the fall of 1998, Frank Hilligas and Jim Fady were playing in the
trumpet section of the Colorado College Concert Band and
were talking about how great it would be to start a brass band
in Colorado Springs. They began networking with fellow brass players
to see if there was an interest. Carl
Vail and Mel Graner joined the effort and learned that noted conductor
and composer, Paul Curnow was moving to the area.
Paul previously conducted the Rocky Mountain Brassworks, a fine
brass band located in Denver, and it was easily agreed that gaining
his expertise to help develop and lead the new brass band was of the
In November 1998,
the four founding members presented their plan to Paul over lunch,
persuading him to assume the conductorís position. It was decided
that rehearsals would begin in January if the founding members could
assemble the required personnel. They
worked diligently to recruit quality brass and percussion players and
the band had its first rehearsal in January 1999,
squeezing into Mel Granerís music store in Colorado Springs.
In March 1999,
The Fountain Creek Brass Band invited
to join the group as the associate conductor.
She was able to make arrangements for the band to rehearse at
Colorado Springs Christian School (CSCS). In April of 1999 the group
moved from Melís store to CSCS and continues to rehearse at CSCS
Creek Brass Band presented its first concert on June 17, 1999, at Soda
Springs Park in Manitou Springs and the band still performs an annual
summer series at that location. The
band's first formal concert was October 17, 1999, at Sunrise United
Methodist Church. In
addition to presenting their own concerts, The Fountain Creek Brass
Band has shared concerts with a number of bands in the area.
In keeping with the founding characteristic of supporting
musical education, The Fountain Creek Brass Band has given clinics and
performed joint concerts with multiple youth organizations including
many Castle Rock Middle Schools, the Tri-Peaks League Honor Band,
Mountain Ridge Middle School, Manitou Springs High School, Coronado
High School Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, Falcon High School, and
Colorado Springs Christian School.
The band has also shared concerts with the Colorado College
Concert Band, University of Southern Colorado Wind Symphony, The Rocky
Mountain Brassworks, The Golden Eagle Brass Band, and The Little
In 2002, a new
job took Paul Curnow away to California and he conducted his final
concert with The Fountain Creek Brass Band on May 5, 2002.
Fortunate to have a talented Associate Conductor, Debbie Baker
assumed the principal conductor's role, leading The Fountain Creek
Brass Band into the future without missing a beat.
Since its founding, The
Fountain Creek Brass Band has maintained high musical standards for
all of its members. These standards have infused the band with new
talent, helping it to evolve into a truly outstanding representative
of British brass music.
Debra Hilligas, 2007
Summer 1999: First
concert at Soda Springs Park. Across the front (left to right) is
Jeremiah Fowler, Frank Hilligas, Paul Curnow, Carl Vail, & Chris Welch.
27 April 2000: Paul Curnow conducting the combined FCBB and middle school kids.
December 1999: Christmas concert at First Christian Church.
Summer 2000: First
of many 4th of July concerts at the Rock Ledge Ranch .
Summer, 2000: Summer Series
Concert at Soda Springs. Carl Vail and Buddy Laws preparing to play a duet.
Becky & Paul Curnow and Debbie Baker
at Paul's farewell concert in May 2002.