Tab Chile Tour Reciprocal Impact
Band, Timbrels Support Congress;
Play 23 Engagements
HAIR RAISING–La Aurora Girls’ Home residents check out the braids on timbrelist Thandiwe Gregory.
The Pasadena Tabernacle Band, Lambert Bittinger, bandmaster, combined music with mission on their recent six-day trip to Santiago, Chile, where it performed festivals, provided music in support of the South America West Territorial Congress and painted the exterior of three-story Salvation Army girls’ home.
The Congress took place over the final three days of the tour and was lead by General Paul A. Rader and Commissioner Kay F. Rader along with South America West territorial leaders Colonels Lawrence and Nancy Moretz. Celebrating the Army’s 90th Anniversary in Chile, the event also marked the Rader’s final trip as international leaders.
Majors Brad and Heidi Bailey, leaders of the Chile Central Division, served as hosts of the band, traveling with the group to all its engagements.
“I am extremely proud of each member of the band and timbrels,” said Bandmaster Lambert Bittinger. “They all demonstrated a true servant attitude.”
The band kicked off the tour with a performance at the Otono Dorade Senior Citizens Home after which it broke into ensembles for programs at three Army children’s homes. About 60 children, ages 7-17, live in each of the two boys’ homes and one girls’ home the band visited.
The next day, after eight hours of painting, the band and timbrels performed a pre-Congress festival for a capacity crowd at the Santiago Central Corps. The program’s major work was Peter Graham’s “Shine as the Light,” which underscored a video presentation. Flying blind without the convenience of a video monitor, Bittinger perfectly synched the music to the many visual cues, cutting off the band just as an explosion on screen cut to black.
Trombone soloist Clarence White used the extended cadenza in the solo “Joshua” to offer his own interpretation of the traditional Chilean handkerchief dance. With each performance of this exciting solo, White seemed to come up with something different to break up the band and the audience. On another occasion, he played part of the cadenza using a set of bamboo panpipes he purchased only a few hours earlier.
In total, the band and timbrels gave more than 20 performances, including concerts at a nearby shopping mall, two appearances on local television, and a march of witness. During the tour’s final weekend it also served as the duty band for Congress.
“We are truly grateful for the way in which all of you gave of your best to help us out in so many different ways,” said Major Brad Bailey. “Just as you have been touched so have countless children, band members, officers, and soldiers who were able to see in each and everyone of you not only the love of Jesus but were able to sense in a real way what the Internationalism of the Army is really all about. Your visit will have a positive and long lasting effect on so many people in our territory.”