PSALM Brass Visits Nation's Capital

PSALM Brass, the youth band of the Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi Division, made a five-day trip to Virginia and the Washington, DC metropolitan area on Easter weekend. The band, with an average age of 19, is led by Bandmaster Jason Burn, who serves as the Divisional Music Director for the ALM Division. The band had a busy schedule while on the tour, including two festival concerts, an outdoor concert on the National Mall, a concert at a shopping center in Richmond, Virginia, Good Friday services in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Easter Sunday services at the Montgomery County Corps in the Maryland suburbs of Washington.

The band arrived in Washington, DC on Thursday, 8 April 2004, where they did some sightseeing before going to the Harbor Light Center for the evening festival. One of the newer Salvation Army centers in Washington, the Harbor Light is a residential detoxification and substance abuse treatment center. The band began the festival with Barrie Gott’s arrangement of Let There Be Praise, followed by words of welcome from Major Wanda Browning of the Harbor Light Center. The program continued with A Fanfare of Praise (Robert Redhead).

The next item was a euphonium solo, There Will Be God, played by William Waggoner. The audience was given the opportunity to participate in the singing of the hymn “He Lives”, with personal testimonies between the verses. Several moving testimonies were offered by residents of the Harbor Light Center. Several members of the band then formed a timbrel brigade and performed a drill to William Himes’ march God’s Children.

After the timbrel performance, the program turned to a more devotional mood, as the band played People Need the Lord (arr. Howard Davies), followed by vocal soloist Felicia McConniel, who sang If My People Pray. Major Mark Woodcock, ALM Divisional Youth Secretary, presented a brief devotional message, followed by the band performing Holy, Holy, Holy (Ray Bowes).

The program returned to a more buoyant tone as Major Doug Browning, administrator of the Harbor Light Center, conducted the band in a brief performance of “Joy in the Salvation Army”, which generated load appplause from the Center residents in the audience. The band continued with Marching Onward (Ivor Bosanko). Principal cornet Jeff Robbins was featured in Vitae Lux, a work by Norwegian composer Frode Alnaes. The concert concluded with the festival march Motivation (William Himes).

On Friday, 9 April, the band traveled to Richmond, Virginia, where they played at a local shopping mall, and then to Charlottesville, Virginia, where they supported the Good Friday services at the Charlottesville Corps. On Saturday, 10 April, they returned to Washington, DC, where they presented an outdoor concert at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, on the National Mall. On Saturday evening, the Fairfax Corps in northern Virginia hosted a repeat of the Thursday festival. The trip concluded with the band’s participation in the Easter Sunday services at the Montgomery County Corps, located north of Washington in the Maryland suburbs.

Source: Brass Crest Staff Report