New recording coming soon... "War and Peace"

by Brad Rowland (Percussion section)

The Southern Territorial Band will be releasing a new album entitled "War and Peace" later this Spring, and the ensemble recently spent a jam-packed weekend together recording the repertoire. The band spent a handful of days at the Atlanta Temple Corps in producing the music required to fill such an album with the help of Grammy Award winning producer Phil Bulla and renowned Salvation Army music enthusiast Dr. Ron Holz.

The weekend began on Thursday, Feb. 11 with extended rehearsal in preparation for tracking. Preparation such as this is, of course, essential to putting together the best product possible, and the band hit the ground running with focus and attention on the music. By the end of day one, the band was already beginning to record pieces and that production laid the groundwork for the weekend to come. 

Both Friday and Saturday were spent in exhaustive recording, as the band featured prominent works from Leslie Condon and Eric Ball, in addition to pieces written by members of the band including Andrew Barrington, Dr. Steve Kellner and Bandmaster Nick Simmons-Smith. By the end of the afternoon on Saturday, the album was fully completed thanks to the work of all involved, and that allowed the band to pack up and in preparation for Sunday morning worship in the unique venue of the Columbus, GA corps. 

On Sunday, the band featured prominently in the service, including a performance from the Southern Territorial Praise team that energized the congregation. Among the highlights of the morning was a cornet solo played by Jeff Barrington, as he ministered to all by beautifully illustrating the message of courage through a piece written by his older brother. The meeting was attended by various members of the Columbus Advisory Board, and the congregation and band joined in singing "And Can It Be" to the glorious festival arrangement penned by William Himes at the close of the service. 

In totality, this was a unique and inspired weekend of ministry, both in the present and for the future. The notes and, more importantly, the message by the notes recorded on the upcoming album will serve as a vehicle for worship for years to come, and the opportunity for ministry in a new venue in Columbus was cherished greatly by the band. 

Atlanta Temple 125

The Territorial band recently took part in a wonderful weekend celebrating the 125 year Anniversary of the Atlanta Temple corps. 

The band was featured with the Territorial Songsters on Friday night at a 'Festival of Praise.' A lively program included "Fanfare of Praise" (Redhead), Cornet feature "Heralds of Victory" (Holz), "The Triumph of Peace" (Ball) and an energetic new composition by former Atlanta Temple soldier Dr. Steven Kellner - "Mighty Fortress."   Steve also delighted the congregation with an exquisite performance of William Himes' Euphonium solo: "Journey into Peace."

Saturday morning included massed band rehearsals with alumni of Atlanta Temple band.  Special guest James Curnow and former Territorial Bandmaster Dr. Richard Holz led the proceedings.  It is worth noting that bandsmen and women of Atlanta Temple Corps have also been members of the Territorial band over many years. 

Saturday evening's Festival of Thanksgiving included music from the Alumni band: "Light of the world", "Crown of Conquest", "How sweet the name", and the alumni Songsters - Commissioner Kellner conducting his classic arrangement; "All for Thee."

The second half of the program featured music composed by Atlanta Temple soldiers past and present.   The Territorial Songsters featured Chris Priest's "Wonderful Healer" and a new composition by Robert Snelson "Psalm 24".   The band played an arrangement of "All for Thee" by Commissioner Kellner's son, Dr. Steven Kellner; a specially written selection by James Curnow "Sing for Joy" featuring songs of one time Atlanta Temple soldier Sidney Cox; and  a cracking new march by Andrew Barrington: "Atlanta Temple 125."

The concert concluded with James Curnow's "Great Salvation War" aided by the Territorial Songsters and a multi media presentation including video and images from the Atlanta Temple corps history. 

The Territorial band joined forces with Atlanta Temple band on Sunday morning in a wonderful celebratory Holiness meeting including Curnow's "Guardian of our way" and concluding with "O Boundless Salvation" and Bill Gordon's "God be with you 'till we meet again."

It was a wonderful weekend to be part of, honoring the past and firmly looking forward to the future.  Some of the music featured during the weekend will be recorded on the Territorial band's next CD: War in Peace - due for release in May 2016. 

Past, present, future

Forgive us if the news on this website comes along like buses.   Nothing for a while, and then lots of information on current events.   I will try to do better at keeping you informed!

I wanted to look back at Commissioning weekend, held in Atlanta, Ga (June) - where the band was featured heavily.   We continued our season repertoire - Triumph of Peace; Good Old Way; Salvation's Song; Let everything praise; Glory, Glory; and inserted Heralds Of Victory.  We also included Ralph Pearce's delightful devotional piece: "Grace."   With the new Lieutenants coming from the "Heralds of Grace" session it was appropriate to include as many songs about Grace and Heralds as possible.   Since there were not many songs about Heralds, we dusted down our Herald Fanfare Trumpets for several congregational songs. 

