Free show kicks off Concert Band's season

Eric Linthicum will perform the playful “Tuba Tiger Rag” for his solo because it was the least serious piece he could find.

Green Valley’s “high season” is here bringing cooler weather, the return of winter residents, and the start of months of entertainment with craft shows and concerts.

Timed to fit in with the busy and bustling Country Fair Days, the Green Valley Concert Band is offering a free “Strike Up the Band!” outdoor concert at the Community Performance & Art Center on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 4 p.m.

For anyone who has never heard a musician play a solo on a tuba, here’s an opportunity to see and hear it free — and outdoors against a background of the Santa Rita Mountains.

The tuba is the largest brass instrument in any band and ranges in size from 9 to 18 feet. The longer the tuba, the lower its sound. Standard tubas have about 16 feet of tubing.

Why would a musician choose to play such a heavy instrument that isn’t as easy to pick up and pack up as a flute or trumpet?

Eric Linthicum, 53, said his tuba weighs 22 pounds. Add the case and it’s 30 pounds. And he drives from Tucson to rehearse and play with the Green Valley Concert Band.

“I’ve played with Tucson bands, but this band always felt like the best fit. And there’s Dr. John (Snavely). And everyone here has always been very welcoming,” Linthicum said.

When he was in seventh grade, Linthicum was all set to start playing the trumpet. But one wham changed that!

“I was hit in the mouth with a baseball. The music teacher looked at me, pointed to the tuba, and I never went back. The tuba can be as expressive as any other instrument. This one plays well outdoors,” he said, adding he owns four of them.

Linthicum chose “Tuba Tiger Rag” for his solo because it was the least serious piece he could find. Sounds in-ter-est-ing!

Concert Band media coordinator Sue Krinke said other highlights will feature soloist Mike Finkelstein playing “Trumpet Nocturne” and the entire trombone section performing “Trombone Rag.”

Contact Green Valley News freelance reporter Ellen Sussman at