Staff Band in Frankston

On Sunday, 11 November 2007, the Melbourne Staff Band visited Frankston, located on the Southern Peninsula about 40 km south of Melbourne. The Staff Band had last visited the town some twelve years earlier. The current corps officer at Frankston is a former member of the Staff Band, Graeme Adnams. The weather was cloudless and warm, providing a pleasant environment for the day’s activities.

Before the morning service, the Staff Band provided some preliminary music, including the simple arrangement Jesus Himself Drew Near and an arrangement of Holy Ground (arr. Dean Jones). Staff Bandsman Ben Anderson led the call to worship as the congregation sang the contemporary song The Great Southland (Geoff Bullock) which was followed by Breathe on Me, Breath of God. Prayer and peronal testimony were supplied by Nigel Mapes and Damien Rawlings respectively. Rawlings also introduced the first contribution by the band during the service, Reasons Why (Ian Feltwell), featuring two contemporary Christian songs, “We Are the Reason” and “Reasons Why”.

In many countries, the 11th of November is a special day of remembrance, and Australia is no exception. Principal cornet Neil Roper played the last post and a minute of silence was observed in respect for those who had fallen in war.

The first portion of the morning service concluded with the offertory, with Ben Anderson demonstrating another of his many talents by providing the musical backdrop as the offering was collecting, playing his own piano arrangement of Be Still for the Presence of the Lord.

The service continued with Caroline Holman reading the Scripture and Sarah Nottle, who was tasked with selecting the next congregational song, settling on the Salvationist classic war song “Storm the Forts”. Lindsay Peterson provided an introduction for the Staff Band’s second contribution to the service. The worship chorus Faithful God, arranged by Dean Jones, led into the sermon by the Staff Band’s Executive Officer, Major Len Turner, taking his text from Ezekiel 37.

Rachel Peterson, the Staff Band’s vocal soloist, provided a fitting backdrop to the altar call and time of reflection with the songs Softly and Tenderly and I Surrender All. The morning service concluded with a stirring congregational song, Send the Fire.

The band had a chance to share lunch with the local corps members, then headed out to the street for a brief march. Because of the warm weather, it was decided to forego festival tunics for the afternoon concert. Originally, it had been planned to share this concert with the Frankston City Band, but unfortunately this could not be arranged. Although the City Band was not present as a unit, the Staff Band was glad to hear that several members of the City Band have begun attending the Frankston Corps because of the influence of Captain Adnams, who participates in the City Band.

The afternoon concert was in the typical Melbourne Staff Band pattern, with a wide variety of music. Full band contributions included Marching Onward (Ivor Bosanko), The Power of Your Love (arr. Terracini), El Es Señor (Dean Jones), Wade in the Water (arr. Leonard Ballantine), King of Kings, The Last Amen (Peter Graham), Milestone (William Himes), and a new work by Robert Redhead, Back to the Future, which features Nathan Rowe’s song “I’ll Fight”.

Rachel Peterson provided four songs, including Hosanna (arr. Brian Hogg), God Bless the Child (arr. Michael Pilley), Waltzing Matilda (arr. Ian Jones) and another Brian Hogg arrangement, His Eye Is on the Sparrow.

Instrumental soloists during the afternoon concert included Jamie Smith, Rhapsody for Euphonium; Neil Roper (cornet), The Prayer; and Paul Smith (trombone), Rejoice.

Melbourne Staff Band web site