Friday, March 16, 2012

Behind the Rash of Tuba Thefts

They've still got their trombones and their trumpets, their cornets and their clarinets.

But the high school marching bands of Southern California are tuba-less these days, and their music directors think they know why.

There's a banda bandit on the loose, they say. Someone, they believe, is breaking into high schools from the east side of Los Angeles to the shores of Manhattan Beach and stealing expensive tubas to supply a fast-growing black market for banda music.

Once little known north of Mexico, banda has become the fastest growing genre of Latino music in the United States over the past 20 years. It is particularly popular in Los Angeles, where musicians gather in places like Mariachi Plaza to offer their services to parties, weddings, quinceaneras and other events.  Read More