Salem youth plays with NY Staff Band

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Daniel Summers, a 15-year-old cornetist from the Salem Citadel, Oregon Corps, recently represented the Western Territory at the New York Staff Band’s first Future All-Stars Weekend.

The highlight of the weekend was the Staff Band’s 117th Annual Festival, which was a showcase for many fine young musicians from the U.S. and Canada, who joined with the band to present a musical program giving evidence of the promising future of brass banding in The Salvation Army.

The inaugural Future All-Stars Weekend was limited to fewer than 40 invitees, ages 14-18,who gathered for a weekend of fellowship and instruction from Staff Band principal players and others. Each had to provide audition tapes for consideration. All U.S. territories and Canada were represented.

The spirit of the young people, as well as their musical ability, was impressive. “I had a sense that they really wanted to be there,” said Major Thomas Mack, longest serving member of the band. “They seemed energized to produce the best possible music for the Lord.”

In addition to his corps band Daniel plays with his school’s bands and the Salem Youth Symphony. He went to New York as one of just 33 young musicians. Of three rows of cornets, Daniel sat in the first row, third chair of soloists.

He has already been offered a space at next year’s performance, and this time he won’t have to audition.

A friend introduced Daniel and his family to the Army, suggesting that the Army would help Daniel with his musical growth. Since then, the family have all become senior soldiers.

“The thing I like about The Salvation Army is that everyone there is into it,” Daniel said. “A lot of people are afraid of talking about God or they don’t care enough,” he continued, “but it’s not that way at the Army.”

When he was in New York, Daniel was encouraged to work with even younger musicians. Now he is starting a beginning band at the Salem Citadel Corps, and he plans to teach band as a career. He’s also looking forward to performing again next year at the Future All-Stars Weekend.

 

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