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A tuba museum like no other, in Durham

Durham is a destination for many reasons. Not the least of which is the V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection, what owner Vince Simonetti says is the world’s largest privately-owned tuba museum.

Simonetti displays some 330 instruments: Berliner Pumpens, Ophicleides, and Saxhorns. Some made by Conn, Wurlitzer, and Vocedalek. Among the most exotic is a “serpent” instrument that dates to 1830.

The collection sprang from the Tuba Exchange, a longtime vendor of new and used tubas. Simonetti and his wife Ethel Simonetti ran that business in that same spot for 27 years before selling in 2011.

Simonetti says he will never lose his love for the instruments, 9th Street Journal reporter Kristi Sturgill explains.

(Photos by Katie Nelson)