On the weekend of 30 April – 1 May 2011, the Canadian Staff Band (Bandmaster John Lam) was privileged to participate in the 125th anniversary celebrations at Listowel, a small-town corps in rural Ontario with a vibrant history and a strong musical heritage. Guest leaders for the weekend were Colonels Robert and Gwenyth Redhead, with Robert Redhead leading the Staff Band in several of his own compositions.
Following an afternoon rehearsal, the celebrations got underway with a delicious anniversary dinner at the Listowel Mennonite Church, during which greetings were brought by local civic and church leaders. A large crowd then gathered for the evening concert, during which the Staff Band presented a variety of items. These included three pieces by Colonel Robert Redhead, former Staff Bandmaster (1976 - 1985): the suite Shout Salvation (conducted by the composer), the euphonium solo Salvus played by Steve Pavey, and a new work, Rejoice!, written for the Staff Band’s upcoming visit to London, England for the International Staff Band’s 120th anniversary celebrations.
A highlight of the concert was the Staff Band accompanying three beginners in William Himes’ Classics in Brass. Also during the program, Mrs. Bessie Wettlaufer read a poem she had written that described highlights of the history of the Listowel Corps, and Colonel Gwenyth Redhead shared a devotional message that included a dramatic recitation based on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and featured the Staff Band playing “Bind Us Together” from her husband’s major work Corpus Christi.
Sunday morning worship began with a band prelude that featured a father-and-son trombone duet, I’ll Not Turn Back (Ivor Bosanko), with Ken and Josh Bailey, both Staff Band members from Listowel. Ken Bailey is only the sixth bandmaster in the history of the Listowel Corps, following in his father’s footsteps since 1987.
The service included lively singing led by the corps worship team, the enrollment of a senior soldier, and an inspirational message by Colonel Robert Redhead, based on Philippians 2:5-11, known as the “Christ-Hymn”. This was followed by the Staff Band’s rendition of his composition of the same name, based on that thematic Scripture passage.
Canadian Staff Band web site