ARC Welcomes Bristol Easton Band

As a part of their Easter tour of the US eastern seaboard, the Bristol Easton Band (Bandmaster Nathan Cole) performed at the Washington/Maryland Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Hyattsville, Maryland on 11 April 2012. The venue was a somewhat unusual one for a brass band, with the formation on a temporary stage in the center’s dining room. For many of the band members, this was their first visit to this type of Salvation Army facility.

The band kicked off the concert with Kevin Larsson’s Fill the World with Glory. This was followed by the first soloist of the evening, Daniel Sharpe (flügelhorn), who played In His Hands (Stanley Ditmer, arr. Howard Davies). This was followed by a prayer by Colonel David Hinton, who was serving as the band’s executive officer for the tour.

Next up was the first of the more extended works of the evening, Purpose (Paul Sharman). Major Don Smith, administrator of the ARC, gave some words of welcome and introduced Colonel Hinton, who then served as compère for the rest of the evening.

The next section of the concert was a lighter section, beginning with soprano cornetist Nicholas Brill, who presented The Higher Plane (Stephen Bulla). This was followed by one of the more entertaining and original performances of the evening, principal euphonium Anthony Smith presenting The Hot Canary (arr. David Childs). This solo featured several musical effects imitating bird calls, interspersed with manic technical passages showing the skill of the soloist to great effect. The set concluded with Erik Silfverberg’s novelty arrangement Tomado de la Mano, a Latin-inspired item featuring a large variety of percussion instruments and effects.

The next part of the program introduced the visiting band to one of the most inspiring parts of worship in the ARC environment – the testimony time. Using the old gospel song “Victory for Me”, the powerful testimonies of life-changing grace from the residents of the center had a profound impact on audience and performers alike.

The first half of the program ended with one of the great classics of Salvation Army brass band literature, Eric Ball’s magnificent The Kingdom Triumphant.

After the intermission, the band brought the audience back to attention with Leonard Ballantine’s arrangement of Wade in the Water. The audience then participated in the concert, singing Amazing Love (arr. William Himes) with the band.

Two more feature items followed. First, Andrew Newell presented the trombone solo Fiesta (Peter Graham). Then the percussion section was highlighted in They Shall Come from the East (Kevin Larsson).

A more devotional mood was introduced as the band showed that their musical talents extend to vocal as well as instrumental music, forming into a chorus to sing Lead the Way. This was followed by a Scripture reading – the story of the lame man whom Jesus healed at the Pool of Bethesda. Colonel Hinton then gave an excellent devotional talk with the theme “Time Heals All Wounds”. The band concluded this section with ’Mid All the Traffic (Leonard Ballantine).

The final “big” item on the program was Peter Graham’s exciting Seize the Day, leaving the audience with a good appreciation of both the technical skills and spiritual message of the Bristol Easton Band. Following a benediction, the bend sent everyone off with The Stars and Stripes Forever, conducted by Matt Sims, a former member of the Bristol Easton Band who is now the music director for the Central Virginia Area Command and the deputy bandmaster of the National Capital Band.

Source: Brass Crest Staff Report