Fourteen sousaphones and a selection of other instruments were stolen from the band room in at least two thefts stretching back to November, said Jorim Reid, NCCU's band director.
The instruments were taken from locked rooms, and the thieves left the sousaphone cases, so it wasn't immediately apparent that the instruments were missing, Reid
said.Now, with the high-profile, annual Battle of the Bands showcase set to start Jan. 26 in Atlanta, Reid is trying to patch his
band back together.The loss of sousaphones, in particular, is a blow to a 180-member band that relies heavily on the large brass instruments.There are 16 sousaphone players in the band."I really don't know what we're going to do," Reid
said."It's kind of like driving a four-wheel car with three wheels.You won't go very far.It's like heavy metal with no lead guitar."Along with the sousaphones, thieves took trumpets, trombones, flutes and piccolos, some of which police have already recovered from area pawnshops, Reid
said.NCCU police detectives could not be reached Tuesday, and Reid
doesn't know how thieves accessed the locked band rooms at least twice.The sousaphones and some of the other instruments are university property, but some of the smaller ones were owned by students, said Reid
, who spent part of Tuesday on the phone trying to find instruments to borrow for the coming band showcase.
said Tuesday that his
band still plans to perform at the showcase.