Staff Band Opens Season in Vermont

The New York Staff Band (Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris) commenced what will be a very busy and exciting season with a visit to Burlington, Vermont on 16 – 17 October 2010. The Saturday evening concert took place in the sanctuary of the North Avenue Alliance Church, where a large audience, many traveling from Canada, was delighted with a great program from the Staff Band.

The music of Paul Lovatt-Cooper is proving very popular in the brass band world, and the evening commenced with his Where Eagles Sing, setting the tone for what was to follow.

Soloists featured on the program included Gordon Ward, who played the cornet solo Blessings (David Catherwood); Art Henry on tenor horn, who played The Higher Plane (Stephen Bulla); euphonium soloist Ryan McCrudden, who contributed Lcoomotiom (Norman Bearcroft); and Andrew Garcia, who brought the flügelhorn solo Children of Sanchez (Chuck Mangione). The trombone section was also featured with the moving When I Survey (Olaf Ritman), which ended in silence from the audience who had watched the words displayed on a screen.

The first major work of the evening, Dean Goffin’s classic Symphony of Thanksgiving, brought the first half of the concert to a close.

Following a short intermission, the band played the march Montreal Citadel, to the delight of those in the audience who had traveled down from Montreal for the concert. No NYSB program is complete without an arrangement from the talented Dorothy Gates, and the band chorus (under her direction) sang Heaven, while Doug Berry presented a new arrangement of Feelin’ Good.

The evening seemed to go far too quickly for many in the audience, and no sooner had the program commenced than they were treated to the second major work of the evening, and the last item on the printed program. This was Excerpts from Finale from Symphony No. 4 (Tchaikovsky, arr. William Gordon), played at a blistering pace. Following a standing ovation, the band played Dorothy Gates’ arrangement of All You Need Is Love, and the evening concluded, as is traditional with New York Staff Band concerts, with The Stars and Stripes Forever and the vocal benediction Rock of Ages.

Sunday morning worship was held in the Burlington Corps building where new Staff Bandsman Bethany Mikles brought a personal testimony, and Executive Officer Lt.-Colonel Wayne Maynor shared the message. The Staff Band contributed Consecration (Brian Bowen), written for their performance at Hendon Highlights in January 2010. The Band Chorus sang Spirit Divine.

New York Staff Band web site, original report by Captain Brian Clark, NYSB Public Relations Secretary