Salt Lake Tribune – After a record-breaking 36 years with Utah Symphony, tuba player retiring on a high (low) note


Gary Ofenloch didn’t get through 36 years of playing the tuba for the Utah Symphony without learning a few tricks.

For example, he keeps his main instrument, a contrabass tuba, at his home studio in the Avenues for practice, and keeps an identical one at Abravanel Hall for rehearsals and performance.

“You extend your career exponentially, because these things are heavy,” said Ofenloch. The tuba and its case together weigh 80 pounds, and “that really does a job on your back after a while, schlepping tubas around.”

Having two contrabass tubas is also an investment, since a top-of-the-line model costs around $30,000. That’s the same amount a violinist might pay for the most expensive bows, Ofenloch said. It’s what the rest of us would pay for a new Toyota or Chevrolet.

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