ASB Ministry Weekend

The Amsterdam Staff Band (Bandmaster Olaf Ritman) traveled to Emmeloord, Kampen and Urk on the last weekend of March 2012. The Salvation Army has many activities in this area and the presence of the Staff Band gave a big publicity boost.

The busy weekend for the Staff Band musicians began on Saturday with a concert in the “Court of Forging” in Emmeloord. There was a capacity crowd and the people clearly enjoyed the music presented by the band, sometimes singing along. The music was chosen with this type of participation in mind.

After the concert in Emmeloord the band moved straight to the historic Bethelkerk in Urk, where, after a sound check in this beautiful church, the members were treated to a real “Urker” meal, fries with fish. Soloists for the evening included Simon Smedinga, who played the very difficult Fantasy for Euphonium (Philip Sparke), and Menno van der Woude (flügelhorn), for many years one of the Staff Band’s most popular soloists. The flügelhorn solo Hallelujah (Cohen) inspired many of the people to spontaneously sing along. In addition to the Amsterdam Staff Band, the evening concert also featured a gospel choir, whose style and choice of repertoire provided excellent variety.

Despite a short night (due in part to the changing of the clocks), all of the Staff Band musicians were on time for the morning meeting on Sunday in Kampen. Major Mieke Kuijpers, the executive officer of the Staff Band, gave a clear message and Carl Rosenquist (baritone) gave a testimony describing what God means to him.

After another fine meal, the Staff Band visited a nursing home, Myosotis, in Kampen. The reception here was exceptionally warm and the people visibly enjoyed the ministry of the band. The soloist featured in this performance was Mark Ontswedder (trombone), who played Knowing My Failings (Andrew Mackereth). This solo, which is based on a song from a Salvation Army musical, is a pleasant part of the repertoire of the Staff Band.

The last activity of the weekend was a special service in the canteen of a sports venue in Urk. With another full house of enthusiastic people, this was a worthy conclusion of a busy but wonderful weekend. In this service, Hans Lenting gave his testimony and the flügelhorn solo was again played. A final request from the audience was young Australian composer Sam Creamer’s swing arrangement of Faith Is the Victory.

Amsterdam Staff Band web site