The Chicago Staff Band (Bandmaster William Himes) left Territorial Headquarters shortly after noon on Saturday, 18 April 2009, to travel 175 miles to Pekin, Illinois. The weekend visit was at the invitation of the commanding officers in Pekin, Captains Peter and Catherine Mount.
Following setup and taking some photographs for the Staff Band’s upcoming trip to Europe, the events of the weekend began with a combined rehearsal with the Heartland Brass, who are in their inaugural season. Bandmaster Himes took the group through his classic arrangement of Nicaea and Captain James Frye, who serves as bandmaster of Heartland Brass, conducted the classic march Cairo Red Shield. Following the rehearsal there was time for a quick meal and then the evening concert commenced, with a nearly full hall at the First Church of the Nazarene, with over 400 persons in the audience.
The large audience, ninety percent of whom indicated that it was their first time attending a Salvation Army band concert, were treated to an exciting program presented by the two bands, including the following:
- Dance Like David
- Jubilance (Peggy Thomas, soloist)
- The Good Old Way
- Soon and Very Soon (vocal)
- He Leadeth Me (vocal)
- A personal testimony from Sang Kim
- Glorious Ventures (Jeremy Rowland, soloist)
- Memory (Kory Strand, soloist)
- Southmount (Heartland Brass, Captain Peter Mount conducting)
- Concert Piece (Brett Tolcher, soloist)
- You Raise Me Up (Heidi Strand, soloist)
- Devotional thought brought by Lt.-Col. Mickey McLaren
- Vitae Aeternum
- Nicaea (combined bands)
- Cairo Red Shield (combined bands)
- Choral Benediction
On Sunday, the Staff Band participated in the 8:15 a.m. service at the United Methodist Church. Because of limited space, only an ensemble was able to play, although the full chorus could sing. A children’s message on “The Instruments of the Band” was hampered a bit when no brave child could be found to learn to play a brass instrument in one easy lesson, however, the point of the message was still effectively communicated.
The Staff Band then moved to the Pekin Salvation Army, where again space limitations necessitated the use of an ensemble rather than the full band. The Staff Band’s Executive Officer spoke on “The Stones of Israel”. At the end of the service each person in attendance were given the opportunity to receive a white stone signifying our innocence obtained by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
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