Don’t Puff Your Cheeks.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but when I was a wee lad I was a tuba player. From fifth grade through my senior year, I proudly played the tuba with the concert and marching bands. In fact, I went to SUNY Fredonia for music education as a tuba player, probably because we tuba players are rare and the college was desperate.

When Earl and I were on vacation last week, we had occasion to watch several marching bands and I found myself eager to start playing the tuba again. I haven’t played the tuba since 1988 or so but I still remember all the fingerings and how to do it.

I wonder if I can find a tuba on ebay. Then I’ll just be a tuba player in search of a marching band. 

Because we all know what happens at band camp.

Here’s a picture of me (on the left) as a freshman in high school at band practice. Band was the last period of the day (the geek remembers: 8th period, 1:49 to 2:30), that’s why I had my coat on because I had an irrational fear of missing the bus.


Here, enjoy one of the songs we used to play (though this is the demo version). It’s called “Aztec Fire”.


  1. There is always hope. You probably don’t have much access to bands where you live, but a friend of mine that played the trumpet in high school waxed nostalgic and decided to join a gay marching band in Atlanta. They perform in all the pride parades in the south and even played at the Gay Games in Chicago!

  2. there will always be the alumni marching band at the field days… i thought there was nothing like the sound of the tuba belting out those
    oompah sounds! loved it!! I hope you find that tuba.

  3. How heavy are those thing?

    They’re not too bad. I remember as a 7th grader and the youngest tuba player in the marching band, they gave me the all metal sousaphone to play while the older guys got the lighter fiberglass ones. I survived the ordeal just fine. -J.P.

  4. My first time commenting…listened to the song – and it gave your sister goose bumps…I have great memories of band…I don’t know which ones are better – remembering the clarinet part to that tune or the “snappy” color guard routine that went to it! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  5. What you fail to mention…is that I was standing off the shot to the left!

    Great memories. Perhaps and Alumni Band would be a great idea?!?!

  6. I used to play the trombone. My parents finally “donated” my old trombone back to the school a few years back when they realized I wasn’t going to “pick it up any time soon.”

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