This month (July 2015) we are guests at the Territorial Music Institute (TMI) held at the magnificent Camp Hoblitzelle, in Midlothian, Texas.   The band will present a concert program (including many of our greatest hits from this season) and lead worship on Saturday morning (TMI operates on a strange daily schedule!)   The band will set the standard and model good Salvationism, musicality and Christian witness.   I am delighted that recently a couple of Territorial Youth members have been promoted to the STB to help us out: Scott Goodier, Lousson Smith, and Rudy Gassant. I know they will enjoy the opportunity. 

TMI celebrates 75 years since its inception.  So many great musicians and leaders have been developed at TMI, and gone on to lead music programs in the South.  One member of the band will be retiring - Major Terry Israel. He has been a faithful member of the band for many years.  He has given sterling service in the back row cornets, but perhaps more notably, has served as Band Sergeant and general comedian! (Every band has one)  I am indebted to his role in lifting the esprit d'corps on many occasions during my leadership. 

Next season will see the band record another CD - "War and Peace" is the working title.  We will also participate in a North American Brass Spectacular gathering in Long Beach, California - featuring all 5 of the North American "Staff" Bands: Canadian Staff, Chicago Staff, New York Staff, Western Territorial Staff, and Southern Territorial band.  It should be a great event.  Many more details to come...

God Bless!

On our way to the Mountains

The Red coats are coming....  Not the British, but the Territorial Band of the Salvation Army.   We are headed to Charleston, WV for a few busy days of ministry.   The band gets together only a few times are year, so these days are precious - it also means rehearsals have to be focused and efficient.   We play our fist notes together as a band on Thursday morning - by the end of the day we will have played our first concert - with new members in the group and new repertoire to learn.   It is a small miracle!

We are delighted to be in Charleston, WV.  Area Commanders Majors Kingsbury have worked incredibly hard on this visit, and are thrilled to have the band.   We are also accompanied by the Creative Arts Ensemble who will add their own high standard performances and color to the weekend.   Majors Kingsbury have designed a very busy schedule - 2 concerts, 4 outdoor ministry concerts, and 2 Church services on Sunday morning!  Wives and husbands of the band - this is not a vacation weekend!

It's always good to get together and see one another.  We are all incredibly busy in our own Divisions and Corps, and the fellowship in the band is very special.   We welcome back to the band Lars-Otto Ljungholm (solo cornet) and Chris Welch (Percussion).  Both are outstanding musicians, and are now Salvation Army Officers (Pastors) as well.   We are pleased to welcome Clarence White (1st Trombone) and Tom Hanton (Euphonium) to the band.  These two outstanding musicians have just moved to the Southern Territory and we welcome them to the band. 

 

I imagine you look around at the world in these days and despair.  Trouble in Syria, Iraq, Israel. Trouble in Ukraine, Russia, Georgia.  World health epidemics, protests in China, protests in America.... These are difficult days to live in.   We cry out for a God of Peace to end the turmoil and war that ravages our world.   The band will be focusing on the message of Peace this weekend.   One of my favorite Salvation Army brass band compositions is "The Triumph of Peace" written, ironically, just before the outbreak of World War II.  That war was, in a way, inevitable - but Eric Ball crafted a piece of music that spoke not only of the turmoil and terror of our world, but the hope we might have.   He included his own setting of John Oxenham's hymn: "Peace in our time, O Lord" which is not only a beautiful melody, but married  perfectly to lyrics that resonate with us.   We will also be using Ball's "Serenity" a classic meditation featuring "When peace like a river..".  Ken Downie's "In perfect peace" will be featured as a benediction, and the band will sing Erik Leidzen's "Peace, perfect peace". It is always a special treat to hear the band sing.

We are glad you are following the band on our website.  If you are within driving distance to West Virginia, come and join us.  I can recommend the massed band (3 bands) concert on Saturday night at the Scottish Rite Temple if you find yourself with nothing to do on a Saturday evening. 

No doubt there will soon be a report of the weekend on this webpage soon!   God Bless. 

Nick Simmons-Smith, Bandmaster

Would you like to join the Territorial Band?

If you're interested in joining the Territorial Band for the 2014-2015 season, audition information is now available. The deadline for submitting video auditions is July 15, so start working on them now. Detailed audition information can be found here: 

Brass

Percussion

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact Bandmaster Nick Simmons-Smith.

May God bless you!

Postcard from sunny Florida

It was good for the band to get together for a weekend in Florida recently.   For many band members, it was good just to get away from some awful winter weather in Northern parts of the Territory!

The Band, as always, was on a tight schedule of rehearsals, performances, and travel.  We got off to the perfect start on Thursday, when we locked the key to the truck (with all our equipment) inside the cab! I won't mention who was at fault, but I am grateful for Bernie Dake for driving the truck that weekend. 

