The fourteen members of the Hythe Band of the Salvation Army (Bandmaster Richard Carroll) made an early start on 21 September 2013 to travel to International Headquarters in London, to present a program of music outside of 101 Queen Victoria Street. The event was part of the City of London Open Day, when businesses open their doors to the public to look at the architecture and learn more about what goes on in the buildings.
The entrance to International Headquarters is in the walk way between the Millennial Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, which attracts thousands of visitors from around the world on a daily basis, and this day was no exception.
A blustery wind made playing conditions difficult but carried the sound of the music a long way. The band played two sessions between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm, bringing a mixture of Salvation Army marches and short, bright, happy music. This included some pieces especially arranged for the band by Songster Leader Wes Carroll, who is a member of the band’s tuba section. Wendy Margott was the featured cornet soloist.
The program had been arranged so that once the bandmaster had started the band he could leave them to carry on as he talked with listeners. A couple who had been walking around the cathedral heard the music and followed the sound until they found the band. The stopped to listen before entering International Headquarters to ask for information about the Salvation Army.
The band returned to Hythe tired but happy in the knowledge that thousands of people had been touched by the Gospel through their music.
Report submitted by Bandmaster Richard Carroll