Two members of the National Capital Band were among those presented with special awards during the National Capital and Virginia (NCV) Youth Councils, held 24 – 26 April 2004 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Percussionist/cornetist Keith Morris was one of three youth leaders given a special recognition, and cornetist Kevin Affum was the recipient of the Stephen Lanier Award, one of the highest honors given by the National Capital and Virginia Division.
The son of Salvation Army officer-parents, Keith Morris was born in Jamaica and raised in various places around the eastern United States. A residential architect by trade, Bandmaster Morris lived for many years in the Philadelphia area, where he was a member of the Pendel Brass and served as bandmaster of the Roxborough Citadel Band. He moved to the Washington area in 1998 and immediately became a member of the National Capital Band, joining his older brother Noel. He also became active as a volunteer with the Divisional Youth Band, serving as the unofficial deputy bandmaster. He is the bandmaster of the Arlington Citadel Band in northern Virginia, and is also a member of the percussion section of the Southern Territorial Band.
When the NCV Divisional Youth Band was left without a conductor in the summer of 2002, Bandmaster Morris stepped in without hesitation, keeping the group together through a difficult transitional period. When a permanent bandmaster was named in 2003, he stepped aside, again without hesitation. Unfortunately, the permanent bandmaster unexpectedly left after the first rehearsal of the 2003 – 2004 season, and Bandmaster Morris resumed his leadership of the group.
At the 2004 NCV Youth Councils, three outstanding youth leaders, including Bandmaster Morris, were presented with awards that included a trip to a conference to be held by Youth Specialities in Atlanta, Georgia.
Major Stephen Lanier was a well-loved officer in the USA Southern Territory, with a particular ministry to young people. An accomplished musician, he served in territorial music ensembles even while performing his duties as Territorial Youth Secretary. Following his death in a tragic automobile accident, the NCV Divisional Music Department established an annual award to be given to a young musician in the division. This award is not an award for musical excellence, but recognizes those in the music programs who make the most of their talent in all areas, and therefore benefit all areas of their local corps and the division.
This year’s recipient of the Stephen Lanier Award, Kevin Affum, was born on 27 July 1986, in Washington, DC. His parents are natives of Ghana. His father moved back to Ghana several years ago, while Kevin and his mother remained in the US so that Kevin could pursue academic opportunities. He is a senior at Laurel High School, and will graduate this June. At school, he is member of the marching band, the National Honor Society, and the French Honor Society. He plans to attend the University of Maryland in the fall, majoring in Biology. His goal is to pursue a medical career as a cardiologist.
At the Prince George’s Corps, Kevin is a senior soldier and a member of the senior band, teen Sunday School class, and the teen group. He has also been active in Corps Cadets, graduating this year.
Kevin is an active Salvationist musician, serving as principal cornet of the Prince George’s Corps Band and solo cornet in the Divisional Youth Band. For the past two seasons, he has been a member of the cornet section of the National Capital Band. He was a staff member at the NCV Music Conservatory in the summers of 2002 and 2003. This summer, Kevin and his mother plan to take an extended trip to Europe before he begins college in the fall.
Source: Brass Crest Staff Report