The National Capital Band of the Salvation Army, based in Washington, DC, began its 2011 – 2012 season with the Annual Band Retreat held at Camp Happyland in central Virginia. This was the second weekend in a row at camp for the band, who the weekend before supported the divisional Family Camp. The theme chosen by Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner for this year’s Band Retreat was “Unity”.
Continuing with the style established last season, the retreat alternated between rehearsal sessions and small group “breakout” sessions, which emphasized the spiritual and relational aspects of the band, focusing on the theme for the weekend. The culmination of the retreat was a service of consecration held on Saturday afternoon.
Attendance at the retreat this year was outstanding, with only two members of the band unable to participate because of other important commitments. The band read through much of the repertoire for the upcoming season in the five rehearsal sessions. As usual, the retreat was a time to allow new members and those with changed roles to become familiar with their positions.
For the breakout sessions, the band was divided into four groups, which met separately. Because of the number of new members, each group included at least one. The groups were also structured so that a range of experience was included in each. The sessions served both as means for the members to become more familiar with each other and also as a spiritual point of focus. The concept of the breakout groups, which was introduced in last year’s retreat, is regarded by many in the band as the most significant part of the rehearsal weekend.
Source: Brass Crest Staff Report