The morning after the Brass Alive concert with Kew Band Melbourne and Hawthorn Band, the Melbourne Staff Band (Bandmaster Ken Waterworth) spent Sunday, 3 April 2011 at the Doncaster Corps in the east of Melbourne.
The Staff Band rehearsed at Doncaster for a number of years before moving into Territorial Headquarters, so the day brought back some memories of long winter Wednesday nights for the band.
The morning worship commenced with the Kenneth Downie’s gorgeous arrangement The Joy of Loving Hearts which led into a welcome by Auxiliary Captain Railton Hill, Doncaster corps officer.
A joint congregational reading was followed by a congregational song, “Holy, Holy, Holy”. The worship continued with the singing of “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus”, “There Is a Redeemer” and “Just Let Me Say”.
Announcements and offering were followed by the Staff Band playing Sam Creamer’s beautiful arrangement of the well-known hymn Abide with Me. David Berry read Scripture and one of the Staff Band’s newest members, Craig Downes (euphonium) of the Box Hill Corps testified about how the Lord is working in his life. This led into the band bringing its second music message by the way of All That I Am (William Himes, arr. Ian Jones) in the form of a euphonium and cornet duet played beautifully by Downes and Jason Stewart.
Staff Band vocalist Rebecca Raymond made the early morning flight from Adelaide to be with the band once again and she sang Michael W. Smith’s worship song Above All, which led nicely into Colonel Ian Hamilton’s message about tuning into God and listening to what he is saying to us as his followers.
This time of worship ended with a time of reflection with the song “Be Still for the Presence of the Lord” and a closing song, “Master, Speak; Thy Servant Heareth”. The Staff Band then played The Lord Bless Thee (John Rutter, arr. Olaf Ritman) as a benediction.
Following the morning worship the Staff Band then headed to downtown Templestowe to the annual Templestowe Outdoor Festival where they presented a 45-minute recital, playing a wide range of music. The weather threatened with dark clouds, but it did not dampen the spirits of the people who took time to listen as the Staff Band added to the festivities.
After arriving back at the Doncaster Corps hall a delightful lunch spread was waiting for the band to devour and, like always, the band did not waste any time in satisfying themselves.
With Anzac Day quickly approaching (and a full stomach to burn off) the band took the opportunity to disturb the neighborhood by doing a street march with a few classic Salvation Army marches. Joyful News, Emblem of the Army and Flag of Freedom were the choices before heading into the citadel again for the afternoon event.
The afternoon concert was important for the corps and its members and it was a full hall with plenty of special guests. The church building and grounds have had a lot of work completed recently and there have been many people involved who had given of their time and resources, and this was an afternoon to inform those from the community what had been done to celebrate this.
Along with the Staff Band, the other musical guests were the Serpells Primary School choir and a rock ’n roll band who called themselves “The Fabulous Dads Band” which included the Captain Hill on guitar and vocals.
After hearing the musical items from the other groups and listening to all the formalities, the Staff Band did get the chance to participate in the afternoon by offering their musical items which included of Agnus Dei (Sam Creamer), Tunesmith Overture (Stephen Bulla), vocal solos Makes We Wanna Pray (arr. Hogg) and Your Grace Still Amazes Me (arr. Hogg), Atonement (Roger Trigg) and William Tell Overture (Rossini, arr. Kenyon).
Though the Staff Band was not the focus of the afternoon, it was absolutely fantastic for the Corps to see the hall packed to the rafters and the band prays for Doncaster Corps that something will come of this and the church will continue to grow.
Melbourne Staff Band, original report by Jamie Smith