NYSB Massachusetts Ministry Weekend

On the weekend of 16 – 18 November 2018, the New York Staff Band (Bandmaster Derek Lance) traveled to the Massachusetts Division for a ministry weekend that included stops in Worcester, Canton, Boston, and Brockton. Massachusetts Divisional Music Director (DMD) Matthew Luhn and his team organized the events of the weekend.

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Staff Band departed from Territorial Headquarters on a coach and headed to Worcester for the first engagement of the weekend, at the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). The evening’s program featured mostly upbeat and contemporary items. Whenever the band plays at an ARC facility, the atmosphere is warm and friendly and the audience is great, and this night was no exception.

The program for the Worcester ARC concert was as follows:

  • To Ask the Lord’s Blessing (Simon Morton)
  • Amazing Grace (William Himes)
  • Almighty (Roger Trigg)
  • Floods of Joy (Olaf Ritman), Brindley Venables, cornet soloist
  • Birdland (arr. Smith)
  • They Shall Come from the East (Kevin Larsson)
  • Balkan Dance (Etienne Crausaz)
  • Toccata Fire (Steven Ponsford)
  • Everlasting Hope (Paul Sharman)
  • Devotional – Lt.-Colonel James LaBossiere
  • I Sing Because I’m Happy, Band Chorus
  • Turris Fortissima (Steven Ponsford)
  • The Stars and Stripes Forever (John Philip Sousa, arr. Dorothy Gates)
  • Rock of Ages

Saturday, 17 November 2018

The band had an early start on Saturday in preparation for a leadership training day at Massachusetts Divisional Headquarters, located in Canton, about thirty miles south of Boston. This was a great opportunity for the band to share in fellowship with delegates from the division and surrounding area, and for the delegates to learn closely from the Staff Band. Kathryn Higgins and Ian Evans, from the Territorial Arts Ministries Department, were also present to teach dance and drama classes.

Before the workshops started, there was a time of worship and devotion. The Staff Band played a few pieces and accompanied congregational singing. Items included South Shields Celebration (Martin Cordner), Holy Holy, Holy and Send the Fire from the Hallelujah Choruses collection, and Great Are You Lord (Joel Collier). Matt Hodgson shared a devotional thought and DMD Matt Luhn then walked everytone through the schedule for the day and then it was off to classes.

A number of classes were offered on a rotation basis: “Teaching Beginners”, “Teaching Young Percussionists”, “Guitar: Bridging Lessons to Leading Worship”, “Piano: Resources and Techniques for Young Pianists”, “Beginner Drama”, “Beginner Dance”, and “Designing Your First Timbrel Drill”. Simon Morton gave some tips on “How to Structure a Corps Music Program”, Aaron VanderWeele talked about “Music and Arts at Trade”, and Aaron Harris led the group through some vocal techniques and “How to Start a Singing Company”. After the day of workshops was over, the Staff Band was delighted that the recently formed Massachusetts Divisional Youth Band (DYB), led by Bandmaster Luhn, performed a concert for all of the attendees.

The New York Staff Band at historic Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2018

The New York Staff Band at historic Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2018

After listening to the Massachusetts DYB, the Staff Band headed to Faneuil Hall, located in downtown Boston. The Hall is a historic building that has been standing since 1742, and is known as “The Cradle of Liberty”. In 1895, General William Booth spoke at this hall, and the New York Staff Band accompanied him on that day. The Staff Band was privileged to be playing at the same venue 132 years later. After setting up and doing a sound check, members of the band headed out for dinner at various restaurants in Quincy Market, located right beside Faneuil Hall.

The full program for the Faneuil Hall concert was as follows:

  • To Ask the Lord’s Blessing (Simon Morton)
  • Be Still (Dorothy Gates)
  • Prayer and Welcome
  • Russlan and Ludmilla (Mikahil Glinka, arr. Michael Kenyon)
  • Floods of Joy (Olaf Ritman), Brindley Venables, cornet soloist
  • Birdland (arr. Smith)
  • The Southern Cross (Brian Bowen)
  • O Love (Andrew Blyth)
  • Partita on “St. Theodulph” (Kevin Norbury)
  • Intermission
  • Balkan Dance (Etienne Crausaz)
  • Toccata Fire (Steven Ponsford)
  • Everlasting Hope (Paul Sharman)
  • Devotional – Lt.-Colonel James LaBossiere
  • I Sing Because I’m Happy, Band Chorus
  • Turris Fortissima (Steven Ponsford)
  • The Kingdom Triumphant (Eric Ball), Massed Bands
  • The Stars and Stripes Forever (John Philip Sousa, arr. Dorothy Gates)
  • Rock of Ages

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Sunday morning worship was held at the Brockton Corps. The Staff Band played several pieces throughout the service, including Joel Collier’s new composition, Great Are You Lord. This has been a very useful piece whenever the band has played it, along with another of Collier’s items, He Watches, which was recently recorded by the International Staff Band. Andrew Blyth has written a beautiful piece entitled O Love, which was the featured selection, and is also a very effective and moving piece. After the service, the Staff Band was treated to a wonderful meal and fellowship, before boarding the coach and heading home.

Source:
New York Staff Band web site

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