Sierra Del Mar performs at Great American Band Festival
by Suzi Lacey –
The Salvation Army Sierra del Mar Divisional Band represented the entire Salvation Army at The Great American Brass Band Festival, June 12-13, 2004 in Danville, Kentucky.
“It’s quite a big honor,” says Divisional Music Director Neil Smith. “This is the nation’s foremost festival of brass band music.” More than 40,000 people from around the globe attended the event in the “Norman Rockwell-like” setting of the Danville Centre College. “Our band marched in a New Orleans-style Jazz Parade down Main Street, played two concerts, and provided the music for an ecumenical church service to close the festival. We were excited, pleased, and a little nervous,” states Smith.
The band is made up of 37 musicians from the Sierra del Mar Division and includes those from as far away as El Centro and as young as 14. The youngest, Laura Foley, has been playing the cornet since she was six years old; at age seven, she began playing with The Salvation Army band in San Francisco. “Performing at The Great American Band Festival is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Foley, “and it’s part of our ministry, to let people hear what The Salvation Army is all about and it’s all about helping people!”