120th Anniversary Celebration in Halifax

On Friday, 4 March 2005, the Canadian Staff Band (Bandmaster Kevin Hayward) travelled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a weekend celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Halifax Citadel corps. Special guests for the weekend were Captains Leonard and Heather Ballantine.

The band flew to Halifax on Friday and participated in an evening festival with a number of musicians from the local area, led by the Ballantines. One of the Staff Band’s feature items during the evening was Leonard Ballantine’s composition HeartBeat.

On Saturday morning, a civic event in acknowledgment of the Salvation Army’s work at Halifax’s Pier 21. This was Canada’s version of Ellis Island, with over one million immigrants processed through the facilities. The Salvation Army had an assistance center at the pier for many years, mainly helping with food and clothing for the immigrants. Several Army artifacts were placed on permanent display at the Pier 21 museum as a part of the weekend celebrations. The Staff Band presented a mini-concert as a part of the presentations, including Goldcrest (James Anderson), Abide With Me (Ray Bowes), and Bugler’s Holiday. The bandmaster from Halifax Citadel, Peter van der Horden (whose family had come to Canada via Pier 21 in the 1950s), conducted the band in the classic march Montreal Citadel.

The Staff Band had been scheduled for a program at a local senior citizens’ residence, but this event was unfortunately cancelled because of an outbreak of influenza in the facility. The band was thus given the opportunity to do some sightseeing around Halifax, including the Maritime Museum. The afternoon was capped by the anniversary dinner.

Following the dinner, the Staff Band presented a festival concert in the Halifax Citadel hall. Items in the first half of the concert included To a God Like This, Lorne Barry’s exciting new work Trinity, the classic march Emblem of the Army, Hine e Hine, Peter Graham’s Gaelforce, and The Power of Your Love. Deputy Staff Bandmaster Steve Brown was a featured participant, playing the trumpet solo Joshua Swings the Battle and conducting the band chorus in Goodbye World, Goodbye.

The second half of the concert began with In Good Company (Dudley Bright), Praise Party, and Island Dreams, which included volunteers from the audience invited onto the stage to help with the myriad percussion parts. Bandmaster Hayward then turned the baton over to Bandmaster van der Horden, who conducted a march of his own composition, Halifax Citadel, which was greeted with a sustained ovation. A more meditative mood was reached as the Staff Band presented Songs in Exile (Eric Ball) and sang Shine On Us. A Scripture meditation was presented by Captain Len Ballantine, followed by Dorothy Gates’ arrangement of Breathe. The evening festival concluded with Dean Jones’ recent opus Glorifico Aeternum. The standing ovation following this piece was returned with an encore, the quick march Jubilee (Paul Drury).

The Staff Band conducted the Sunday morning worship at the Citadel, led by the Ballantines as the band’s executive officer, Lt.-Col. Merv Leach, was unable to attend the weekend because of the hospitalization of his wife. The band’s featured item during the meeting was Kenneth Downie’s sensitive arrangement Shekinah. Later, the Citadel music sections joined with the Staff Band for an afternoon of praise. Items presented included Victory In Jesus, Endless Praise, and The Wonder of It All. The Citadel Songsters offered two items, including an arrangement of Geoff Bullock’s contemporary song This Kingdom, arranged by Staff Bandsman Major Ken Smith. The Young People’s Band from the Citadel joined with the Staff Band for William Himes’ special arrangement Classics in Brass, an experience the young musicians are sure to remember.

Canadian Staff Band web site

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