National Capital Band in Waynesboro, Virginia

The National Capital Band (Bandmaster Lars-Otto Ljungholm) concluded its 2000 - 2001 season with a concert in Waynesboro, Virginia. The band joined with the Waynesboro Choral Society (Director Don Coffey) for the second consecutive year in a benefit concert for the local Salvation Army corps. The concert was held at the Main Street United Methodist Church, where Director Coffey serves as Director of Music, on Saturday, May 12, 2001.

The band opened the concert with Michael Kenyon’s sparkling arrangement of the Overture to “The Magic Flute” (W. A. Mozart), followed immediately by I’d Rather Have Jesus (William Himes), tenderly played by principal cornet Ian Anderson. Following an invocation by Band Sergeant Michael Harris, another of the band’s soloists, Major Tony Barrington, dazzled the audience with the euphonium solo The Conqueror (Ray Steadman-Allen).

Bandmaster Ljungholm then yielded the podium to Director Don Coffey of the Waynesboro Choral Society, who led the combined band and chorus in Almighty Medley (John E. Coates, arranged for chorus and brass band by Lars-Otto Ljungholm). After a spirited rendition of the classic march Rosehill (Albert H. Jakeway) by the band, the Choral Society presented the spiritual O Happy Day, with a fine solo sung by Donna Mason. This was followed by the choral selection River in Judea, accompanied by a small ensemble from the band.

The main purpose of the concert was to raise funds for the Waynesboro Corps of the Salvation through a free-will offering. The Choral Society has been holding these concerts for several years, and last year joined with the full National Capital Band after having had the band’s sextet unit, the National Capital Brass, at a previous event. Including this year’s funds, the concerts have raised over $24,000. As the offering was taken for this event, the NCB played William Broughton’s big-band style Deep River.

After the offering was collected, the Choral Society performed an exquisite and beautiful arrangement of the spiritual All My Trials, and the patriotic Salute to the Armed Forces (arr. Don Wyrtzen), conducted by Bandmaster Ljungholm and accompanied by an ensemble from the band.

Captain Richard McConniel, Divisional Youth Secretary for the National Capital and Virginia Division, presented a devotion, immediately preceded by trombone soloist Dorothy Gates playing her own composition, The Lamb, based on Michael Kenyon’s vocal setting of a well-known poem by William Blake.

Following Captain McConniel’s remarks, the band presented its major work for the evening, the tone poem Turning Point (Dorothy Gates). Written to commemorate the opening of a Salvation Army housing facility, located in Northwest Washington, DC, in October, 2000, the piece features the chorus “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, the old Army war song “We Shall Win”, and the words of William Booth, spoken on this occasion by Band Sergeant Michael Harris.

The concert concluded with the Choral Society, National Capital Band, and the audience joining in grand expression of praise, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus (arranged for choir and brass band by Lars-Otto Ljungholm), followed by the combined choir and band softly singing a vocal benediction.

Source: Brass Crest Staff Report