Paul's Note - September 24, 2021

László Veres announced that he is “winding down” his tenure with the Tucson Pops Orchestra this summer. 

It’s a loss for Tucson, to be sure, but those of us who enjoy the concerts of the Arizona Symphonic Winds, an ensemble he founded in 1986, have at least a few more seasons to hear them play at Udall Park. 

Veres is an immigrant from Hungary who lived through both fascism and communism before coming to the United States. Before he even became a citizen, he was drafted and was stationed at Fort Huachuca, where he had his first public performances in Arizona as a clarinetist for the post band. He went on to earn a degree at the University of Arizona and went on to perform in the Tucson Symphony. 

First and foremost, though, he has been an educator. He spent three decades teaching music in our public schools, and he has been a mentor to hundreds of local musicians in his time with the Tucson Pops, the Arizona Symphonic Winds, Philharmonia Orchestra of Tucson and the Foothills Phil, a group for musicians new to classical performance. 

Yes, that’s four orchestras he’s been part of, and much of his time with those overlapped. That’s what led James Reel of the Tucson Weekly to give him a moniker usually reserved for James Brown, “The hardest working man in show-business.” 

This year’s Symphonic Winds season is underway. All the concerts are free and start at 7 pm, and they are at Udall Park at László Veres Amphitheater (7200 E Tanque Verde). Yes, we named it for him back in 2009: 

September 25: “Light Cavalry” This well known overture and the whole concert will be conducted by long time Winds’ member Renee Shane-Boyd.  Renee is band director of the Catalina Foothills High Band, one of the finest in the state. 

October 2:“Evening with vocalist Elena Galbraith” Elena’s vocal selections include great standards like “Kiss Me Again”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and others. 

Since 2006, our SunTran fleet has been entirely run on “clean fuel” technology. Our buses are on biofuels, compressed natural gas and hybrid-electric sources. 

We can now add battery electric to that list. The city leased a single electric bus as a pilot program for a year, but has now been able to purchase five electric busses thanks to money from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low-No Emission Grant program. 

You will see the electric busses tried out on various routes throughout the city. The program has an official launch on Thursday, September 30 at the Northwest Bus Maintenance Yard in the Flowing Wells area (3920 N SunTran Blvd). The event starts at 9:15 and runs through 10:30. 

The Environmental & General Services Department has many programs like Brush & Bulky to Code Enforcement to help support a cleaner Tucson. Given this year’s heavy monsoon season and to support the cleanup efforts citywide, EGSD has identified a few designated locations throughout the city where residents can take can dispose of their green waste free of charge. These drop-off locations will be similar to the yearly TreeCycle Program. 

Details may change, but residents can begin dropping off green waste now until October 20th. Locations:  

  • Golf Links Sports Park, 2400 S. Craycroft Road 

  • Tucson Rodeo Grounds, on 3rd Avenue (3rd Ave North of Irvington Rd.) 

  • Purple Heart Park, 10050 E. Rita Road 

  • Randolph Golf Course, 600 S. Alvernon Way, (Southeast corner of parking lot) 

  • Joaquin Murrieta Park, 1400 N. Silverbell Road