Fountain Creek Brass Band    

In 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 utmost priority.

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 Debbie Baker 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 today.

The Fountain 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 London Winds.

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.

Author: Debra Hilligas, 2007



Historic Band Pictures

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


1999: First formal concert


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.


May 2002: Becky & Paul Curnow and Debbie Baker 
at Paul's farewell concert in May 2002.




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