A “Celebration of Voices and Brass”

Pasadena Tabernacle Corps’ Thanksgiving concert

by Laura Foley –

The Pasadena Tabernacle band and Western Territorial Songsters perform during the Thanksgiving concert.

Sounds of joy and praise resounded as the Pasadena Tabernacle Band (Bandmaster William Flinn) presented its annual Thanksgiving concert—“A Celebration of Voices and Brass”—featuring a variety of sacred, classical and popular music. A capacity audience shared in the musical ministry of the band, which has represented The Salvation Army extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad for 116 years.

The Western Territorial Songsters, led by Territorial Music Secretary Neil Smith, joined in the performance as the band’s guest. Vocalists from around the territory comprise this group, which meets three times per year to rehearse and share its ministry in corps throughout the West.

Highlights punctuated the evening, starting with the band’s opening piece, the Allegro from “Music for the Royal Fireworks,” an arrangement of Handel’s masterpiece. The Territorial Songsters ignited a feeling of jubilation with Mark Hayes’ “Psalm of Celebration,” followed by principal cornetist Martin Hunt’s presentation of the cornet solo, “Golden Slippers.” Hunt was also commended for 10 years of service as the corps’ songster leader.

The first half concluded with the Songsters offering the classic “Hallelujah” by Ludwig von Beethoven, and the band presenting “Ad Optimum—to the Highest,” a difficult Peter Graham number. Both songs brought out the need to send our hallelujahs “ad optimum”—to the Highest.

The second half of the concert recognized our Salvation Army heritage and mission through the festival march “True Colours,” by Niels Silfverberg. Before the piece began, Ivor Bosanko played the choruses “Yellow Star and Red and Blue” and “Keep the old Flag Flying” as Flinn highlighted the mission of The Salvation Army and its musical ministries. A tribute to veteran servicemen included a contemporary arrangement of “America the Beautiful” by William Gordon. The Territorial Songsters’ presentation of John Rutter’s “What Sweeter Music” reminded all of the opportunity to minister through programs The Salvation Army provides throughout the year.

The evening concluded with the vocal selection of Dick Krommenhoek’s “My Life Must Be Christ’s Broken Bread,” by Kenneth Downie, and “I’ll Walk With God,” a musical promise arranged by Goff Richards for brass band. These selections, coupled with Major Cindy Foley’s devotion on the theme of living your life as a blessing to others, reinforced the evening’s theme of celebration.

Bandsman Vimbayi Kaziboni, originally from Zimbabwe, conducted the band in “Concertante for Band, Movt. I,” arranged by Stephen Bulla. Kaziboni is studying percussion at the University of Southern California and is one of the many young musicians at the corps who represent the future generations of music leadership in the Army.

All in attendance came to be blessed by the ministries of voices and brass and were sent off with something much more. A large smile on the face of Bosanko reflected his opinion for the night; he proclaimed, “After a festival like this, it makes you proud to be involved with Salvation Army music and musicians.”

Echoing these thoughts were Jeff Andreason and Heather Melvoin, territorial songsters from the Mesa, Ariz., corps, who recognized that “it was a privilege to come together as musicians of the territory and praise God through music and humble thanksgiving.”

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