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Las Vegas presents–the WTB!

Western Territorial Band shares its ministry in Las Vegas.

Hilary Lyons and Captain Matt Madsen play a cornet duet: “Quicksilver” by Peter Graham.

Led by Territorial Music Secretary Neil Smith, the Western Territorial Band (WTB) visited Las Vegas January 8-10 for a weekend of preparation and ministry. Las Vegas Citadel hosted the band, supported by Clark County Coordinators Majors Bob and Rhonda Lloyd, Corps Officers Captains Robert and Anna Jamison, and Major Mike Olsen.

On Saturday, the band worked with the members of the Y.P. band under the direction of Y.P Bandmaster Pete Cooper. Blessed by the spirit, enthusiasm, and skill of the young people, the WTB valued the opportunity to “pay forward” years of formative Christian encouragement and instruction that they had received in the past.

A large and appreciative audience attended the evening concert. From the starting beat to the closing benediction, the band presented a diverse and engaging program, offering moments of jubilation and reflection. Soloists included Bandmaster Kevin Larsson (Torrance) on trombone and Songster Leader Susan Pierce (Concord) with a vocal selection, and a cornet duet from Captain Matt Madsen (Long Beach) and Hil Lyons (Seattle). Also featured was the premier of an exciting work by Kevin Larsson, “Lord of All,” a set of symphonic variations on the tune “Slane.”

The actual highlight of the evening, however, was the participation of the beginning and Y.P. bands of Las Vegas Citadel. Joining side-by-side with WTB members, their spirited and quality performances garnered a standing ovation.

On Sunday morning, the band worshiped at Las Vegas Citadel. Among others, residents of the Adult Rehabilitation Program gave powerful testimonies to the work of the Lord in their lives. Lt. Colonel Ron Strickland, the band’s executive officer, delivered thought-provoking messages on God’s love and God’s grace.

The testimony of the weekend in Las Vegas—with all the glitz and glamour the city offers—is perhaps best represented by the text of a cornet solo offered on Sunday morning by band member John Opina:

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be his than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by his nail-pierced hand.


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