Excitement greeted members of the Canadian Staff Band (CSB) as they took the stage for their 42nd anniversary festival in March at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The band presented a diverse program of music that also featured the New York Staff Band (NYSB) under the direction of Ronald Waiksnoris.
The CSB premiered two new works: The Gathering by Marcus Venables and Rejoice! by Colonel Robert Redhead. Other pieces included Major Leonard Ballantine’s Abram’s Praise and Ein Feste Burg, the popular Dance of the Tumblers by Rimsky-Korsakov and Kevin Norbury’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Purcell.
The NYSB gave dazzling performances of Children of Sanchez, featuring Andrew Garcia on flugel horn, a band chorus rendition of Heaven by Los Lonely Boys, and an energetic arrangement of Ol’ Man River with scintillating drum solos by Bob Jones. The band also played a new composition by Kenneth Downie, Hope of Glory. The two bands combined to present four items to conclude the evening, culminating with Eric Ball’s masterpiece, The Kingdom Triumphant.
On Sunday, the NYSB ministered at Toronto’s Yorkminster Citadel while the CSB led the meeting at Toronto’s Harbour Light Ministries. Both groups will participate in the International Staff Band’s 120th anniversary celebrations in June. Eight staff bands from around the Army world will perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, and march down The Mall into Buckingham Palace. Prior to this weekend, the CSB will visit the Netherlands and Germany from May 28-June 2, while the NYSB will tour Ireland.
For more information, visit Canadianstaffband.ca.