Canadian Journey for Illinois Band

On the weekend of 19 – 21 November 2010, Salvationists in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, were privileged to host the Rockford Temple Band from Rockford, Illinois. The band traveled to southern Ontario to take part in the Canadian Staff Band’s Fall Festival and to march in the Toronto Santa Claus Parade.

Friday, 19 November 2010

The members of the visiting band were kept busy from the moment they arrived, presenting a concert at Meadowlands Corps, Hamilton, on Friday evening. The audience appreciated the presentations of the Rockford Temple Band (Bandmaster Steve Sjogren) and world-renowned soloist Mark Ridenour, a Salvationist and the assistant principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

After a busy day of rehearsals on Saturday, the visiting group joined the Canadian Staff Band (Bandmaster John Lam) and the Ontario Central-East Divisional Youth Chorus (Leader Cathie Koehnen) to present an enjoyable concert at Scarborough Citadel. Items from the Staff Band included Ein Feste Burg (Leonard Ballantine), The Name (Martin Cordner), Rhapsody on a Theme by Purcell (Kevin Norbury), Dance of the Tumblers (Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. Wilfred Heaton). The Staff Band also premiered a new piece, Deep Harmony, by young Canadian composer Marcus Venables.

The Youth Chorus added significantly to the program with their energetic presentations of I’m Gonna Sing Till the Spirit Moves in My Heart and Shackles, and the more meditative selections Your God Will Come and God So Loved the World.

Rockford Temple Band showed their diversity by playing everything from their signature march Rockford Temple (written more than 50 years ago by Emil Söderstrom) to William Broughton’s trombone ensemble Glory Be!. In between, the audience was treated to So Glad! (William Himes) featuring Mark Ridenour on flügelhorn, Round-Up (Martin Cordner), and the finale from Rossini’s William Tell Overture (arr. Dean Goffin). Two pieces were featured that were written and conducted by members of the band: Peru Cien by Stan Kelley and Day of Pentecost by George Strombeck.

In addition to all of the above, Mark Ridenour was featured, along with Staff Band soloist Steve Brown, in Peter Graham’s scintillating cornet duet Quicksilver, accompanied by the Staff Band.

The evening concluded with the massed bands playing True Colours (Neils Silfverberg), followed by William Himes’ moving Procession to Covenant, a setting of the hymn “O love that wily not let me go” written for the composer’s own wedding in 1998.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

On Sunday morning, the Rockford Temple Band participated in worship at Bloor Central Corps, where the message was given by Major Kevin Metcalf, executive officer of the Canadian Staff Band. It was then off to march in the 106th annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade. With the members of the Rockford Temple Band and the Canadian Staff Band, players from many corps bands in and around Toronto and southern Ontario, this year’s group of 170 – including territorial and divisional leaders, the color party and timbrelists – was the largest since the Salvation Army re-commenced participating in the parade in 2005. It was a tremendous opportunity for witness to the 500,000 people who lined the parade route, as well as millions more who watched the event on television throughout Canada and the world.

Canadian Staff Band web site