Crossroads Brass Band of Central Indiana (CRBB) is a non-profit, amateur, performing arts ensemble that aspires to the highest musical standards and is dedicated to the growth of the brass band movement in Central Indiana. The band is styled after the British brass bands that were popular in Great Britain in the 18th century, but to this day remain an important part of that country’s musical culture. In the U.S., brass bands rose to prominence during the American Civil War era, but declined significantly following that event, and its decline was hastened even further when John Philip Sousa began writing music for marching bands that included woodwind instruments.
Today, British brass bands are on the incline, fostered by the Salvation Army and North American Brass Band Association, organized in 1982. NABBA sponsors an annual championship and supports a variety of activities to promote new youth, collegiate, and adult bands, such as our very own brass band.
The unique sound of brass bands sets it apart from other brass ensembles. The brass band, using conical instruments, has a more mellow sound featuring cornets instead of trumpets, E-flat tenor horns instead of French horns, and English baritone horns in addition to flugelhorns, euphoniums, and tubas. The exceptions are the tenor and bass trombones, a cylindrical bore instrument, which adds a strong, bright quality to the music. Percussion instruments add unique sounds and rhythms to further enhance the music.