The Southern Territorial Band (Bandmaster Nick Simmons-Smith) visited Florida 5 – 8 March 2014 in support of the Salvation Army Retired Officers Association (SAROA). The band provided concerts and led worship on Sunday morning at Lakeland Corps.
For many of the members of the band, the weekend was a welcome getaway from awful winter weather in the northern parts of the territory. The band was privileged to have Brian Bowen conduct a part of Thursday night’s rehearsal. Bowen comes with tremendous experience, as former Bandmaster of the New York Staff Band and as a composer and editor for many publications, both inside and outside of the Salvation Army. He took the band through Praise (Wilfred Heaton), The Last Amen (Peter Graham) and his own composition City of God, a delightful treatment of the song “Marching to Zion”.
On Friday, the band had the pleasure of playing a short concert for the retired Salvation Army officers, after a pleasant lunch. Friday evening featured the band in concert with the Southern Territorial Songsters and the Creative Arts Ensemble.
The band commenced the Saturday evening concert with Praise Him! (Stephen Bulla), a great opener for any festival. The Last Amen (Peter Graham) was featured, as well as a duet with dancer Kaitlyn Hardiman, Shepherd Song (Goff Richards).
A sprightly version of Down to the River to Pray (Alan Fernie) returned the audience to their seats after a brief intermission. The band, songsters and creative arts members all combined for a glorious finale with a special arrangement of They Shall Come from the East (Larsson). This arrangement was created especially for the Southern Territorial Band and will be featured at the USA Southern Territory commissioning later in the year. Praise (Wilfred Heaton) and an impromptu encore of Celebration (Leslie Condon) concluded the concert, which was well-received by all present.
Saturday included a morning worship service which featured In Christ Alone with Dr. Steve Kellner, euphonium soloist. The day also included an outdoor concert in Lakeland, Florida, which was well-attended by members of the community and the local corps.
On Sunday morning, the band supported the Territorial Commander, Commissioner Don Bell as he led worship at the Lakeland Corps. The featured item from the band was For Our Transgressions (Morley Calvert). Members of the band also formed a praise team, as well as providing uplifting songs for worship.
Southern Territorial Band web site