Last week marked a truly remarkable moment in our journey as a band. Historically, community bands have synchronized their schedules with traditional school holiday breaks. Typically, after the Christmas performance, there’s a 2-3 week hiatus before rehearsals resume in the spring to prepare for upcoming performances. However, the Crossroads Brass Band faced a unique challenge this year. We were scheduled to perform on January 13 at the Indiana Music Educator’s Association conference in Fort Wayne, which meant there was no time for an extended break. In response, our band members collectively made the decision to sacrifice one week of their holiday break and regroup just after New Year’s to work together in sectionals, meticulously fine-tuning our music. Some of the pieces we had only seen briefly. As our esteemed director, Jon Noworyta, aptly put it, “It was an incredibly productive week.”
The Crossroads Brass Band came into existence in 2012 under the guidance of the late Don Bookout, whom we sadly lost over the summer. For the current members, our mission for the 2023-2024 season is to honor his legacy in every conceivable way. Don had ambitious dreams for this ensemble and even served on the board of directors with the North American Brass Band Association (NABBA). Our dedication and the significant progress we’ve made over just a few weeks stand as a testament to the immense respect we hold for all that Don accomplished for this ensemble. During our final rehearsal in our hometown of Indianapolis, Noworyta remarked, “I know that Don is looking down on you all and smiling, proud of how far you’ve come.”
The band is set to perform this Saturday at 9 AM at the ACPL Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Our members have poured their hearts and souls into preparing for this moment in such a short time frame, and they truly deserve a packed audience. If you are attending the conference or are willing to make the trip to Fort Wayne, we would be immensely grateful to see you in the audience.
We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Don, without whom none of this would have been possible. His vision and dedication continue to inspire us, and we are determined to carry on his legacy through our music and performances.
And even though a couple of the Tuba’s had conflicts and couldn’t make the section, they opted to meet on their own the day after.