Sounds of the Season in Chicago

The Chicago Staff Band (Bandmaster William Himes) presented “Sounds of the Season”, its annual Thanksgiving concert, on 27 November 2010. Special guests for the evening included euphonium soloist Derick Kane and the Salvation Story Steel Orchestra from the Red Shield Center, Chicago Englewood. The concert was held at the Edman Chapel on the grounds of Wheaton College.

Derick Kane has a long resumé as a euphonium soloist and has been the principal euphonium of the International Staff Band since 1976. The Salvation Story Steel Orchestra has the goal of providing an opportunity for Englewood youth to do something wonderful while building capacity into their lives. Both Kane and the Orchestra played magnificently and received standing ovations from the audience, which nearly filled the hall.

The Staff Band opened the concert with Seize the Day (Peter Graham), which was followed by the first solo from Derick Kane, another Graham composition, Canaan’s Land. As with many Salvation Army bands, the Chicago Staff Band has a tradition of singing as well as playing, and the next two items were presented by the Staff Band Chorus, I Hear That Voice A-Prayin’ (Bright) and Near to the Heart of God (McAfee, arr. Lucas).

Another euphonium solo was up next, with Kane offering Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s Donegal Bay. The Staff Band followed with Victory for Me! (Wilfred Heaton) and Bandmaster Himes’ arrangement of the fourth movement of Giannini’s Third Symphony.

The first performance of the evening from the Salvation Story Steel Orchestra was Jump for Joy (Lyons & Lewis, arr. Irvine). Dean Goffin’s Crusaders was the next item from the Staff Band, followed by another solo from Derick Kane, The Better World (Norman Bearcroft).

Further items from the Steel Band included Flight of the Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. Mast) and Caribbean Sing-Along (William Himes). The Staff Band presented two more items on their own, Give Thanks (Smith, arr. Pearce) and Let Everything Praise (Martin Cordner). The final two contributions from Derick Kane included his own composition, Christmas Dance, and another solo from the pen of Peter Graham, Glorious Ventures.

The Staff Band and the congregation joined in the well-loved Christmas song Joy to the World (arr. William Himes) and the Staff Band Chorus, bolstered by many Staff Band alumni who were in attendance, sent the audience home with the band’s traditional Choral Benediction.

During the concert, a devotional thought was brought by Colonel Néstor Nüesch, Chief Secretary (second in command) of the USA Central Territory of the Salvation Army, and the benediction was pronounced by Lt.-Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz, who is in command of the Salvation Army work in metropolitan Chicago.

Chicago Staff Band Secretary's Corner