Change is good.
When The Bridge was born in April of 1980, NABBA founder J. Perry Watson typed and mailed two pages of brass band news and NABBA business to all the members of NABBA. Since then, editors have included Karen Kneeburg, Don Kneeburg, Thomas Myers, Ronald Holz, Colin Holman, Eric Aho, Doug Yeo, and myself. The Bridge has grown from two typed-and-mailed pages to a fully-online quarterly publication with CD and book reviews, in-depth contest reports, high-resolution photos and paid advertising. While Doug Yeo’s 32-page electronic Bridge format has been a beautiful vehicle for NABBA information, I felt it was time for another update.
News travels even faster now. As I edit submissions and lay out issues in the old format, I can click over to Facebook and find myself “scooped” as band members promote their own CDs and concerts. Championships results are announced before I have time to design a PDF Bridge issue. NABBA test pieces are public knowledge before I even get home from our annual Board meetings. I, myself, utilize Facebook to post photos from the contest, knowing that my best photos will be seen and downloaded before I ever publish The Bridge. The format has simply become too slow.
I considered scrapping it altogether. Surely, the job of disseminating NABBA information could be absorbed into our official website; we could use our social media as a public forum for bands to submit their own concert photos and updates. I wasn’t ready for that, yet, either.
The truth is, I adore The Bridge. From my first issue, when I felt powerfully insecure about stepping into the large shoes that Doug left behind, to the recent months of checking my firstname.lastname@example.org account just to see if any bands have contacted me today, I have grown professionally and personally. And it’s time for The Bridge to grow, too. Change is good.
The NEW BrassBandBridge.com will contain the same features as the old, but in an updated format and timely manner. No more waiting two weeks (or more) for the editor to hole up and design a post-contest issue. Contest results will be posted here as soon as they’re available. Photos and reviews will appear when they’re ready, not when they’re ALL ready-submitted-edited-laid out-and-squished into the appropriate column width. Band news and programs for member and non-member bands will be a regular feature. NABBA Presidential messages, CD reviews by Dr. Keith Wilkinson and articles submitted by readers will appear regularly, and our precious sponsors will have up-to-date ads and links.
Most importantly, YOU have options. You can subscribe to this publication and receive updates whenever there is new material. You can share links to articles on Facebook and Twitter. You can comment on our articles–nicely, of course.
The Bridge is no longer a newsletter, and it is no longer a static print publication. It is a living, evolving representation of North American brass bands. Heck, The Brass Band Bridge is older than many of the musicians who perform in bands around the continent. On my watch, it will continue to live and evolve with the bands it serves. Change is good.