High school orchestra directors beware – the ‘Banda Bandits’ are on the loose.
In what might be one of the most unbelievable stories to appear in the crime blotters of the American south west, it appears there is an emerging ‘black market’ for tubas and sousaphones. High schools have reported several robberies all involving the large instruments, which are necessary to the banda style of music.
The sousaphone, the ‘over the shoulder’ variety tuba , is the most sought after for its portability and relatively lighter weight, though concert tubas have not been completely immune to the rash of thefts that have been occurring. This comes at a heavy cost to the schools, as a new tuba can easily cost $6,000 or more. “They are instruments that are expensive and that are in demand…in another context, it might be an electric guitar or a really tricked-out synthesizer. But because we’re talking about Southern California, it’s a tuba…” says University of South California pop culture expert Josh Kun.’
It is believe that ‘Banda Bandits’ are at work here, because of the instruments prevalent and necessary role in the music, and for the simple fact that no other instruments are being taken during these robberies.
Read more at USA Today