The Year 2000 brought Gary’s “dream come true”. The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band was invited to provide music for its first national re-enactment at Wilson’s Creek, near Springfield, Missouri. The weather did not co-operate very well. And band members found themselves tackling a very large, very muddy hill under very dark conditions after the ball. With one small flashlight for all of us, we held our instruments tightly and promised ourselves that we would sacrifice our bodies if need be to protect them.
Another highlight of 2000 was a trip to Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, Kentucky for the “greatest assembly of Civil War Bands since the Grand Review in 1865”. Fourteen bands from all around the country were invited to participate and share ideas with one another. The guest conductor for the event was the legendary conductor, Dr. Frederick Fennell, who is said to be the FIRST to make a recording of Civil War era songs on period instruments while serving as a music professor at Eastman University.
The sad part of this year was that our beloved Gary lost his battle with lung cancer. Thirty-Third Band members played at his funeral side by side with many of his friends from the First Brigade Band of Wisconsin. Assembling our second CD, “A Tribute to Our Leader” was the band’s way of honoring Gary Borling, its founder.