Symphony of service – Bandmaster Ivor & Janette Bosanko
BANDMASTER IVOR BOSANKO directs a practice at WMI.
BY MARTIN HUNT –
For the past twenty-two years the Western Territory has witnessed and listened to the symphony created by Ivor and Janette Bosanko. A symphony always consists of a main theme, an idea that is woven around all that is to follow. The Bosanko Symphony started with a quiet moment…..
Tacet remain silent
It was 1980, and the first WMI under the leadership of the Bosankos. Laura Luttrell-Boyer remembers, “It was welcome night in the chapel at Redwood Glen, and Ivor stopped the band in the middle of a piece; he walked over to the microphone and said to us in the audience ‘Be quiet! Stop talking, and listen. You might learn something!’ and we did, we listened quietly.”
You see, from those early days the Bosankos were Con Bravura (with boldness and spirit); they spoke out boldly because they believed that each one of us should be quiet, so that the music and the Master who speaks through it could be heard by our ears. “They created a place, far away from the noise and chaos of this crazy world, where we could hear God speak our name, not in a lecture or a sermon, but in the flowing of the creek, in the harmony of a single chord, in their silent prayers at the Sunday morning altar,” Luttrell-Boyer recalls.
Anima soul with deep feeling
The music that Ivor has written, and much of the music they have taught over the years and used at corps, camps, congresses and around the world, has the characteristic of Anima. Their music, whether as soloists or as part of a larger group, always reflected the innermost parts of their beings and soul. Whether Con Brio, or Appassionato, it is clear to whomever hears their offering. It is hardly surprising that in the Bosanko symphony there has always been a deep experience of emotion. This is just part of their lives, the development of the main theme. After you have listened carefully in the silence, you then respond with your actions and your emotions.
Kevin White, who attended WMI as a student for seven years, and as a member of staff for four, writes, “When I think of how Ivor and Janette impacted my life and the lives of other ‘young’ adults, it wasn’t merely the music, it was the relationships and the opening of their lives to us. Sure, I remember all the musical highlights, the rehearsals, the programs, the enjoyment, but what I cherish most are the times when we would just sit and talk. I’ll never forget Janette sitting down with ‘older cabins’ at WMI, late at night, passionately talking about God’s presence in our lives. Music was just a vehicle, but her heart was fixed on our spiritual well-being. I remember a hug and a smile from Ivor when I re-dedicated my life to the Lord at the campfire pit, then his challenge to go live it. Ivor and Janette cultivated relationships with us. They planted seeds. They cared. They loved with us and hurt with us and that is why their impact goes much deeper than any music could ever communicate.”
JANETTE LEADS A choral workshop at WMI
Sempre and Ostinato always and frequently repeated
For twenty years the Bosankos have been an integral part of the yearly Alaska Congress; much of the territory has not had the fortune to see them in this humble setting. “The people of Alaska are very warm, loving people, who have a knack for sizing you up but watching how you act, and accepting you easily,” reports Lt. Colonel Linda Griffin. “Proof of the esteem of the Alaskan people for the Bosankos is the fact that they were adopted into the Tlingit family (Janette an Eagle and Ivor a Raven) on their very first congress in Haines. The Bosankos have endeared themselves to Alsakans through their ministry here. Ivor always came prepared to lead the band, whatever it might consist of, and Janette presented Master Key Leaders seminars (most of which she had written herself). Part of the charm of the congress is the singing, which is known to go far into the night. With Ivor at the piano there was never a song without accompaniment. If he didn’t know it at first, he’d figure it out, and by the second time through, he would add exciting variations.” For these many years of service in Alaska, an important part of the Symphony, the Bosankos have always been constant, repeating the message of love, and endearing themselves to those around them.
Brillante Brilliant, quality
Major Terry Camsey has known Ivor for over 40 years, and he describes Ivor as “Quality: his compositions, piano playing, band training, conducting, leadership at music institutes…all quality. The impact of his ministry is international in scope, yet has always been uniform in quality regardless of the setting” Much of Ivor’s music can be best described as Brilliante, whether his own composition, or interpretation of others. Often with musical humor, Scherzo, or subtle counterpoint there has always been something distinct about the music of Ivor Bosanko. Maybe this is just a reflection of the man himself.
Senza – without
Janette in her own right has earned her retirement from service at THQ, for she has been the backbone, the support, the structure behind the territorial program department. Having served in various capacities as the territorial Christian education director, and in more recent years the assistant to the secretary for program, she has had many opportunities to influence and assist in the planning for our territory. This dedicated work has been appreciated by the various program secretaries, and has often gone without public recognition or accolade. This is the way that Janette wanted it, you see–the years of service, were just that, service. To help others, to guide, to be a sounding board, a listening ear. For many years Janette has also been a member of the faculty and an advisory board member at the School for Officers Training and Crestmont College. Twenty years of new officers and cadets have learned the same lessons of the symphony; listen, be brilliant, have passion and always be consistent.
Pictured at the Bosanko’s retirement service are (l-r) Commissioner David Edwards, Major Terry Camsey, Clarence White, Janette, Ivor and Richard Bosanko.
Alla Breve two halves in one
It is very hard for one person to make meaningful music, for music to really have life there needs to be at least two: one to make the notes come to life, and one to hear them live. Janette and Ivor are living examples of Alla Breve, they are two distinct people who together form a complete measure, and their countless measures forming the structure of the symphony they have created.
Da Capo from the beginning
As the movement of their symphony that is their service at THQ reaches its ending we see the sign DC, (Da Capo), sending us back to the beginning. As the Bosankos look for new avenues of service the music of Ivor’s last composition as TMS resounds around the territory. His setting of General John Gowans words…..
In this quiet moment, Still, before Your throne
Conscious of Your presence, Knowing I am known,
In this quiet moment, Set my singing free
In this quiet moment, In this quiet moment
Make a better me!
They have taught many to listen, to be Tacet, so we can hear the words of the Lord in our hearts, that now echo around this territory and throughout the world in some part because of this Symphony of Service.
(Note: cards and letters may be sent to Ivor and Janette at: 3378 Yerba Buena Dr., Fallbrook, CA 92028)
“IF I WERE TO USE BUT ONE WORD
to capture the essence of Ivor and Janette Bosanko, it would be QUALITY. Ivor’s compositions, his piano playing, his band training, conducting, leadership at music institutes…all QUALITY. Janette’s singing, vocal teaching, Master Leader’s Key and DiSC teaching… all QUALITY.
We have been friends and colleagues since before they were married, well over 40 years, and in all that time I have never observed anything but the finest QUALITY in everything they have done. The impact of their ministry, especially in their mentoring of young people, is international in scope yet has been of uniform QUALITY regardless of the setting. I salute them both and Beryl and I are privileged to be able to call them friends.”
JANETTE, Ivor and Richard Bosanko.