The words "tuba" and "solo" are, and never have been, mutually exclusive. If anything, they are redundant. Composers from Brahms to Bernstein have recognized that the lone chair in a symphony orchestra defined the tuba as not only the bass voice of the orchestral brass choir but a solo instrument of power and grace. The awkward revelations of "Tubby the Tuba" in which Tubby undergoes musical puberty and eventually plays a melody serve to evangelize young people and the general public to the knowledge with which Patrick Sheridan made his career - the words "tuba" and "solo" are synonymous.
While the tuba may seem an ugly duckling in the musical pond, all performers are prone to catalog the perceived limitations of their chosen instruments: string players seek to emulate the human voice, singers envy the string players' bow and the ability to extend a phrase indefinitely, pianists envy the range of color available to instrumentalists, and wind players envy everybody - including each other. It is only when artistry becomes art that technical considerations become as inconsequential as which brushes Leonardo DaVinci used to paint the Mona Lisa. We, the audience, become absorbed in the product and not the process. At that point we become part of the music and, in truth, that has been the hope of every composer here represented: that we might, through the dots and scratches each put on paper, feel some measure of the emotion which led them to put it in writing. It is that desire for connection and communication which makes music the most sublime of the arts and which can speak to that part of our experience in which "Lollipops" will always be a treasured reward.