It has become a tradition for the Amsterdam Staff Band (Bandmaster Olaf Ritman) to plan a study weekend in January. This year, the first notes of the weekend sounded at 9:30 am on a Saturday morning.
In the first session, a number of new works, including Fusion (Martin Cordner) and Take Time to Be Holy (Paul Sharman), and older works (though new to the Staff Band) such as Fantasy for Euphonium (Philip Sparke) and Sounds of Singing (Leslie Condon) were extensively studied and rehearsed.
After lunch, the Staff Band went to National Headquarters, where the members prepared for a march to the center of Almere. This was the official launch for the national celebration of 125 years of the Salvation Army in the Netherlands. The event was attended by, among others, Commissioner Hans van Vliet and Mayor Annemarie Joritsma. The amount of press present (cameramen and photographers) made this event interesting, and the anniversary was also mentioned on several radio and television stations during the weekend. The Staff Band was an easy (and willing) target for the cameras – good music always attracts.
The remaining time was used for new band photographs (group and profile pictures). This is an annual event, and once again the weather made it almost impossible for the photographer to record the whole band neatly on film.
On Sunday morning, the band came together for a period of reflection before rehearsing again. New music by Ian Clarke, Martin Cordner, Paul Sharman and Ty Watson found its way to the stands and was played with great energy.
Amsterdam Staff Band web site