July Sunshine for Melbourne Staff Band

The Melbourne Staff Band (Bandmaster Ken Waterworth) visited the Sunshine Parish of the Uniting Church on Sunday, 20 July 2003. The band participated in the morning worship at the church and also presented an afternoon festival. Four new members made their first Staff Band appearances: cornetists Joshua Yip, Ben Anderson, and Gail van Gaalen; and Kevin Still on tenor horn.

The Uniting Church in Australia

In 1977, three separate denominational organizations in Australia joined together to form the Uniting Church: Methodist (The Methodist Church of Australasia), Congregational (The Congregational Union of Australia), and Presbyterian (The Presbyterian Church of Australia). It is a part of a worldwide family of United/Uniting churches. The Sunshine Parish is located in the western portion of Melbourne.

The Staff Band began the morning with a prelude to worship, which included two solo items: the cornet solo Be Thou My Vision (James Curnow), soloist Ken Whittaker, and the flügelhorn solo His Eye Is On the Sparrow (Stephen Bulla), soloist Garry Todd.

The Executive Officer of the Staff Band, Lt.-Colonel Peter Callender, introduced the chorus "To Be Like Jesus" to the congregation, which was made up mainly of non-Salvationists. This was an introduction for his message later in the service, which was entitled "To be like Jesus - Full of Joy".

Musical items presented by the band during the morning service included a vocal arrangement by Thomas Mack, By His Hand. Bandsman Jonathon Still contributed with the vocal solo Christ In Me. The band added to the atmosphere of praise by playing Shine On Us (William Gordon).

Following lunch and a time of Christian fellowship with the Sunshine Uniting congregation, the Staff Band opened the afternoon festival with Michael Kenyon’s transcription of Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla, followed by the march Steadfast (Martin Cordner). Features and solos performed during the festival included two pieces composed by Ralph Pearce: the trombone feature There Is a Redeemer and the euphonium duet Glory, performed by Nigel Atwill and Mark Hamilton. Other soloists included Jamie Smith (tenor horn), playing Norman Bearcroft’s Green Hill, and cornetist Neil Roper, playing This Is My Story (Olav Lundqvist).

William Himes’ masterpiece Aspects of Praise was the major composition for the festival. Based on the hymn tune “Azmon”, the work presents four movements evoking praise in varied circumstances – joy, meditation, sadness and persecution, and fellowship. This was followed by another Himes composition with a praise theme, Endless Praise. The band formed a vocal ensemble to offer an arrangement of the lively Standing in the Need of Prayer.

The concert ended with Chariots (William Gordon) and Erik Leidzén’s march Manhattan, both conducted by Deputy Staff Bandmaster Paul Smith.

Melbourne Staff Band web site