Music with a Message in Hythe

“Music with a message” is a well-worn phrase used when talking about Salvation Army music events, but the visit to Hythe by Hendon Band (Bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb) on 15 – 16 June 2013 would have to be described as “Excellent Salvation Army music with a very powerful message.” Add to that friendly fellowship and opportunities for one-to-one witness, and you have the ingredients for a perfect Salvation Army weekend of music ministry.

The Tower Theatre proved to be an excellent venue for the Saturday evening concert, which featured several of the band’s soloists. The beautifully balanced program began with a focus on heaven and led up to a climax with “Jesus, Name above all names” before Major Judith Hilditch spoke words of comfort and challenge. The major then introduced the band’s final item, Fire in the Blood (Paul Lovatt-Cooper), which gave the powerful testimony of the words “Lord, you know that we love You”.

With congregational numbers averaging around 75 on a typical Sunday at Hythe Corps, the addition of 40 visiting bandsmen meant that the main doors had to be left open for some younger members to stand at the back to listen – which in itself was a fabulous witness to all who passed by as the music drifted out and across the town.

The extremely sensitive playing of the band was a potent message on its own before Major Hilditch spoke and went deeper into the theme of being in God’s Presence.

Sunday afternoon provided the final event of the weekend of music ministry, with a concert on the famous Oakland’s Bandstand. Though it started with drizzle, the music brought out the warm sunshine and the band again provided a superb mix of Salvation Army music that had the 300-plus in the crowd calling for more!

Report submitted by Bandmaster Richard Carroll