NCV Solo Competition and Spring Concert

The third annual Solo Competition in the National Capital and Virginia Division was held on Friday, 6 April 2018 – Saturday, 7 April 2018 at Camp Happyland in central Virginia. Categories for the competition included Brass, Dance, Theatre, and Voice. Most of the categories were split into two levels based on the ages of the participants.

The competition was held on Friday evening. On Saturday, two public concerts were held. In the morning, the winners of the solo competition performed, supported by the National Capital Band (Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner). After lunch was the divisional Spring Concert, during which all of the groups involved in the Music & Arts program performed – four bands, four choruses, two dance troupes, two theater ensembles, and two timbrel brigades.

Solo Winner’s Concert

The Solo Winner’s Concert commenced with the National Capital Band playing the introit O Praise Him (Steve Kellner), followed by a welcome from Divisional Music Director David Delaney and an invocation by Divisional Creative Arts Director Amerika Outlaw. The first half of the concert showcased the Level 1 (younger) winners and the second half the Level 2 winners.

First up was Brass Level 1 winner Rachel Yao (Landmark Corps), who played the cornet solo He Hideth My Soul. Next up was Theatre Level 1; the winner was Maya Mallory (Norfolk Kroc Center), who presented 6 Loafs and 2 Fish. Tania Hernandez (Montgomery County Corps) sang I’d Rather Have Jesus as the Vocal Level 1 winner.

Between the halves of the program, Bandmaster Delaney, who is the principal cornet of the National Capital Band, presented the cornet solo Jubilance (William Himes), accompanied by the band.

The second half started with the Dance winner, Carolee Burleigh (Norfolk Kroc Center), who danced to All or Nothing. This was followed by Katherine Purnell (Montgomery County Corps), Voice Level 2 winner, who sang Poor Wayfarin’ Stranger.

The Brass Level 2 winner was Sanjun Lee (Landmark Corps), who played the euphonium solo The Warrior (Philip Catelinet). The final winning performance was Eleanor Jensen (Montgomery County Corps), Theatre Level 2, who presented An Egyptian’s Perspective.

Before the final item, Bandmaster Delaney presented the NCV Music Leadership Award. This award, presented annually, honors a music leader from the division who has shown a high level of musicianship, leadership, and commitment to the mission of the Salvation Army. This year's recipient was a bit younger than usual. Wilber Hernandez (Montgomery County Corps), who will be enlisting in the US Marines as a musician later this summer, was the award winner.

The concert concluded with the National Capital Band presenting a major work. Ray Steadman-Allen’s The Holy War presents John Bunyan’s allegory of the battle for the town of Mansoul (Man’s Soul) in musical form. Written in 1965, this was a groundbreaking work in Salvation Army brass band literature in terms of harmonic and musical form, and is considered one of the greatest of Salvation Army brass band compositions.

Spring Concert

The annual Spring Concert is an opportunity for all of the groups that make up the Divisional Music and Arts (DMA) program to perform in a public setting. This year, the concert included performances by four brass bands, four choirs, two dance groups, two theatre ensembles, and two timbrel brigades.

The afternoon concert kicked off with the Divisional Youth Choir, led by DMD David Delaney and accompanied by Dr. Kate Wohlman, presenting Sing for Joy! (Richard Phillips). This was followed by the Rappahannock Brass (advanced intermediate band), led by Marleen Mallory, playing Soon and Very Soon (Andraé Crouch, arr. Stephen Bulla). Following a welcome from Amerika Outlaw and a prayer from Tyonna Robinson, the Rappahannock Brass presented another piece, Mighty to Save (arr. Stephen Bulla).

Next up was the Men’s Choir, led by David Mersiovsky and accompanied by Major Kim Feinauer, who sang Jesus, Thou Art Everything to Me (arr. William Himes). This was followed by a presentation titled Bag of Fear by Theatre 2, led by Lieutenant Ruby Keith. Timbrels 2 (leader Kelley Williams) presented a routing to Onward, Christian Soldiers. The last performance in this section of the concert was from the Singing Company, led by Danielle Moore and accompanied by Akeem Lipford. They sang Take It (David Elliott).

As the band formation was reset for the next group, a video showcasing the Territorial Music Institute was shown. After this, the Rapidan Band (intermediate band), led by Kevin Downing, played Duke Street (arr. William Himes). The song Recover (Ruelle) was the accompaniment for the Dance 2 group led by Sarah Wiley. Timbrels 2 brigade (leader Elsie Morris) was next with a routine to How I Got Over (Mary Mary). The Rapidan Band returned with Deep and Wide (Trevor Davis), followed by the Women’s Choir, led by Captain Grace Jo and accompanied by Kevin Downing, who sang For the Beauty of the Earth (John Rutter). The section concluded with the Theatre 1 troupe (leader Whitney Edmonds), who presented Humble Artistry.

As another band reset was underway, a video featuring the summer Music Conservatory was shown. The last section of the program began with the Beginner Band, led by Jessica and Chris Shiels, who presented Classics in Brass (William Himes), accompanied by members of the Divisional Youth Band. Next was the Dance 1 ensemble, led by Kenneth Davis and Angel Bryant, presented Rise Up (Andra Day).

The final item of the concert was from the Divisional Youth Band (Bandmaster David Delaney), who played the exciting major work Fire in the Blood. Written by Paul Lovatt-Cooper for the 120th anniversary celebrations of the International Staff Band in 2011, this difficult piece begins with a statement of Richard Phillip’s song Sing for Joy!, which was sung by the Divisional Youth Chorus at the beginning of the concert. The main theme is Laurie Klein’s well-known worship song I Love You, Lord, which Bandmaster Delaney had the Youth Band and congregation sing before the piece was performed.

Brass Crest Staff Report