Pentecost in Mooroolbark

The Melbourne Staff Band (Bandmaster Ken Waterworth) headed to the outer eastern suburb of Mooroolbark on the frosty morning of 27 May 2012. The day’s events were held at the modern auditorium of Oxley Christian College. The Staff Band was there to join in a celebration of Pentecost and the birthday of the Church.

Darren Waterworth and Colonel Ian Hamilton set the mood for a birthday by starting the meeting with a party – complete with popcorn, chips and balloons. Bandmaster Waterworth then invited some members of the Mooroolbark Corps (and co-workers at Territorial Headquarters) to lead in the singing of “Church on Fire”, “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “Refiner’s Fire”.

Garry Todd shared his testimony, reminding those present to take time to be silent and listen to the Lord. The Staff Band then presented their message, Move in My Life (James Wright). The audience was then blessed by the Mooroolbark Songsters, who sang Grace Alone. Colonel Hamilton brought his message on God’s ability to transform lives before the meeting came to a close with the congregation singing “Send the Fire”.

After lunch, the Staff Band re-assembled for an afternoon program, beginning with Stephen Bulla’s Tunesmith Overture, featuring the songs of Major Howard Davies. After a Scripture reading, they continued with They Shall Come from the East (arr. Kevin Larsson).

Several feature items followed. Garry Todd sparkled with the cornet solo Flourish (Sharman). The “all-star” trombone section – Ron Prussing, Major Graeme Faragher, Stuart Lees and Warren Hutchinson presented From That Sacred Hill (Krommenhoek). Jamie Smith and Craig Downes flew all over the register in the euphonium duet Brillante (Peter Graham).

The Mooroolbark Songsters then gathered, performing two items – God Is the Strength of My Heart and Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.

It was then time for Scott Downes to take center stage with his new flügelhorn. Downes had recently inquired of jazz maestro James Morrison about how to obtain one of his signature instruments. Morrison informed him that there was only one in Australia – Morrison’s own! After some wheeling and dealing, Downes convinced Morrison that it was time for him to get a new one, and was able to purchase Morrison’s old horn. With such a prestigious instrument, Downes blazed through Children of Sanchez (Chuck Mangione) to great applause.

William Himes’ Soli Deo Gloria then led into a short message from Colonel Hamilton before the Staff Band gave their premiere performance of Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s Fire in the Blood, featuring the songs “Lord, You Know That We Love You” and “I Love You, Lord”. This was very well-received by the audience, before a great day of music-making and worship came to a close with the classic festival march Celebration (Leslie Condon).

Melbourne Staff Band web site