Lt. Colonel Henry Alfred "Al" Ward
Years Active in the STB: Started circa 1964. I am uncertain of when I stopped regularly playing in the band. It was probably before the London International Congress in which the band participated, but not by much, since I was asked to return as a substitute for that trip.
Position in the Band: Always on bass, generally Bb.
Favorite SA Piece: Probably one of the old classics, and not the newer ones in which the current emphasis on flashy techniques and volume has superseded the beauty of melody and meaning of lyrics. And one of Morley Calvert’s pieces would be on my list - especially his Canadian Folk Song Suite.
Favorite STB Moment: Running through the park in London pursuing the International Staff Band for the parade into Buckingham Palace.
I am the son of Salvation Army officers from a family rich in Salvation Army musical tradition. My grandfather was an early Salvationist cornet player with the British Southend-on-Sea corps band before our family emigrated to Canada in 1906. He later moved to Miami, FL when the corps advertised in the War Cry for a bandmaster in the 1920s. He was the bandmaster in Miami for over 50 years and the Southern Historical Center has an exhibit on him containing his “Bandmaster” cornet.. My father and mother were also both brass musicians (cornet and euphonium) and featured music throughout their entire officership.
I started playing cornet at music camp in Virginia, but by junior high school I began playing bass. Our corps band in New Orleans was small but consisted of some high quality musicians, such as Warren Fulton and Larry White.
My first experience with the Staff Band was during my last year of high school. I brought a small Dixie Eb bass from New Orleans to Atlanta and joined the group, though I knew little about it except for those members I knew from teenage TMI participation. I was a member for many years until my officership duties prevented full participation. During that time I saw the band grow in musicianship and skills. In the early years the band would practice at the chapel of the Atlanta ARC only for a few days before Commissioning Weekend. There were very few other times the band would get together at that time. There were no other opportunities to play at this level except for the Staff Band.
After attending Emory University for undergraduate work (Chemistry) and a MBA in Management from Georgia State I was commissioned as an officer in 1971. One of my reasons for attending Emory was the influence of Brig. Les Hall and the opportunity to play in the Atlanta Temple corps band. We were corps officers for five years before being appointed to various divisional finance positions in Florida, Texas, ALM, and Florida (again). After being the DS in the Georgia Division for a short time, I was appointed to THQ in “Data Processing” and then as the Territorial Finance Secretary. We went to Australia in the 1990s as the Secretary for Business Administration.. While there I played in the Sydney Congress Hall Band as its first commissioned officer member in 82 years. We returned to the US as the DC in Oklahoma/Arkansas. I became the THQ Secretary for Business Administration in Atlanta for eight years before becoming the Chief Secretary for the Brazil Territory. We returned to the US for a brief appointment before retiring in 2012. During all of this time I have always been a member of the corps band wherever I was stationed.