TRIBUTE TO OUR LEADER: Gary Borling

Gary Borling was the “founder and driving force” of The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band. He had a persuasive personality and served as a mentor not only for other musicians but also for many beneficiaries of his social work, addiction counseling, and Lutheran Youth Ministry.


Gary was a U.S. Army veteran, serving in Vietnam from 1969-1972. “He spent his life serving others through his church and through his profession as detoxification counselor, addiction counselor, and correctional counselor for the Illinois Department of Corrections.”


 “His passion for vintage brass musical instruments and music led him to form the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band. The band was organized to perform music of the Civil War and to educate the public about the bands, music, and the effect of music in this era. Through his leadership of this group it became known throughout the country.”


Gary was known for playing “one mean alto horn, but he also performed many other band related duties of such herculean proportions, one was humbled in his presence.”


Although “Our Leader” lost his battle with lung cancer on November 17, 2000, his legacy lives on in the lives of his family, his band, and his friends. “As well as being a band member, he was our friend, and we shall miss him.”


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