The Chicago Staff Band (Bandmaster William Himes) began the 2011 – 2012 season with a rehearsal on 6 September 2011. The band begins this season with minimal personnel changes.
In the horn section, Colonel Merle Heatwole has stepped down. Colonel Heatwole was appointed as the Chief Secretary of the USA Central Territory in the middle of the previous season, but graciously agreed to finish the season with the band despite the increase in his responsibilities. Replacing him in the horn section is Major John Aren, an officer stationed at the Chicago Northside Adult Rehabilitation Center.
Mike Hanton, bass trombone, has also left the band. Hanton and his family have answered God’s call to Salvation Army officership and have entered the College for Officer Training in Chicago. Jim Olson moves from the baritone section to bass trombone this season.
Due to a change in his work schedule, Mark Pierson, who has served faithfully in the tuba section for a number of years, has had to leave the band. He is replaced by Scott Thomas, a soldier at the Norridge Citadel Corps.