The Chicago Staff Band (Bandmaster William Himes) traveled to Iowa City, Iowa on Saturday, 24 April 2010 for a weekend which included a joint concert with the Eastern Iowa Brass Band (Conductor Casey Thomas). Other performers participating included two groups from the Iowa City Salvation Army, the youth gospel choir Joyful Noize and the dance troupe Ordained 2 Praise.
The Staff Band arrived at the venue for the Saturday evening concert, Parkview Church, in time to have rehearsals with Joyful Noize and the Eastern Iowa Brass Band. Following the rehearsals and sound checks, the performers and guests were treated to an excellent meal provided by one of the local Iowa City Salvationists.
The Chicago Staff Band took the stage for the first portion of the concert, opening with El Es Él Señor (Dean Jones). Flügelhorn soloist Beth Cooper presented the first and third movements of Bandmaster Himes’ Concertino for Flugel and Band. The Joyful Noize youth choir joined with the Staff Band in performing The Spirit of the Lord (Funk, arr. Thomas). The next item was a duet, Time and Eternity (Ivor Bosanko), featuring Peggy Thomas and Shaun Thomas. The Staff Band’s first set concluded with Sirocco (Peter Graham).
Focus then shifted to the Eastern Iowa Brass Band, who began their portion of the program with The Contestor (Powell) and Mr. Sandman (arr. Baker). Two transcriptions of works by renowned vocal composer John Rutter were featured next, I Am the Resurrection from “Requiem” and A Gaelic Blessing. The final item in this portion of the program was American Overture (Jenkins).
The Staff Band then returned to the fore, presenting three more items before the intermission. Matthew Luhn presented the second and third movements of Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Trombone (arr. Leslie Condon). This was followed by the ebullient Cause for Celebration (William Himes) and a classic by Ray Steadman-Allen, The High Council.
The Eastern Iowa Brass Band brought the house back from the intermission with Blue Rondo a la Turk. The dance troupe Ordained 2 Praise gave a beautiful presentation, leading into the final portion of the program, featuring items with both bands in massed formation. These included Light Walk (Barrie Gott), with Casey Thomas conducting and featuring soloist Paul Waech and Amazing Grace (arr. William Himes). To bring the concert to a rousing finish, the massed bands presented what is perhaps the most well-known march of all, The Stars and Stripes Forever (John Philip Sousa, arr. William Himes). The Staff Band provided a choral benediction as the audience prepared to depart from the church.
On Sunday morning, the Staff Band participated in the worship service at the Iowa City Corps, with Captain John Pook leading the Sunday School and the band chorus singing with an accompaniment provided by a brass ensemble. The members of the band were privileged to celebrate with the members of the corps as 31 new members, both youth and adult, were added to the rolls. The speaker for the worship service was Colonel Carol Seiler.