Oregon Kids Take Musical on the Road

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“ONLY PEOPLE”–Takes the Cariboo Hill Corps by storm. The new musical by Gowans and Larsson featured young people from the Cascade Division.


by Captain Randall Kinnamon – 

There are people hurting in the world out there. They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

–John Gowans

What do 50 talented young people from Oregon have in common with General-elect John Gowans and Chief of the Staff-elect John Larsson? More than you might think.

The Salvation Army’s Cascade Division recently produced an exciting new musical play, Only People, featuring songs written by John Gowans and John Larsson from musicals spanning more than 30 years. The play depicts the demolition of the old G & L Theater and how Jimbo and his gang of street kids collide with more than the wrecking ball. “Light-Fingered Freddy” sings his way into their hearts while the Captain and her dedicated band of Junior Soldiers share God’s love. The script for Only People was written by Major Barbara Blix and Kate Brighton, youth director from Pendleton, Oregon.

On May 15, 1999, Bill Gordon, former Bandmaster of Pasadena Tabernacle, conducted his own arrangements of John Larsson’s music before a large crowd at the Cariboo Hill Temple Corps in Burnaby, Canada. More than 50 talented young people from Oregon danced, acted, and belted out their well-rehearsed presentation. “We had an exciting evening of ministry,” said Corps Bandmaster Dave Michel. “We loved the choreography, the music, the energy, but most of all, we thank God for the message.”

Besides participation from Salem, Portland Moore Street, Portland Tabernacle, and the Gresham Corps, most of the cast and crew were from rural Oregon including La Grande, Pendleton, The Dalles, Roseburg, Albany, and McMinnville. Youth Director Kate Brighton of Pendleton remarked, “I am so happy that my kids were part of something so wonderful, something they will remember the rest of their lives.”

A video tape is available from Cascade Divisional Music Director Sylvia McCaw. Call (503) 239-1349 or email: SMcCaw@cascadesa.org.

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