Earlier this week a beginning band teacher in Surrey picked up two tubas being held by the Vancouver Police Department that were stolen out of his classroom.
Brian Smith says a couple of his friends forwarded him a Vancouver Is Awesome article about the tubas as a joke. As it turns out they were in fact the tubas that were stolen from one of the 10 schools at which Smith teaches.
In a thank you message to V.I.A. Smith says for the last 28 years he has maintained a supply of about 100 of his own band instruments that he loans out for free to underprivileged students if their parents can't or won't pay to rent one.
“At my own expense, I make sure they all get a working band instrument if they want to give it a go,” Smith writes. “You never know who is going to be good at band and it can be a life-changer!”
Smith says over the last 27 years he has only lost a handful of instruments but this year was different.
“Three of my 10 inner-city designated schools were broken into and the heartless thieves were specifically after musical instruments,” Smith says. “This year I lost over 30 instruments over the summer. That and COVID made this year especially disheartening I made do and bought more instruments but still...”
According to police, officials seized the instruments last month during an investigation.