Southwest Youth Meet ‘Brits’

By Heather Andreasen –

YouthBand Southwest, led by Divisional Bandmaster Ralph E. Pearce, has recently returned from a demanding 10-day tour of England and Wales. They were accompanied by the band executive officer, Major David Hudson.

Just before departure they joined in concert with the Salt River Brass, which is also under Pearce’s leadership, to minister to a mostly non-Army audience in the Chandler Center for the Arts.

On the tour, the band featured a variety of styles in music, from traditional marches such as Leslie Condon’s “Celebration” to the spiritual, “Deep River,” arranged by William Broughton. At Kettering Corps they played “Joy in My Heart” conducted by its composer, Ray Steadman Allen.

Soloists featured during the tour were Holly Andreasen and Fiona Pearce on cornet, and Andy Sparks on bass trombone.

In addition to traditional music, listeners were blessed by the the timbrels, led by Isobel Pearce; Lt. Fred Preston’s moving mime to music; and Captain Warren Dabis’s praise and worship segment. The divisional ‘Holy hip hop’ dance team, “One Way,” also performed.

The band also visited Risca, the Pearces’ home corps in Wales, where new friends met the old.

Corps soldiers took the travelers into their homes, treating them with unparalleled British hospitality.

While seeing the Army at work overseas, the band’s goal was always foremost: to serve the Lord.

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