Tag Archives: Camp Happyland

Annual Band Retreat 2010

“New Beginnings” was the theme for the annual Family Camp for the National Capital & Virginia Division this year, and the same spirit carried through the following weekend (10 – 11 September 2010), when the National Capital Band gathered at Camp Happyland for their annual Band Retreat. With a new bandmaster, Dr. Steve Kellner at the helm and seven new players joining the band this season, the band is indeed experiencing “new beginnings”.

The Band Retreat has been the first official engagement of each season for the NCB for many years. It is intended as a time to perform organizational tasks, read through the upcoming repertoire, and set the band up both musically and spiritually for their mission. This year, Bandmaster Kellner instituted significant changes in the schedule of the retreat, with more emphasis on the spiritual and social aspects of the group.

Rehearsal sessions were reduced from 90 minutes to 60, but were increased in number from three to five. After each rehearsal session, the band broke into four groups, with each member (and family members who were in attendance for the retreat) participating through each group in a round-robin fashion. The groups, using materials provided by the Band Chaplain, Captain Rob Reardon, were so effective that the rehearsal sessions on Saturday were further shortened to allow more time for them. These devotional group sessions set the band on firm spiritual footing for the upcoming season. After the final rehearsal session on Saturday, Major James Allison, the band’s Executive Officer, led a short service of consecration which ended with most of those present kneeling in prayer at the recently-dedicated altars in the Happyland chapel.

Musically, the band was introduced to the new repertoire. Bandmaster Kellner has chosen a number of challenging items this year, and with only two items retained from the previous season, intense rehearsal is to be anticipated. Highlights of the repertoire include the prelude and fugue Arise, My Soul, Arise (Dean Goffin), Bruce Broughton’s The Good Old Way, the sublime and powerful meditation Serenity (Eric Ball), Variations on “O Worship the King” composed by Bandmaster Kellner, and Martin Cordner’s energetic Let Everything Praise!.

The National Capital Band is fortunate to have some outstanding young players, including principal cornet David Delaney, 27, and principal trombone Kevin Downing, 18. This season’s repertoire includes major solo items for both of them, with Bandmaster Kellner choosing two complementary works, based on spirituals, by Ray Steadman-Allen. These are the cornet solo Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals and Fantasy for Trombone on Spirituals.

As with most years, a few members of the band were unable to attend the retreat because of work or other commitments. Three former members of the band returned to help fill in these gaps: Sam and Stephanie Funkhouser, on euphonium and horn respectively, and Rick Potter on E♭ bass. Their participation in both the rehearsals and the group sessions enhanced the quality of the weekend.

Sessions for Christmas Recording

On Friday evening, 22 January 2010, members of the National Capital Band (Bandmaster James B. Anderson) gathered in the chapel at Camp Happyland to begin recording a new Christmas album.

Under the expert supervision of Grammy-nominated engineer Phil Bulla, the band recorded twelve items, finishing on Saturday afternoon. Highlights of the recording include a new piece from the pen of principal euphonium Steve Kellner, Fanfare on “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and Robert Redhead’s classic suite The Joy of Christmas.

The full list of items recorded:

  1. Christmas Idyll (Kenneth Downie)
  2. Ding Dong Merrily on High (Douglas Court)
    Euphonium solo, Steve Kellner, soloist
  3. Fanfare Jubiloso (James Curnow)
  4. Fanfare on “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (Steve Kellner)
  5. Feliz Navidad (Dorothy Gates)
  6. I Wonder As I Wander (Ray Bowes)
  7. The Joy of Christmas (Robert Redhead)
  8. Nowell (Andrew Mackereth)
  9. Season’s Greetings (James Anderson)
  10. Shepherds Surprise (Kenneth Downie)
  11. The Shining Star (Peter Graham)
  12. Stille, Stille, Stille (James Curnow)

Further information on the album, including a release date and information on advance orders, will be announced in the future.

