Portsmouth Citadel joins Rose Parade

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Kevin Larsson (l), Southern California divisional music director, marches with The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band on January 1, 2002.

Two hundred Salvation Army musicians from across the United States, joined by the Portsmouth Citadel Band from the UK Territory, marched down Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Day in an uplifting witness of God’s love.

The visiting band participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade with band members from the Southern California Division and across the US. The musicians came together for one week; they rehearsed, fellowshipped and then marched together to form this incredible outreach.

Leading the band was Bandmaster David Mallett. Many will remember him as one of the guest conductors at WMI two years ago. He is also the brother of the late Bandmaster Chris Mallett, who was Southern California Divisional Music Director until his promotion to Glory in June 2000.

After traveling to San Diego on Dec. 27, the visiting band returned to Los Angeles on Saturday, Dec. 29, and performed at Torrance that evening. The next day they conducted the morning service there and then held an evening concert in Santa Ana. They presented a New Year’s Eve celebration at Tustin Ranch. After the parade on New Year’s Day, they traveled to the Del Oro Division for a couple of days before returning home to the UK.

The Salvation Army has been participating in the Tournament of Roses for 83 consecutive years. Many years ago, a huge storm hit the parade and the Army was the only band to finish. Ever since that day, there has been an open invitation for the band’s participation and the Army band is now one of only four bands that marches every year.

The band has changed since its first Tournament of Roses parade. In the beginning it was based in Pasadena; now it is an international group. While a large proportion of the band comes from Southern California, the division invites two band members from each of the 56 divisions of the United States and Canada as well as the guest band.

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