“Seize the Day”
International Staff Band tours Western Territory March 26-April 4, 2010.
Much has changed in the 11 years since the International Staff Band (ISB) last visited the West. One thing that has remained, however, is the desire that our Salvationists should be exposed to the finest Salvation Army groups available. The visit of the International Staff Band generated a great deal of anticipation and excitement throughout the territory and every concert venue was sold out. Approximately 7,000 were present to hear the ISB as they shared the gospel through music.
The band is reputed to be the Salvation Army’s premier brass band. Those who heard them were left in no doubt that this statement is true.
One of the band’s regular roles is to review and record music that is then considered for publication. We were fortunate to hear a lot of that music included in their programs. It is exciting that in this day and age Salvationist composers still give their music to The Salvation Army for publication and see it as a love offering to God.
Tustin Ranch and Pasadena, California
From the opening sounds of the ISB’s first chord to the final amen there was no doubt that this group of Salvationist musicians was in fine form. They thrilled listeners with their artistry, with the volume and magnitude of sound and sensitivity in emotion, pulling the listener along in a musical journey. Throughout the weekend Bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb provided variety in musical styles from the band, and emphasized the band’s purpose of glorifying God.
Having heard the ISB on many occasions, I find it hard to put into words the musical excellence that they bring to the Army; however, I continue to be amazed and appreciative of the dedication of these people. The members of the ISB—all volunteers—not only give their service to this group, but are also role models in their own corps. Nearly all of them hold local officer positions at their home corps, and set examples of servant leadership on a weekly basis. They are true Salvationists!
The band plays with dignity, poise and pride, because these men and women are proud to belong to The Salvation Army and have a deep faith in God that they willingly share through their spoken and musical testimony.
There were many musical highlights, including the energy and excitement of “Vitae Aeternum” at the conclusion of the Sunday service at the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps. But for me the highlight of the weekend was the sensitive and sweet playing of the devotional music on Sunday morning as the ISB ushered the congregation into the presence of the Lord.
The visit of the ISB to the Southwest Division began on Monday morning, March 29, with the groundbreaking for the Kroc center on the site of the Phoenix South Mountain Corps. Commissioner Philip Swyers attended, and the band played at the beginning and conclusion of the festivities, as well as providing “link” music. ISB members were pleased to be involved in this program, having heard about Mrs. Kroc’s generosity to The Salvation Army.
The evening concert took place at the Tempe Center for the Arts, a new facility on the banks on the Rio Salado. The concert—played to a packed house—provided the best of the new music that the ISB introduces to the Army band world. The enthusiastic audience responded with seven standing ovations! Soloists were Kevin Ashman (cornet), Richard Woodrow (flugel horn) and Derick Kane (euphonium). When asked about his practice schedule, Kane disappointed one young euphonium student by stating that he still practices around two hours a day!
Particularly well received was Philip Wilby’s “Paganini Variations.” Southwest Divisional Music Director Ralph Pearce was surprised and delighted to be invited to lead his trombone ensemble, “There is a Redeemer.” The triumphant evening of music ended with an encore—the appropriately named march, “Praise.”
Las Vegas, Nev.
Prior to the March 30 concert in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Corps Young People’s Band (with its 25 members) performed in the corps lobby. Every ISB member came to hear them. ISB Bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb conducted the youth band, as well as their leader, Pete Cooper. They also played two pieces by Derick Kane, who led them—resplendent in a Las Vegas YP band shirt. Many of the ISB members were heard to say, “I wish I had a YP Band like that at my corps!” During the concert the youth band was acknowledged and presented with an ISB CD, as was Lt. Colonel Jim Sullivan who made the local arrangements.
The ISB presented “Paganini Variations,” along with lighter items such as “Lightwalk” and “Ask,” (appropriate in Las Vegas with its references to “Mambo #5” by Las Vegas entertainers Lou Bega and Perez Prado). Soloists were Carl Neilson (cornet), Andrew Justice (trombone). Again Derick Kane delighted the audience with two euphonium solos.
