Staff Band Visits Ottawa

The Salvation Army in Ottawa, national capital of Canada, celebrated 120 years of service in the city in 2005. Part of the observance of this anniversary was a weekend visit from the Canadian Staff Band (Bandmaster Kevin Hayward), which took place 5 – 6 November 2005.

The trip began on Saturday with a coach ride from Toronto to Ottawa, with the band arriving in the capital around 3:00 pm. The venue for the evening concert was the Dominion Chalmers United Church. The band was able to set up and get in a short rehearsal before having a catered dinner in the church hall.

The festival began with The Great Celebration (Andrew Blyth). As usual, the Staff Band presented a varied selection of items, with solo items by Steve Brown, Noel Samuels and Steve Pavey. The Staff Band also premiered two pieces, a vocal item entitled Do Right by Australian Salvationist composer Barrie Gott, and a major work by Kevin Norbury, Variations on Maccabeus. Other major works for the evening included Gaelforce (Peter Graham) and Glorifico Aeternum (Dean Jones). The band noted that the acoustics in the church were favorable to the sound of the brass band.

The audience included Salvationists from the four Ottawa-area corps, university music students, and members of Royal Canadian Mounted Police and military bands. A group of more than 20 Salvationists came in from Montreal, including the widow of the great Canadian composer Morley Calvert. It was fitting that Bandmaster Hayward had chosen to program Calvert’s intensely moving devotional selection For Our Transgressions in the second half of the concert.

On Sunday morning, the Staff Band divided into four groups, one for each of the Ottawa area corps. At two of these, Woodroffe and Ottawa Citadel, staff band members supplemented the corps bands, while at the others, Gladstone and Bell’s Corners, they provided music and led worship. The band gathered at Woodroffe for lunch and then boarded the coach for the trip home.

Report on the Canadian Staff Band web site