WMI honors Bosankos

BANDMASTER DEREK Helms presents an award to Ivor and Janette Bosanko in honor of their upcoming retirement.


From the anxiety of opening auditions at Camp Mt. Crags, to the excitement of the final festival at the Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University, this year’s Western Music Institute was extra special.

This was the last Institute to be led by Ivor and Janette Bosanko. Ivor retires as Western Territory Music Secretary later this fall, bringing to an end 22 years of consecutive WMI leadership.

The theme was “WMI ­ A Musical Odyssey 2001.” The evening festivals throughout the week were fittingly named “Blast Off,” “Brass & Vocal in Orbit” and “The Final Frontier.” The juxtaposition of the “space age” imagery against the strong WMI traditions closely associated with Ivor and Janette was poignant.

All the time-honored elements that make WMI what it is were evident (daily sealed orders, evening festivals, a formal candlelight dinner, soloist night, campfire, devotional services, and fun night) but were wrapped in a theme projecting exciting new changes.

In constructing WMI this way, Ivor and Janette skillfully set the stage for new territorial music secretary, James Anderson. In fact, in one of the devotional services, Ivor directly challenged staff and students to anticipate, enjoy and support the changes that new WMI leadership would bring.

As usual, the spiritual aspect of WMI was a highlight. Led by Captain Edward Hill, devotional services and sealed orders caused the students and staff to reexamine their commitment to God within the context of Salvation Army music-making. Sealed orders are meaningful every year, but in keeping with the celebration of the history of WMI, this year, sealed orders were written by Lt. Colonel Janice Buchanan and her daughter Stacie Brown. The first year sealed orders were introduced at WMI, over 20 years ago; they were written by Chris and Janice Buchanan.

Guest musical leaders were Graham and Joy Lawrence from Boscombe Corps, United Kingdom Territory. Graham was prominently featured throughout the institute as a euphonium soloist, brass clinician and conductor, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind why he spent six years with the International Staff Band. Joy, Songster Leader at Boscombe Corps, thrilled the vocal students with her energetic leadership of one of the choruses.

A special feature was the candlelight dinner, which took the form of a tribute to Ivor and Janette. Led by Major Terry Camsey, WMI alumni joined with current staff and students in a celebration of over two decades of Bosanko leadership at WMI.

The following campers received awards: Christian Acheson-Riesebieter (San Diego Citadel)-the Stillwell Award.

WMI Pins were awarded to: Cornet­David Hall (Tustin Ranch), J.J. Opina (San Diego Citadel); Flugel Horn­Ryan White (Tustin Ranch); Baritone­Chris Wikle (Tustin Ranch); Euphonium­ Christian Acheson-Riesebieter (San Diego Citadel); Soprano: Hilary Sholin (Longview Temple); Alto: Joy Lee (Los Angeles Korean); Tenor: J.J. Opina (San Diego Citadel) The Crestmont Award was presented to Tustin Ranch, with runner up honors going to San Diego Citadel and Los Angeles Korean Corps.

With representation from every division, plus delegates from the United Kingdom, Africa, South America and Canada, there was an incredible diversity of culture, talent and ability, all with a common desire to glorify God through Army music and performing arts. Skills were refined, friendships cemented, spirits became united in common purpose, and characters were forever imprinted with the blessing of the Lord.

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