2014 is a special year for the German Staff Band (Bandmaster Heinrich Schmidt) as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. A gala weekend of celebrations was held 28 – 30 March 2014 with the International Staff Band (Bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb) joining the festivities.
On Friday, 28 March 2014, a concert was held in Siegen. With a packed hall, the International Staff Band offered an exciting concert that, in addition to a cornet duet, featured a euphonium solo played by Derick Kane. The program included both classics, such as Journey into Freedom (Eric Ball), and new items, such as Jubilo, Jubilo (Martin Cordner). Major Mark Herbert, the executive officer of the ISB, offered spiritual words reminding those present of the beauty of God’s creation. This concept was also reflected in the music of Sunset over the River Exe (The Day Thou Gavest) (Kenneth Downie).
On Saturday, 29 March 2014, the ISB teamed up with the host band for a joint concert in the Lutheran Church in Solingen. Following this, there were two small concerts held in the Solingen city center, where once again there was advertising for the evening concert.
An ensemble from the ISB was given the great privilege of opening the annual Culture Night at Schloss Burg. With great weather and a breathtaking backdrop, not only did the audience enjoy this concert, but also those musicians who were not playing.
The real highlight of the weekend was the Saturday evening concert. The German Staff Band opened the joint concert with the march Hillcrest (Bruce Broughton), a bit of nostalgia as this march was played by the band 25 years ago when it was founded. New pieces were also heard. Overture of Praise and the march God’s Army, both written by members of the German Staff Band, were included.
The second part of the concert featured the International Staff Band. A special highlight was Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral, which was greeted with a standing ovation. “Even the ground quaked” said one of the avid concert-goers afterward.
After the interval, the two Staff Bands joined into a combined ensemble, playing items like Shine As the Light (Peter Graham). A highlight of the combined portion of the concert was a euphonium duet played by Derick Kane (ISB) and Stephen Kane (GSB). This anniversary concert will be long remembered not just by the audience, but by the musicians themselves.
On Sunday, 30 March 2014, the two bands again combined for a joint reading session, to which listeners were invited. This gave the musicians a chance to play a few new pieces, such as Stand Strong (Martin Cordner).
It was an unforgettable weekend, where not only good music but also friendships were made. The German Staff Band is thankful to God for the first 25 years and looks forward to what still lies before them.
German Staff Band web site