Posted by Kevin on December 30, 2001 at 23:42:58:
In Reply to: Normal High School Tuba posted by Matthew on December 28, 2001 at 23:42:48:
There has been a lot of good advice posted here, so I hope that this is not too redundant. For a school setting, I'd stay away from rotary valves. While they do indeed require less daily care than piston valves, servicing them is generally out of the experience of most band directors once they have gotten stuck from soda, M&M's, Skittles, etc. Many of my students have brought soda and candy to rehearsals, (even after being told NOT to!) and we all know that what goes in the player's mouth ends up in the horn.
Also, from my experience in college, I'd strongly suggest sticking with heavy weight brass horns as opposed to horns constructed of thinner guage brass. While the lightweight horns will be more responsive (some believe), they also collect dents like they're going out of style. The school Alexander that I played in college had dents over dents over dents and my own personal Cerveny has dents that, as far as I can tell, have simply appeared miraculously, despite all my efforts at keeping the horn safe. Those big, old, HEAVY Kings and Yamaha horns are still around 30 years later for a reason!
Best of luck in your search!