » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:09 pm

Ladies panties stuck in the tuba. I put them in a plastic bag and handed them over when the tuba owner picked up his tuba. The wife/girlfriend gave him that evil look and said "I've never owned a pair like that." I said "Uhh...you can pay the guys up front, I've got got to go!"
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby Tubajug » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:00 pm

Matt Walters wrote:Ladies panties stuck in the tuba. I put them in a plastic bag and handed them over when the tuba owner picked up his tuba. The wife/girlfriend gave him that evil look and said "I've never owned a pair like that." I said "Uhh...you can pay the guys up front, I've got got to go!"


Ha! Awkward....
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Re: Strangest thing you found in a tuba?

Postby Uncle Markie » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:46 pm

During my freshman year (1967) at Yankton college in South Dakota I pulled a Lyon & Healy helicon down from the Music Conservatory's attic - and immediately took it to my dorm clean it out, prior to having Stan Fritts solder some loose joints back together. During the clean out (in the dorm shower) a dead bat came out with the rinse water.

The instrument was thereafter referred to as the "dead bat horn".

Once freed of the dead bat it honked out the Yankton college fight song pretty well.

I left it with the school when I transferred to New York University at the end of the spring term.

In 1985 the college was sold to the US Federal Prison system; maybe that horn is still used in the prison band - if they have one!

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