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