The band would like to thank a number of players who helped out with the recording:

  • Darryl Crossland
  • Steve Sutton
  • Dr. Bethany Mikles
  • Bethany Hawley
  • Dr. Richard Holz
  • Dr.Tom Walker

Warrenton/Culpeper Ministry Weekend

For the second successive year, the National Capital Band (Bandmaster James B. Anderson) traveled to Warrenton and Culpeper, Virginia, for a ministry weekend. The weekend included a joint concert with the Warrenton Chorale (Director Steve Aiello) on Saturday afternoon and Sunday services at the Culpeper United Methodist Church (Pastor Randy Orndorff).

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The NCB made the relatively short journey to Warrenton late Saturday morning, arriving around noon at the concert venue. As the band had performed a similar concert with the chorale at the same church last year, the setup was quick, allowing plenty of time to rehearse the joint items.

An estimated audience of 125 persons were in place at 3:00 pm when the “Almost Christmas” concert began with the NCB playing Kenneth Downie’s festival march The Joy-Bringer. The audience and chorale joined with the band in the hymn May Jesus Christ Be Praised (arr. Michael Kenyon), which was well-received despite Bandmaster Anderson’s inadvertent elimination of the link between the first and second verses. Larry Yeager, associate pastor of Heritage Presbyterian Church and a member of the Chorale, gave the invocation.

The band continued the program with Cause for Celebration (William Himes), followed by two items from the chorale, following the “almost Christmas” theme, Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella and Bethlehem, of Noblest Cities, both arranged by Howard Helvey. The festive atmosphere was sustained with the band’s performance of the ebullient Dance Like David (Andrew Mackereth).

The National Capital Band’s principal trombone, Kevin Downing, who at 17 years of age is an emerging virtuoso, gave a fine performance of Leslie Condon’s difficult solo Song of Exuberance. The first half of the concert concluded with the chorale joining the band in Bandmaster Anderson’s composition Our God Reigns and the band’s major work of the afternoon, Renaissance (Peter Graham).

Following the intermission, the band started off the second half with Andrew Mackereth’s march Cornerstone, conducted by the deputy bandmaster, Matt Sims. The chorale sang When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. John Rutter) before the band brought the concert to a more contemplative mood with James Curnow’s Pastorale (The King of Love My Shepherd Is. The band’s executive officer, Major James Allison, was unable to travel with the band for the weekend, so the band chaplain, Captain Mike Harris, gave a short devotional at this point in the concert.

The choral returned to Christmas music with two more carols, The First Noel (arr. Dan Forrest) and Carol of the Bells (arr. Peter Wilhousky), with the first verse of the latter presented with “doot” being used instead of the lyrics – an entertaining performance.

The concert concluded in triumphant fashion, with Dudley Bright’s Paean followed by the band and chorale again uniting with one of the most recognized of all musical items, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, conducted by Steve Aiello. To conclude the concert, the audience was again asked to join with the band and chorale in Crown Him with Many Crowns (arr. Charles Skinner).

Following the concert, the band shared an excellent meal with the chorale and then moved to Camp Happyland, where they spent the evening in rest and relaxation.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Again reprising last year’s trip, the band arose early on Sunday morning, arriving at Culpeper United Methodist Church at 7:00 am to set up, with the first of three services scheduled to begin at 8:00. Again, as the band had been to this church a year ago, the setup was relatively quick. The church has three services, of which the band participated in the first and the third. In the absence of Major Allison, Captain Rob Reardon graciously accepted the challenge of preaching in all three of the services, doing an admirable job speaking on the stewardship of family. Despite some issues with the church’s audio-visual system in the first service, the services were moving and effective, and the band was again blessed to be a part of the worship at this church.

Before each of the two services in which they participated, the band provided preliminary music with Fanfare and Allegro on the Doxology (Steve Kellner), ’Mid All the Traffic (Leonard Ballantine) and Endless Praise (William Himes). During the service, the band provided accompaniment for the congregational singing and played feature items, including God Bless America (William Gordon) in honor of Veterans’ Day and Wilfred Heaton’s masterful arrangement of Just As I Am. Following the services, the band “played out” the congregation with Cornerstone.

