Youth from throughout nation add to the biggest band ever
“To see the people smile and cheer as we walked by really gave me a sense of pride to be part of such an influential organization and church.”
–JOSHUA CROOK –
Panama City Corps, Florida Division
Joshua was among a contingent of 66 young people from around the nation and Canada who marched with The Salvation Army Band in the January 1 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Together with the New York Staff Band and regular marchers from the Southern California Division, these youth made it possible for the Army to build a band of 250 marchers and communicate through music the Army’s Christ-based driving motivation to serve humanity.
Thirty divisions provided at least two representatives each. Six Western divisions, eight each from the Central, Eastern, and Southern Territories and one Canadian division sent representatives
Lt. Colonel Alfred Van Cleef, Southern California divisional commander, said: “The participation of these young people was extraordinary. They gave themselves to rehearsals, the marching practices and participated with enthusiasm. We saw the best of the best. We will want to continue this next year by extending the same invitation for Army divisions to send quality young people here in advance of the Parade, participate in rehearsals, and then join in the thrill of this unique witness.”
Bandsman Roger Malmberg, along with his son Nels, of the Olympia Corps in the Northwest Division participated and were saluted with a story and an editorial in their local newspaper for quality father and son participation together.
The youth were housed and fed at the Army’s Mt. Crags camp in the Malibu mountains of Southern California. This provided them with wonderful opportunities for fellowship, prayer, recreation and, of course, rehearsal time. Chris Mallett, divisional music director, and his wife, Fay, his assistant in the department, stayed with the group at the camp from Monday, December 27 through the departures on January 2.
The Southern California Division was a generous host, and not all of the time involved rehearsals and marching practice. Time was allotted for shopping sprees at the Del Amo Mall in Torrance and at the Santa Monica 3rd St. Promenade. Additionally, the group spent an afternoon and evening at Disneyland, with admission and food expenses courtesy of the Southern California Division. Thursday evening, December 30, they enjoyed an evening concert by the New York Staff Band at the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps. On the day before the parade, the group visited the Rose Bowl itself and had an opportunity to see floats in the final stages of being dressed for the parade. They also were challenged to deal with a sudden and unexpected rainstorm that hit the area.
On the evening of the 31st they enjoyed a New Year’s eve candlelight dinner put on by Major Donna Ames at the camp. The dinner concluded with a funfest party to celebrate the new millennium and still get to bed at a decent hour for the 5 a.m. departure for the parade itself.