Why We Do What We Do - A Letter from a Father

Hello Jenny, Angela, and Matt,

I just wanted to follow up with you guys on the King Tuba I recently purchased for my son, Aaron.  If you guys remember, Aaron was getting ready to graduate college and I wanted to get a Tuba for him as a graduation gift.

You see, Aaron has played tuba in the North Buncombe Black Hawks school bands program since he was in the 5th grade.  Afterwards, he played in college for 2 1/2 years for the East Tennessee State University Buccaneer Bands program.  Aaron has always loved playing.  In addition to school, he has played in church, as well as, being a member of the Johnson City Tennessee Community Band.  Unfortunately, Aaron had to drop out of the band program during his Junior year of college.  This was a very tough decision for him, but was necessary, due to his workload.

Unfortunately, we could never really afford a tuba for Aaron, so for all these years, he has never actually had his own horn.  He has always just played loaners from the schools he was attending, including while he was in the JC Community Band.  After being part of a band for 10 1/2 years, suddenly, it was a thing of the past.  That had quite an effect on both him and us, as his family.  The tuba and the band had been a part of all our lives for so long that it was a difficult adjustment for all of us.

As a member of his high school band, Aaron had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and march in the 73rd annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.  While there, they also played a dedication on board the USS Missouri, overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial.  That was a very moving experience, I must tell you.  He traveled to Washington DC to play and was invited on-stage to play with the Pershing’s Own US Army Band, which was a very high honor.  These are just some of the experiences he (and we) were able to have, as a result of him loving to play that tuba.

When trying to think of a nice graduation present for Aaron, we entertained the idea of sending him on a vacation somewhere, but it just seemed as if that huge void in his life needed to be filled.  While a trip would be nice, it would only be for a short time.  We really hated the thought of him perhaps never playing music again.  We knew that even if he wanted to continue playing after college, that it would be quite a while before he could afford a horn of his own.  Therefore, we decided to try to find him a nice tuba that we could afford.  We wanted to get him something that would last him a lifetime.  That is where you guys come in.

I was so pleased to get to talk to you guys and appreciate all your help.  From day one, you all were a pleasure to deal with.  I appreciate the correspondences and the call I received from Matt.  You guys understood exactly what we were trying to accomplish with this gift.  I had told you, Jenny, in one of my emails, that I was thinking about building a wooden crate that would be very difficult for Aaron to open.  I wanted it to be something that he had to “work for” and something that would perhaps increase the anticipation.  I ended up doing just that.  I built a wooden crate and put two tops on it with dozens of different style fasteners.

We had a graduation party for him recently.  During the event, I had my brother deliver the crate for me.  The crate was unloaded and set out in the parking lot.  Aaron had no idea that it was there.  When ready, we had him go out and open it in front of everyone.  For the most part, no one there had a clue what was in the crate, especially Aaron.  It took him a while, but with the help of a bunch of tools, he finally got it open.  The look on his face when he saw what it was, made it all worth it.  He was pretty much speechless and absolutely loved it!  We told him that we wanted him to get back to playing music somewhere as soon as he could, if of course, that was what he wanted to do. 

He said it most definitely was.

Many thanks to all of you for playing a part in this special event.


Tim Banks

Barnardsville, NC