The Canadian Staff Band (CSB) celebrated 46 years of ministry through music in May with an evening at Toronto’s Scarborough Citadel. The event had both a national and an international flavour with special guests Mark Barter, piano soloist from St. John’s Temple, and the Household Troops Band from the United Kingdom.
“It was evident from the first notes the staff band played of Let There be Light! (Ponsford) as the Troops Band entered, resplendent in their trademark pith helmets, that the enthusiastic crowd was in for a real musical feast,” says Craig Lewis, CSB member.
There were moments of excitement and quiet reverence as the evening proceeded. The Troops Band thrilled the audience with a selection of new music including Opening Ceremony (Phillips), Troops Salute (Sharman) and a new major work, Music of a Legacy (Ponsford). Barter provided a moment of repose as he played It Is Well With My Soul, and joined with the CSB for Fantasia for Piano and Band on Christ is the Answer (Steadman-Allen).
Following a devotional by Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander, the combined music forces sang Jesus, Thou Art Everything To Me (arr. Himes), which was a highlight for many. To complete the night, the massed bands presented a world premiere of former Canadian Staff Bandmaster Robert Redhead’s composition, O Church Arise!
“On a night honouring the past, it was a real encouragement to see a bright future for this expression of Salvationist music making,” concludes Lewis.