On Sunday, 6 March 2005, the Melbourne Staff Band (Bandmaster Ken Waterworth) traveled to the town of Morwell to participate in worship services at the local Salvation Army corps, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This was the first engagement under the leadership of the Staff Band’s recently appointed Executive Officer, Major Robert Patterson.
The band began by setting the mood of the morning with Captain Leonard Ballantine’s selection Covenant Worship. Darren Waterworth led the congregation in prayer, followed by the band singing I Will Guide Thee. Bandsman Ron Heathcote gave a personal testimony, Major Patterson gave the message, based on Psalm 99, and the band contributed with Grant Us Thy Peace (Kenneth Downie) and Here I Am to Worship (arr. William Gordon).
Following lunch at the homes of various members of the Morwell Corps, the band re-formed at the hall for an afternoon meeting. In commemoration of the Morwell Corps 50th anniversary, this program began with a march, Morwell 2005, composed by Brian Milkens for the occasion. This was followed by Dr. Keith Wilkinson’s transcription of the First Suite in Eb (Gustav Holst). The band showed its musical versatility by presenting a vocal item, Standing in the Need of Prayer.
Solo items during the afternoon event included long-time Staff Band cornetists Ken Whittaker and Rob Beasley, who played the duet Deliverance, and Mark Hamilton (in his last performance with the Staff Band), who played the euphonium solo Rondo alla Turca. Other items in the afternoon included HeartBeat (Leonard Ballantine), Amazing Grace (William Himes), and the old Salvation Army classic Treasures from Tchaikovsky (Bramwell Coles). Another classical transcription, in a modern style, was Ray Farr’s energetic arrangement of Bach’s Toccata in D minor. The afternoon session concluded with Dudley Bright’s march Assignment.
Following a short break, the Staff Band again took the stage for an evening music festival. This program, entitled “Songs of Faith”, was shared with several other church congregations from the Gippsville area. Throughout the service, members of both the band and the audience were invited to share songs with special personal meaning, some of which were “Lord of all hopefulness”, “God’s Soldier”, “This is my Father’s world”, “And can it be”, and “When I survey the wondrous cross”. The Staff Band performed William Gordon’s arrangement of Agnus Dei, Amazing Grace, and It Is Well With My Soul (Howard Davies).
Melbourne Staff Band web site