The Amsterdam Staff Band of the Salvation Army, (Bandmaster Howard J. Evans), toured the West Coast of the United States from December 27, 2002 through January 5, 2003. The tour included stops in southern California where the band participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade, northern California, and Seattle.
The Staff Band arrived in the United States on Friday, December 27. On Saturday morning, they participated in a marching rehearsal held at Edison International Field in Anaheim, California. That evening, they presented their first concert of the tour, at Pasadena Tabernacle.
The Staff Band’s busy schedule continued on Sunday, December 29, with a morning worship service at Pasadena Tabernacle followed by another marching practice. Sunday evening’s worship was at the Santa Ana Temple Corps, which is the largest corps in the USA Western Territory, with over 450 soldiers on the rolls. Santa Ana is a predominantly Hispanic corps, and the Staff Band shared the beginning of the program with the corps’ worship band.
Monday and Tuesday, 30 and 31 December, were days for the band to show its ministry by participating in the Tournament of Roses “Bandfest” and in an afternoon parade at Universal Studios Hollywood. On New Year’s Eve, they joined with the band of the Tustin Ranch Corps (Bandmaster Ed Freeman).
On New Year’s Day, the Amsterdam Staff Band joined with 190 other Salvationist musicians to march in the 114th Tournament of Roses Parade. The Salvation Army Band participated in the parade, which is one of the most-watched television events, with an estimated 350 million viewers worldwide, for the 84th consecutive year. The is the longest span for any band playing in the parade. In recent years the Rose Parade band has become an international group, with musicians from all parts of the United States, Canada, and South America. Kevin Larsson, Music Director for the Southern California Division, served as the director of the parade band.
Following the New Year’s Day march, the Staff Band continued up the West Coast of the United States, visiting San Francisco and playing concerts in the Northern California cities of San Jose and Sacramento. The tour concluded with a festival at Seattle Temple Corps in Seattle, Washington and the Staff Band’s final notes on this tour, at the Sunday morning Holiness Meeting at Seattle Temple.