The most moving moment of the worship services was the playing of a new arrangement by Bandmaster Anderson of the contemporary Christian song, There Is a Savior, in memory of Kelsey Orndorff, the daughter of the pastor of Culpeper United Methodist Church. When the band visited the church last year, they learned that the pastor’s daughter had been killed in an automobile accident just a few weeks before, in fact, that weekend was the first time that the Pastor Orndorff had returned to the pulpit after the tragedy. The band had a profound impact during last year’s visit, and when he learned that the band would be returning this year, Bandmaster Anderson undertook to compose this arrangement.

Following the worship services, members of the band were treated to a lunch at a local Italian restaurant, arranged by former NCB member Joe DeMato.

NCV Music Councils 2006

For the first time in several years, the National Capital and Virginia Division of the Salvation Army sponsored a Divisional Music Councils. Held 25 - 26 February 2006 at Camp Happyland in central Virginia, the Councils featured the Pendel Youth Band, Chorus, Timbrels, and Mime Troupe. On Sunday, 27 February, the Pendel groups participated in worship meetings at the Arlington Citadel Corps.

Friday – Sounds of Salvation

The weekend began with a festival on Friday evening where all of the groups from Pendel contributed. Entitled Sounds of Salvation, the concert opened with the Pendel Youth Chorus, conducted by Cathy Hayes, singing Jubilate Deo, ably accompanied by Captain Margaret Davis on piano, Jon Burgmayer on cornet, and Darien DiSilvio on percussion. Following words of welcome from the National Capital and Virgina Divisional Music Director, Bandmaster James Anderson, the Youth Band played Vanguard (Norman Bearcroft).

The next item was a cornet duet featuring a father-and-son combination, David and Jon Burgmayer, who played The Crusaders (Terry Camsey) accompanied by the band. Another Pendel unit was introduced, the Mime Troupe (led by Major Bessie Babbitt, who performed to I Can Only Imagine, recorded by the popular contemporary Christian artists, Mercy Me. The Youth Band demonstrated some musical flexibility by playing a transcription of a classical work, Mozart’s Sonata No. 11 for Piano (arr. Terry Camsey). As with all Salvation Army musical sections, there is a strong spiritual element to the Pendel youth groups, and this was evidenced by several personal testimonies from the young people, the first of which was Bethany Babbitt.

Following Bethany’s testimony, the Youth Chorus again sang, this time presenting two items, Prepare! (Leonard Ballantine) and Joy Webb’s moving devotional song Come Into Our World. The Youth Band continued the theme with Stephen Bulla’s song arrangement My Father’s World. Another testimony followed, this time by Eric White. The congregation was given the opportunity to paricipate in a congregational song, led by Captain Margaret Davis and accompanied by the band, the familiar hymn “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (arr. Dr. Harold Burgmayer).

Following some announcements from Bandmaster Anderson regarding the activities for the next day, the concert continued with an item by the Pendel Youth Timbrels, Westbourne, accompanied by the Youth Band. The band then played an arrangement by Paul Curnow of the the well-known contemporary gospel song Step by Step. Next was another testimony, this one a short but moving one from Jeff Eisenhart, who spoke about his spiritual trials after the loss of a close friend. The mime troupe returned, this time performing with the chorus, to the song This Day (arr. Press). Captain Davis then brought a devotional thought.

The concert concluded with another item from the Youth Band, The Great Crusade (Ray Steadman-Allen), and another item from the Youth Chorus, Praise His Name (Hampton). The chorus item was again backed by members of the band, David Burgmayer on cornet and Darien DiSilvio on percussion. Following a benediction, the Youth Chorus sent the audience off by singing Nolan’s Irish Blessing.

