November 28, 2009
Filed under Features
When saxophonist Steven Cross, 51, got to play the National Anthem at a sold-out Chargers game, he knew: His life had changed.
He dug himself out of a hole where he was once trapped without a job, car or home. Despite the losses he endured, he held onto his faith and music, which had always gone hand in hand.
The son of a Baptist pastor, Cross remembers when at a young age, his father told him and his siblings, “I’m going to have music in my church,” and ordered each one of his children to select an instrument to learn. Cross’ first choice was the piano, but he would ultimately be overruled by his brother and left with a saxophone.
“This horn changed my life,” Cross said.
Then Rito Arciaga of the San Diego Chargers’ outreach team and the Time Out band heard Cross play at the Chula Vista shopping center on H Street. That eventually led to new friendships with Time Out band members Dick Lewis and Arciaga.
Today he uses the two gifts that had carried him through tougher times to help others who are struggling.