Musicians Retreat to Camp Homelani

HAWAII–The Leeward Corps Singing Company, lead by Laura Luttrell-Boyer (l) placed first in the divisional competition. With them is Corps Officer Lieutenant Lisa Smith (r).


by Catherine N. Hayes – 

The Cascade Divisional Brass, Timbrels and Vocal Ensemble were on hand as guests and workshop leaders for the Hawaiian & Pacific Islands divisional musicians’ retreat, held recently at Camp Homelani.

Led by Bandmaster Mark Hall, the band featured cornet soloist Bob Venables from Toronto, Ontario. In open air concerts their upbeat repertoire, often accompanied by the flair of the timbrels, drew record crowds. At the famous Kamehameha School, the teenagers joined in with a familiar piece sung by the vocal ensemble. Several contacts were made with students who might attend the coming music camp and join the corps fellowship.

“It was an outstanding weekend, something this division has needed for a long, long time,” stated Envoy Tim DeCastro, Wahiawa Silvercrest. “We all came away truly blessed.”

A musicians’ retreat, replacing the former music councils, has not occurred in this division in nine years. Nearly 60 musicians from all 15 Hawaiian corps were there. More than half are first-generation Salvationists and new leaders forming brand-new music groups at their corps.

The Saturday evening program featured the Divisional Singing Company competition, with a record eight corps participating, three for the first time. Results were: Hilo Temple, Lila Parong, leader–third place; Kahului, John Paul DeCoite, leader–second place; and Leeward, Laura Luttrell-Boyer, leader, first place. Work-shops encouraged the delegates in conducting, signing and timbrel drill creation; reaching young people through music; selecting music; band, vocal and worship ensemble repertoire, and provided demonstrations of available resources, including song-select software.

The weekend culminated in a special covenant service, under the leadership of guest speaker Major Linda Markiewicz.

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