Local TV personality, FOX 5’s Monica Jackson, was on hand to lead the band in the William Gordon march “Heavenward,” using the provided pink fluffy baton—a device not used by Bandmaster Cobb! The playing of “There is a Redeemer,” with a moving video presentation, led to a devotional by Lt. Colonel David Hinton, the band’s executive officer. The evening finished with Ray Farr’s exciting arrangement of the JS Bach “Toccata.”
Oakland and Sacramento, Calif.
Only 90 minutes after their arrival and a hastily consumed lunch, the ISB was leading a Parade of Witness and open-air meeting in downtown Oakland—just the beginning of two busy days in the Del Oro Division. The band maintained the highest quality and witness as they played at three early morning television stations, an outdoor concert at the California State Capitol and two sold-out concerts in Oakland and Sacramento.
To a combined audience of over 3,000, the ISB wowed the crowd with an immense variety of music, combining individual musical excellence into two evenings of music that clearly conveyed the beauty of Christ and his love. The audiences gave many standing ovations. Euphonium soloist Derick Kane’s playing of “Canaan’s Land,” a solo written especially for him by composer Peter Graham, was a demonstration of musicianship at its finest.
While the performances had many highlights, the playing of “Paganini Variations” (Philip Wilby) stood out as an amazing experience for both the performers and listeners. It was refreshing to have the band here with their positive and humble attitudes, sharing their love for Christ and their exceptional music talent.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
The ISB arrived at a snowy and very cold Spokane airport looking slightly weary, with just 45 minutes to get some rest on the journey to the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Coeur d’Alene. Upon arriving, band members revived considerably as they viewed the impressive facility.
After preparing the stage for the concert that evening, the band split into two groups for a tour through the center. Afterwards many of them took the opportunity to use the hot tubs and pool. Soon it was time for the main event.
The band marched down the aisle looking sharp in their red tunics. From the very first note of “Montclair Citadel,” listeners knew they were in for a musical feast. From the lighter music to the more serious, the audience loved it, and the sound in the worship theater was fabulous. Throughout the concert it was clear that the ISB is more than just a superb musical ensemble—they are in the business of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ!
The International Staff Band concluded their tour of the Western Territory with a concert in the Seattle area and joined the Seattle Temple Corps for Easter Sunday, sharing in worship through music and fellowship.
In the Edmonds Center for the Arts, just north of Seattle, the ISB joined with local Salvation Army corps bands and other musicians for a massed rehearsal. Bandmaster Stephen Cobb gave intensive direction to two groups. The afternoon included a workshop led by euphonium player Derick Kane, who demonstrated the benefits of disciplined practice and stressed the importance of music as ministry. It was an once-in-a-lifetime experience for the participants.
That evening a capacity crowd filled the theater as the band presented a powerful, memorable concert. On Easter Sunday the IBS led the congregation at the Seattle Temple Corps in praise, with congregational hymns and selections celebrating Christ’s resurrection.
During the weekend, Bandmaster Cobb said that he has never had as much passion for Salvation Army banding as he does now. It is clear that brass bands in The Salvation Army are alive and well and still inspire and motivate many. However, good musicianship is not the ISB’s only goal. Their performances show that while music is an essential and effective method of reaching people, their motivation is love for Christ and a desire to spread his love.
The Western Territory—“blessed, inspired and challenged”
“It was a great pleasure for me to travel with the band and I was hugely impressed with their Christian witness. On the plane, in the airport, at the corps and the concert venues I was constantly aware of their interaction with people they came into contact with. In their light blue ISB shirts the band was very conspicuous, but took the opportunity to share about who they were and why they were here with anyone who wanted to know. I even saw a few ISB CDs being given away to interested folks.”
Although the band covered many, many miles and were exhausted when the tour was over, we can confidently say that it was a huge success. Many people heard the gospel message through their playing and were blessed, inspired and challenged.
Thank you members of The International Staff Band, for your excellence and commitment.
