Happy New Year!

As one often does this time of year, I felt it appropriate to compile my own thoughts and reflections of the events of the past 365 days.  Let’s start with NABBA.  Usually we spend the first few months of the year preparing for the competition in Fort Wayne.  For 2019, we decided to take a break from the competition scene but we did have some who either participated in the solo and ensemble competition or just showed up to take in the event from a spectator’s perspective.  Kudos and congratulations go to our own Rosie Cline for placing 2nd for Flugel/Tenor Horn Slow Melody in the Senior division.  The full results can be found on NABBA’s web site.

Just because we didn’t go to NABBA does not mean we took it easy.  For a change of pace, we focused our resources on attending the Gettysburg Brass Band Festival back in June.  This festival takes place every year at the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg and features brass bands from across the country.  This was a first for us and it was truly an honor to share the stage with so many other fine brass bands.  We hope to get to return at some point in the future.

Every summer, the Greater Greenwood Community Band hosts its annual community band festival which features community bands from across Indiana.  Personally, I always enjoy getting to see the variety of community bands we have in Indiana.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stay for very long because we had another performance that day at the Ethos Arts Festival in Franklin.  This was another first for us this in 2019 and we hope to return for another performance in 2020.

With autumn we are used to seeing the leaves change color here in the Midwest.  With that change we also saw a few changes in our leadership.  I would like to personally welcome and wish the best of luck to the following individuals in their new positions:

  1. Dr. Michael Black – Artistic Director

  2. Chris Lichtler – Principal Cornet

  3. Mike Luzwick – Chairperson

  4. Joe Ervin – Vice-Chairperson

We concluded 2019 with two performances of our Christmas Traditions program in Connersville and Greenwood.  This program consists of holiday favorites that we perform annually as a fundraiser to help us with our operational costs.  Rebecca Cole was gracious enough to return this year as featured soprano vocalist on two songs (Gesu Bambino and Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle).  New for this year we had a joint performance for Howard Lorriman’s Festive Christmas Classics featuring Greenwood UMC’s music director Drew Worthen on organ.  All I can say is you’ve not lived until you’ve experienced brass and organ together.  I hope we get to do something like that again soon.

Now that 2019 has come and gone, I am looking forward to what we will be doing in 2020.  Our schedule is still in the works, but I can say that we are planning on making a return to NABBA this year (budget and available personnel permitting).  Also, it’s very likely we will be performing in at least one community band festival this year.

I would like to close out this first blog post of the year with a call to action.  Doing what we do requires a significant amount of support (financially and in terms of time).  Whether you play or not, we are always looking for motivated individuals willing to help us out.  Feel free to contact us if you are interested in joining us as either a performer or a non-playing volunteer.  We also welcome donations via PayPal to admin@crossroadsbrass.org. We are a 501(c)(3) charity and all donations are tax deductible.

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