On the weekend of 21 – 22 November 2009, the New York Staff Band (Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris) traveled to Connecticut to participate in the celebration of 125 years of Salvation Army service in New London and in Sunday worship at Hartford Citadel.
On Saturday, the Staff Band made the short journey to New London, joining Lieutenants Herb and Miriam Rader in the celebration of 125 years of Salvation Army service in that community. After some free time in the morning, during which the members visited the Submarine Force Museum (home of the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus), the band played in the Mall to an appreciative crowd, as the kick-off of the local Kettle Campaign.
The Saturday evening concert was held in the auditorium at Connecticut College. The major work of the evening was Hope, from the pen of the Staff Band’s talented composer-in-residence, Dorothy Gates. Also featured was Toshiyuki Shimada, musical director of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony and the Yale Symphony, who conducted a transcription of the Carmen Dragon arrangement of America the Beautiful. The Staff Band also presented a new march by Norman Bearcroft, entitled Homeward Bound, especially written for the occasion.
After spending the night in the beautiful setting of the Connri Lodge and Conference Center, the Staff Band conducted morning worship at Hartford Citadel. The chapel was full, with the congregation being joined by the residents from the local Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. During the service Staff Bandsman Andrew Garcia gave a personal testimony. The Staff Band contributed with the classic Eric Ball selection Serenity, which features the well-loved song “It Is Well with My Soul”. The message of the morning was brought by the Staff Band’s Executive Officer, Lt.-Colonel Kenneth W. Maynor, preaching from the book of James, which resulted in the mercy seat being lined twice during the invitation.
After lunch at Divisional Headquarters, the Staff Band boarded the coach for the return journey to New York, having completed another satisfying weekend of glorifying God through great music and leading people to a knowledge of Jesus Christ.
New York Staff Band web site, original report by Captain Brian Clark, NYSB Public Relations Secretary