Staff Bandmaster – Dr. Stephen Cobb – Hendon
Executive officer – Lt. Colonel David Hinton – THQ
Soprano cornet – Gary Fountain – Kettering
Principal cornet – Kevin Ashman – Maidstone – band secretary
Carl Nielsen – Craydon Citadel
David Purkiss – Derby Central
Paul Sharman – Regent Hall
Ian Wilson – Chelmsford
Martyn Bryant – Bristol Easton
Nicola Redhead – Blackburn
Kevin Coates – Craydon Citadel – band manager
Nigel Hills – Harpenden
Darren Bull – Bexleyheath
Flugel horn – Richard Woodrow – Norwich Citadel
David Winch – Norwich Citadel
Stephen Hanover – Regent Hall
1st horn – Andrew Dickson – Birmingham Citadel
2nd horn – Gary Terrar – Maidenhead
Iain Parkhouse – Croydon Citadel
Darren Willis – Derby Central
2nd baritone – Anthony Smith – Bristol Easton
Derick Kane – Bexleyheath – deputy bandmaster
Jonathan Evans – Chalk Farm
Andrew Justice – Enfield
Lyndon Moorby – Leeds West Hunslet
2nd trombone – Stuart Hall – Maidenhead
Bass trombone – Bradley Turnbull – Leicester South
Michael Calland – Hendon
Carl Woodman – Chatham
Martin Tiplady – Hendon
Trevor Caffull – Croydon Citadel
Stephen Moulton – Hendon
Nathan Cole – Bristol Easton
Christopher House – Norwich Mile Cross
Recordings – Simon Birkett
Blazon – Peter Graham
Daystar – Ray Steadman-Allen
Paganini Variations – Philip Wilby
Purpose – Paul Sharman
Seize the Day – Peter Graham
The Ellacombe Chronicles – James Curnow
The Triumph of Peace – Eric Ball
Turris Fortissima – Steven Ponsford
Variations on a Celestial Theme – Kenneth Downie
Vista – Dean Jones
Vitae Aeternum – Paul Lovatt-Cooper
Ask! – John Larrson arr. Peter Graham
Benedictus – Karl Jenkins arr. Andrew Wainwright
Blessing and Honor – Paul Sharman
Dance Like David – Andrew Mackereth
Ein Feste Burg – Andrew Mackereth
Joshua Fit the Battle – William Gordon
Just Like Juan! – Kevin Larsson
Let Everything Praise! – Martin Cordner
Light-Walk – Barrie Gott
Planet Earth – George Fenton arr. Paul Sharman
Praising – Erik Silfverberg
Psalm of Thanks – Paul Sharman
Rescue Me! – Paul Sharman
Shalom – Erik Silfverberg
The Light Fantastic – Paul Lovatt-Cooper
Toccata in D Minor – J.S. Bach arr. Ray Farr
Wade in the Water – Leonard Ballantine
Heavenward – William Gordon
Praise – Wilfred Heaton
South Shields Celebration – Martin Cordner
Marche Militaire Français – Saint-Saëns arr. Michael Kenyon
Minneapolis IV – Emil Söderström
Montclair Citadel – Stephen Bulla
Garden of the Heart – Terry Camsey
God Has Healed – Lorne Barry
I’ll Walk With God – Nicholas Brodszky arr. Goff Richards
In the Love of Jesus – Kenneth Downie
The Joy of Loving Hearts – Kenneth Downe
Psalm 91 – Stuart Watson
Stars of the Morning – Kenneth Downie
Silent Vigil – Kenneth Downie
St. Francis – William Gordon
St. Theresa – Charles Skinner arr. Peter Graham
The Lord Is Gracious – Darren Bartlett arr. Olaf Ritman
The Power of the Cross – Paul Sharman
Concertante for Cornets and Band – Stephen Bulla
Concertpiece for Cornet – James Curnow
Crossroad – Stephen Bulla
Jubilate! – Arthur Gullidge
The Higher Plane – Stephen Bulla
Bearcroft Bonanza – arr. Richard Phillips
Canaan’s Land – Peter Graham
Home on the Range – Erik Leidzén
In Christ Alone – Keith Getty arr. Richard Phillips
Traveling Along – Chris Mallett
FLUGEL HORN SOLOS
I Surrender All – David Chaulk arr. Andrew Mackereth
So Glad! – William Himes
A Never-Failing Friend – Erik Leidzén
Softly Awakes My Heart – Saint-Saëns trs. Don Morrison
This I Know – Terry Camsey
There Is a Redeemer – Ralph Pearce
When I Survey – Olaf Ritman
Ar Lan Y Môr – Traditional arr. Leigh Baker