Christ Triumphs Over Evil
by Cadet Amy Reardon –
Joy Webb’s musical, “Christus Victor,” held a crowd of thousands captive on Saturday night as they viewed the struggle between good and evil–a story ranging from the original sin to the passion of Jesus to the battles of 20th Century Salvationists in countries at war.
Premiered by the College for Officer Training, Christus Victor was a celebration of battles already fought and won, and a glimpse of the day when Christ will crush the serpent’s head once and for all.
In carrying out this theme, dancers of darkness and of light wove their way through portrayals of humankind at war with evil. These spirit world forces were led by the Power of Darkness and the Spirit of Light. Said composer/librettist Major Joy Webb (R): “The Spirit of Light represents God’s touch in the world–his presence, as against Satan’s stranglehold. The Power of Darkness, of course, represents evil.”
The audience was particularly moved by vignettes from lives of Lt. Colonel Check Yee (R), Captain Kelly Pontsler and Brigadier Josef Korbel (R), well known and much loved in this territory. In each one’s story, the love and power of God were shown to overcome evil. The impact of these scenes was only magnified by the attendance of Yee and Pontsler at the event. (Failing health prevented Brigadier Korbel from attending).
The fast-paced musical involved a cast of 125, including cadets and staff officers, and their children. A pit chorus and band was made up of local Army musicians. Webb flew in from England to direct the production personally. She said she wrote this musical specifically for the Great Victory Congress, “not so much to emphasize the victories of The Salvation Army, but to declare the victory of Christ in the world.” That victory was unmistakable in the last scene when Jesus defeated the Power of Darkness to strains of “Through him that loves us, we shall overcome.”