15 April 2021
Dear Brothers in Song:
It’s my sad duty to tell you that our beloved friend and maestro, Bruce McInnes, died this evening at 7:49.
As I mentioned on our call a week ago, Bruce had had a tough ordeal during January and February. He enjoyed a bit of a respite back home. But various problems conspired to send him back to the hospital about two weeks ago. Peter Berton and Tommy Dunne spent time with Bruce shortly before he died. They were glad to report that he was engaged, funny, eager to listen to the compilation Peter had made of some of his and our musical triumphs, and full of good memories. As I had indicated earlier based on my own conversations with Bruce, he was ready to go. Bruce had been burdened in all sorts of ways these past several years. His work with all of us and the relationships forged over many years helped to sustain him. There was nothing of which he was prouder than the way he changed our lives and the audiences who benefitted from the magic he helped us make together.
I have said often over the years how grateful I have been to have had Bruce as a mentor and friend. There have been plenty of occasions when many of us have expressed our gratitude and love for him. Bruce affirmed my own life of teaching and music making and, in that regard, I could not have had a better role model. In our work in schools and colleges and beyond, we hope to transform students’ lives. That was Bruce’s lifelong passion and his lifelong gift to all of us.
I will let you know over the next few days what plans there are to celebrate Bruce. I expect there will be a small funeral in Weld and then, appropriately, an opportunity for all of us to gather to remember and honor Bruce with plenty of music at some future date. Pray for the repose of his soul. And now he will “steal away home.”