On the weekend of 15 – 16 June 2013, the Melbourne Staff Band (Bandmaster Ken Waterworth) traveled to Deniliquin for a ministry weekend. The band’s visit was a part of the Deniliquin Corps’ 125th anniversary celebrations, and there was a buzz about town for an event that was well-supported by the community.
Saturday, 15 June 2013
Upon arrival, the Staff Band went to the venue for all of the weekend activities, Deniliquin High School, setting up for the evening festival before having a welcome dinner with local civic leaders. Upon returning to the High School for final preparations, it was noted that additional seating was being added for the large audience.
It was very obvious that the Salvation Army is well-supported and appreciated by the local community. At the beginning of the concert, regional civic leaders and service club representatives brought greetings to the band and congratulated the corps on its 125th anniversary. The festival commenced with Christ the Lord (Marcus Venables), and, most appropriately, Temple 125 (Kevin Larsson).
Soloists featured in the first half were Jamie Smith (euphonium) and Garry Todd (cornet), who presented Fearless (Martin Cordner) and The Victory Cry! (Andrew Blyth), respectively. Both of these solos were written especially for the Melbourne Staff Band and these soloists. Craig Downes impressed the audience with the vocal solo We’ve Come This Far by Faith (arr. Paul Sharman).
The major work for the first half of the concert was Peter Graham’s descriptive composition The Dawning, which was enhanced by a multimedia presentation by Vaughan Duck. Lighter items before the interval included Daniel’s Band (Leonard Ballantine) and Barrie Gott’s “classic”, Light-Walk.
After the interval, the audience quickly returned to their seats as the Staff Band played Temple 85 (Norman Bearcroft). The music of Andrew Lloyd Webber was included with the duet Pie Jesu performed by Dean Rusling and Scott Downes. Craig Downes brought the house down with another Lloyd Webber item, singing Love Changes Everything (arr. Stephen Bulla).
At the conclusion of an exciting rendition of Fire in the Blood (Paul Lovatt-Cooper) the audience rose to their feet with a rousing ovation. They were back on their feet again at the conclusion of the William Tell Overture (arr. Dean Goffin) – two standing ovations in one night. The evening concluded with a classic march, Emblem of the Army (Arthur Gullidge).
Sunday, 16 June 2013
After a restful evening, the Staff Band returned to the High School auditorium, beginning the day with an early-morning prayer meeting led by Lt.-Colonel Philip Cairns, the Divisional Commander for this region. Prior to the morning service, the band played Guardian of My Soul (Darren Shaw) and Amazing Grace (William Himes). Once again, the support of the community was evident, as the town’s church congregations joined together for the service.
During the service, Darren Waterworth led a time of singing and a responsive reading from Psalm 100. Paul Prince offered prayer and Simon Loukes shared his testimony. The Deniliquin corps officers, Captains David and Patricia Day, recently welcomed a daughter, Caroline, who unfortunately required surgery shortly after birth. This service was the first meeting that Caroline attended, and Dean Rusling presented the captains with a prayer quilt that had been made for them by the Camberwell corps.
Musical contributions from the Staff Band included Soli Deo Gloria, the cornet solo I’d Rather Have Jesus played by Jason Stewart, and the vocal solo Channels Only sng by Craig Downes. All of these are compositions from the pen of William Himes. The Staff Band’s executive officer, Lt.-Colonel Ian Hamilton, gave the morning message, which was based on Psalm 103:2, “Praise the Lord all my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
Prior to the afternoon concert, the Staff Band marched from the Deniliquin Corps building to the High School. This was a proud moment for the Corps’ color sergeant, Peter Bruton, who joined the march carrying the corps flag.
Another good crowd gathered for the afternoon concert, which commenced with My God and King (Paul Sharman) and Courageous (Kevin Norbury). A varied program, mostly of new music, included Send the Fire (Martin Cordner), Abide with Me (arr. Sam Creamer) and Fill the World with Glory (Kevin Larsson). Paul Sharman’s Amazed! was well-received, as was a report performance of Love Changes Everything sung again by Craig Downes and another Stephen Bulla work, Lift Up Your Voice.
To make sure no one nodded off during the concert, the Staff Band gave a spirited performance of Fusion (Martin Cordner), which uses the tune “Brantwood”. This tune is associated with the words “I know Thee who Thou art” by General Albert Orsborn, with this composition focusing on the line “My name is joined with Thine”. The reflective second movement uses Chris Rice’s contemporary song Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus). The afternoon concluded with St. Clements (Andrew Blyth) and James Anderson’s toe-tapping march Goldcrest.
Melbourne Staff Band web site