On Sunday, 2 February 2014, the Canadian Staff Band (Bandmaster John Lam) visited Orillia Citadel as part of the Citadel’s 130th anniversary weekend. Located about 135 kilometers north of Toronto, Orillia is a community of about 30,000 located between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe.
On the heels of a winter storm that struck the area on Saturday, all of the members of the Staff Band arrived safely on Sunday morning despite roads that were still icy in spots. People arriving early for the morning service enjoyed a half-hour prelude by the Staff Band. Items during the prelude included the hymn setting Colne (Thomas Rive), People Need the Lord (arr. Howard Davies), Ascalon (Ralph Pearce), Coronation Fanfare and Intrada (Kenneth Smith), Move, Holy Spirit (Jonathan Rowsell) and Endless Praise (William Himes).
Following a welcome and introductions by Captain Jim Mercer, Orillia corps officer, the congregation rose to sing “To the Glory and Praise of God”, a song written by Colonels Robert and Gwyneth Redhead, who have settled in Orillia in retirement and are active members of the corps. For its main selection, the Staff Band presented They Shall Come from the East (Kevin Larsson). Staff Band members Valerie Moreton and Sherie Keogh took part by leading worship songs and sharing a personal testimony, respectively.
In his message, Major Kevin Metcalf, Staff Band executive officer, spoke from Romans 12:3, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,” encouraging his listeners not to be afraid to be heroes for the sake of the Gospel. The meeting concluded with a rousing rendition of “I’ll Go in the Strength of the Lord”.
After the meeting, anniversary cake was shared and lunch was provided for members of the Staff Band. The band then split into two groups and conducted music clinics for both the young people’s and senior bands of Orillia Citadel, as well as members of the Orillia Silver Band, a community-based brass band.
Canadian Staff Band web site