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Breaking News: The Pride of Oklahoma tuba players have gone on strike…

3:34 PM EDT on September 17, 2013

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Know how to clean a tuba??? With a tuba toothpaste! Funny, huh? I'll be here all week. Tip your waitresses and bar staff.

The reason I started this post with a hysterical joke about tubas is because hysterical drama is still unfolding with the Pride of Oklahoma marching band. Just weeks after the Pride issued a list of demands to OU President David Boren, the band's tuba section has now gone on strike. The Tubateers, as they are affectionately known on campus, are upset by some of the changes implemented by new band director Justin Stolarik, including his strange insistence that they dot the "I" in Oklahoma.

The OU Daily student newspaper has all the details:

The Pride of Oklahoma’s tuba section lacked all but three members at rehearsal Monday after members decided to take a stand against inadequate teaching and changes made to the band this year.

Freshman tuba player Michael Boyd said members of the tuba section decided Sunday not to show up to rehearsal Monday and emailed their director, Justin Stolarik, to voice their concerns with the band’s performance this year.

So your band's performance has sucked this year, and you combat this by not going to rehearsal? That makes as much sense as hiring an unqualified band director from Wisconsin to lead your university's marching band.

The article continues:

Boyd said he and other members explained to Stolarik, who was hired as the new Pride director in February, that they feel their performance this year doesn’t match the band's performance in past years, because he’s not giving them enough instruction when changing aspects of their pre-game and halftime routines. Boyd said Stolarik also not helping them improve, because he doesn’t give them enough feedback when they do something wrong.

“The main issue is that the instruction is inadequate, and we’ve approached [Stolarik] on that,” he said.

At the beginning of September, Pride members approached Stolarik to voice their concerns about the lack of instruction and changes made to the band’s performance.

“We brought him our demands… Things have gotten a little better, but the band that was the Pride last year and the band this year is not the same,” he said.

I hate to admit this, but I did the marching band thing for two years in high school. It's boring, ridiculous and embarrassing, but it sure is hell isn't that difficult. You just walk to a spot...and then to another spot...and then to another spot...and you do it all while playing or pretending to play an instrument. Okay, maybe that's an over-simplified version of the activity, but it's not like your writing a blog or asking bar trivia questions or anything.

Freshman tuba player Jacqueline Oliver said she’d wanted to march with the Pride since she was 6 years old, but she doesn’t feel the band is owning up to its name this year.

“We’re not the Pride,” she said.

You're a freshman. How would you know if the band's owning up to its name or not? Also, I trust girls who toot the tuba about as much as a man who blows the oboe.

Boyd said members of other sections have the same concerns with the band’s leadership as the tuba players, but they were waiting for someone else to take the first step in advocating for changes.

“We’re just the first section to take action,” he said.

Hey trombones, maybe it's time you all start taking the lead in all of this? Why do you always let the tuba players do the dirty work. Also, if the tuba players were smart, they'd go hard after the bass drummers to join them in the strike. They should also coerce the new drum major into replacing the patented high leg kick strut and fuzzy hat with a River Dance jig and pirate cap.

Here's how the article ends:

Boyd said Stolarik asked the tuba players to meet with him after rehearsal Monday to talk about their complaints.

“I hope that things will change for the better,”

The Daily emailed Stolarik and called his office after rehearsal Monday evening, but he was unable to respond by press time. The Daily will continue to contact him until he is able to respond to students’ complaints.

You know what, I'm starting to feel a little bit sorry for this Solarik guy. He probably thought he was getting the opportunity of a lifetime, and now he's stuck living a real-life nightmare in Norman, Oklahoma. He probably wakes up in the middle of the night thinking a 20-year-old girl is about to stab him in the chest with a piccolo. Hopefully, he gets things worked out with the tuba players and the rest of the Pride and they go back their familiar role of playing Boomer Sooner, the national anthem and rekindling fans' fond memories of going to O'Connell's at halftime.

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