The band was privileged to have Brian Bowen conduct a portion of Thursday's rehearsal.  Brian comes with tremendous experience - as New York Staff Bandmaster and as a composer and editor for many publications inside and outside the Salvation Army.   He took us through "Praise" (Heaton), "The Last Amen" (Graham), and his own composition "City of God" - a delightful treatment of the song 'Marching to Zion.'   We are grateful to Brian for driving through a tornado warning to be with us!

We had the pleasure of playing a short concert for the Eastern Territory retired Salvation Army Officers, after a pleasant lunch. 

Friday evening featured the band in concert with the Territorial Songsters and Creative Arts Ensemble.   The band commenced the concert with Stephen Bulla's "Praise Him" a great opener for any festival.  "The Last Amen" was featured as well as a duet with dancer Kaitlyn Hardiman: "Shepherd Song" (Goff Richards).  A spritely version of "Down to the river to pray" (Fernie) returned folks to their seats after a brief interval.    The band, songsters, and creative arts all combined for a glorious finale "They shall come from the east" (Larsson) written especially for the Southern Territorial band. This moving collaboration will also be featured at Commissioning later this year.   "Praise" and an impromptu encore of "Celebration" concluded the concert that was well-received by all those present. 

Saturday included a morning worship service featuring "In Christ Alone" (Dr. Steve Kellner, Euphonium Soloist), and an outdoor concert in Lakeland, FL that was well-attended by members of the community and corps. 

The band supported the Territorial Commander (Commissioner Donald Bell) on Sunday morning by playing among other things, "For our transgressions" (Calvert).   Members of the band also formed a praise team, as well as providing uplifting songs for worship. 

It was a good weekend for all concerned and we hope the folk of Florida were blessed, inspired, and challenged.  We certainly enjoyed a warm reception.

Smoky Mountain reflections..

 

Fond memories of a great weekend tour. Thanks to the band for working hard, playing well, and for the fun and fellowship of 4 days together. Thanks to our hosts Roman Festival Brass (Don Robinson) & Jericho Brass (Frank Hale, Dan Bowles) & to Dwight Wages (Crossville/Fairfield Glade) for all your help. 

A busy few days for the band: Rehearsal on Wednesday afternoon, including sectionals, then off to Rome, GA for further rehearsals at Berry college.  Our repertoire was 100% fresh, so not long to get everything polished for performance.   An enjoyable concert with Roman Festival Brass on Thursday evening, followed by a day in Fairfield Glade, TN - playing back to back packed concerts.   Really enjoyed meeting the folk of Fairfield (sold quite a lot of CD's too...).  Billeted in church members homes that night.

Saturday included an open air in Chattanooga, a visit to the aquarium, and a joint concert with Jericho Brass.  Lots of fun playing massed items with Jericho.  

Sunday at First Baptist Church in Chattanooga - a Cathedral-like sanctuary.  

Playing highlights included: "Praise Him" (Bulla) , "Shepherd Song" (Richards), Jamie Hood's rendition of "Standing on the Promises" (Court), "The Last Amen" (Graham)  , "Lightwalk" (Gott), a swing arrangement of "Down to the River to Pray" (Fernie), the classic "For our transgressions" (Calvert), Dr. Steve Kellner Euphonium solo; "In Christ Alone" (Phillips), and finishing most concerts with "Praise" (Heaton) and then "The Day Thou Gavest" (Wilby). 

We hope and pray that lives were changed and blessed because of our visit to the Smoky Mountains. 

Nick

Derick Kane with the Territorial Band

 International Staff Bandsman and world-class Euphonium soloist Derick Kane joined the Territorial Band during the recent USA South Commissioning weekend.  

Derick thrilled audiences with "The Better World" (Bearcroft), "Travelling Along" (Mallett), "In Christ Alone" (Phillips), and his own composition: "That's the spirit" written for his son, Stephen.  

Derick leads the finale on Saturday night: "Crown Him with many crowns"

Derick leads the finale on Saturday night: "Crown Him with many crowns"

Derick was kind enough to play with the band on all our engagements and conduct the band  in "The Proclaimers" (Norbury), "Celebration" (Condon),  "The Ambassadors" (Graham), and rehearse "Daystar" (Steadman-Allen). 

Derick also took the time to judge the Southern Territorial Singing Company competition, lead rehearsals with Florida youth band and the Territorial Songsters.  

We thank Derick for a great weekend.

 

New STB Recording! Beautiful Savior: Songs of Praise and Adoration

Bandmaster Nicholas Simmons-Smith's first CD with the Southern Territorial Band is a wonderful blending of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in band arrangements that represent three generations of Salvationist composers. The repertoire ranges from band classics such as the late Commissioner Dean Goffin's setting of the hymn tune "Aurelia," "The Light of the World," through James Curnow's psalm like "Hallelujah," and moving through Eric Alexander's "New Orleans Street Beat" "Lord, Lord, You've Sure Been Good to Me."

This recording also features a series of devotions written by Captain Michael Harris based on each piece. This can be viewed online HERE.