MSB Helps Celebrate 120 Years in Ballarat

The weekend of 9 – 10 August 2003, was the observance of 120 years of the Salvation Army in Ballarat. The City of Ballarat is one of Australia’s larger inland cities, located 110 km northwest of Melbourne, in the Central Highlands Region. The Melbourne Staff Band (Bandmaster Ken Waterworth) participated in the weekend’s festivities with a Saturday evening festival and two services on Sunday.

Saturday, August 9

The band began the evening festival by coming in down the aisles with the march The Conflict playing through the hall speakers. The band opened the actual playing portion of the evening with Fanfare and Prelude on “Westminster”; (by Staff Bandsman Richard Squibb) and Russlan and Ludmilla (Glinka). Following some remarks by Major Frank Daniels, Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army in Western Victoria, the band presented two of its featured soloists, Ken Whittaker on cornet, playing Joyous Song, and Richard Squibb performing The Day Thou Gavest on piano. Ralph Pearce’s arrangement of There Is a Redeemer featured the trombone section. This was followed by the major work for the first half of the festival, Resurgam (Eric Ball). The first portion of the concert ended with Peter Graham’s composition Ask.

Following an intermission, the band returned to the platform with O That Place and a vocal feature, Standing in the Need of Prayer. Soloists in the second half of the festival included euphonium duetists Nigel Atwill and Mark Hamilton, showing off their technical skills with Glory (Ralph Pearce). Another mellow-toned instrument, the flügelhorn, was ably used by Garry Todd to perform Stephen Bulla’s solo arrangement of His Eye Is on the Sparrow. The band then performed its major work for the evening, William Himes’ Aspects of Praise. Following closing remarks by Staff Band Executive Officer Lt.-Colonel Peter Callender, the band concluded the concert with Hallelujah Parade (Kevin Norbury) and Manhattan (Erik Leidzén).

Sunday, August 10

Undaunted by the cold weather, a large congregation gathered for the Sunday morning service. The band provided a musical preliminary to the meeting which included Shine On Us, Green Hill (featuring Jamie Smith as tenor horn soloist), and Jesus Answers Prayer. In addition to accompanying congregational singing, the band contributed to the worship with Kenneth Downie’s Silent Vigil. The message for the morning was brought by Commissioner Brian Morgan, speaking on “The Marks of God’s People”.

Following the conclusion of the morning service, the band participated in the unveiling of a historical marker. The band marched down Barkly Street where a large crowd witnessed the new marker, which commemorates the work of Salvationist Joseph Berry, an early contributor to the film industry in Australia.

The Delacombe Corps was the venue for the Sunday afternoon portion of the celebration. The Staff Band contributed to this concluding celebration with the march Steadfast (Martin Cordner), Credo (Lorne Barry) and Endless Praise (William Himes). The anniversary observance fittingly came to a close with a congregational expression of praise, “Praise God, I’m Saved” and “Give to Jesus Glory”.

Melbourne Staff Band web site