With enthusiasm and a dynamic musical message, the Southern California Divisional Youth Band will carry the spirit of the West across the ocean during a 10 day tour of Great Britain. Leaving on March 19, the trip will be the largest and most ambitious tour the group has undertaken in its 10-year history.
Under the leadership of Bandmaster Chris Mallet, the 40-member band will visit such cities as Portsmouth, Bristol, Cardiff, and Rushden, presenting a mixture of lively and reflective music at each stop.
“I count it a privilege to be the leader of the Southern California Divisional Youth Band who have shown commitment and dedication in their music making. The division and the territory have good reason to be proud of these young people,” Mallet said.
So. Calif. Divisional Commanders, Lt. Colonels Alfred and Sherryl Van Cleef, will also accompany the group, contributing a devotional message during each program, preaching the word and providing spiritual leadership to the young people. The tour will climax at the Regent Hall Corps in London, where the band will participate in Easter weekend services led by Lt. Col. Alfred Van Cleef.
The average age of band members is 20 and most are students who will be sending a message to their peers by spending their spring break in Salvation Army uniform.
“It’s exciting to be a part of a group of young people who are willing to give up their time to go on a band tour when many of our friends have different vacation plans,” Bandsman Martin Hunt said. “But as Christians we have a powerful and relevant message to share. We hope to have an impact on every city we visit.”
The program will feature new arrangements from Western Territory Bandmast-ers Mallet, Ivor Bosanko, Bill Gordon and Ralph Pearce.
Combining their Western flair with a rich array of musical talent within the band, displayed in part by cornet soloist Martin Hunt and vocal soloist Melissa Griffin, the Youth Band promises to bring an innovative program filled with musical surprises to the birthplace of Salvation Army banding.
The Southern California Divisional Youth Band will present a Bon Voyage concert on Saturday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Torrance Corps.