Saturday – Massed Groups – Clinics – Praise Concert

Many of the audience from the Friday evening concert stayed overnight at Camp Happyland, where they were joined the next morning by many others. The morning began with breakfast in the camp Dining Hall, after which a Massed Band rehearsal was held in the camp chapel. For those attendees who did not play instruments, Captain Greg Shannon held a vocal clinic in the main rehearsal room of the Music Conservatory building. Attendance for both was impressive, with more than 60 players in the massed band, including the Pendel Youth Band musicians, members of the National Capital Band, and players from various corps bands around the division. After these sessions, the groups came together to form a Massed Chorus nearly 130 members strong, which was conducted by Cathy Hayes.

After the rehearsals for the massed groups, the assemblage broke into individual workshop groups, with small groups in various places all over the camp. Both performance and programming classes were offered, with instructors from both the Pendel and NCV divisions participating. This was a good time of learning and instruction benefitting everyone who took part.

At 3:00 pm on Saturday afternoon, the finale of the Music Councils, “Let There Be Praise”, featured the massed band and chorus, along with the Pendel and various National Capital and Virginia performing groups. After an opening congregational song and an invocation by Captain Kelly Igleheart (Executive Officer of the National Capital Band), the afternoon began with the Massed Band playing First Light (Harold Burgmayer), conducted by Bandmaster Aaron Harris. Because of the large number of musicians participating in the massed ensemble, the conductor was placed in the center with players all around. The next item was from the Pendel Youth Band, Andrew Mackereth’s Walking in the Light. Next up was the Norfolk Songsters, who sang My Help. This was followed In My Heart There Rings a Melody (arr. Anderson), played by the Alexandria Citadel Band.

Captain Margaret Davis has a fine, classicly-trained soprano voice, and she demonstrated this by singing Puccini’s aria O Mio Babbino Caro during the concert, followed by the Pendel Youth Chorus presenting an entertaining arrangement of What a Wonderful World. Next up was the National Capital Band, the premier musical group of the National Capital and Virginia Division, who played Winchester Revival (Kenneth Downie). The Massed Chorus gave a stirring performance of the song Don’t Let the Devil (Graeme Press), after which the drama/mime group Blessed from the Portsmouth Corps performed to I’ve Got My Mind Made Up.

The NCV Divisional Youth Chorus was next, singing the popular song People Need the Lord (Nelson/McHugh, arr. Tom Fettke). Following this was the performance of a relatively new group in the division, Skyline Brass, conducted by Captain David May. Made up of members of corps in the Skyline Drive region of the Blue Ridge, this small group made a good showing, playing Finlandia (arr. James Cheyne). Two more of the NCV youth groups participated next, the timbrels performing a drill to Stephen Bulla’s march Land of Freedom accompanied by the NCV Divisional Youth Band, and then the band playing To a God Like This (John Larsson, arr. Ian Robinson) as a feature item of their own. Getting out of the brass mode for a while, the audience was delighted by a soldier from the Tidewater area of the division who played a violin solo.

Moving toward the end of the program, the Alexandria Citadel Songsters brought the audience back to the recent Christmas season with Jesus, What a Wonderful Child/Emmanuel (arr. Mauldin). Another band followed, this one the Norfolk/Tidewater Area Band, who played the selection Bless Me. Another item by the Massed Chorus was next, Before the Cross (Gregson), again ably conducted by Cathy Hayes. The Divisional Commander for the NCV Division, Lt.-Col. William Crabson, gave a short devotional thought. The festival concluded with the final item by the Massed Band, a medley of contemporary gospel songs arranged by Kevin Norbury, God With Us, conducted by Bandmaster James Anderson.

Sunday – Morning Worship at Arlington Citadel

Although the Music Councils officially ended with the festival on Saturday afternoon, the Pendel groups stayed in the Washington area through Sunday, conducting Sunday morning worship services at the Arlington Citadel Corps. All of the Pendel groups contributed to the service. The band items included St. Peter, This Is My Father’s World, and Rejoice Ye Pure In Heart, as well as backing for the congregational songs. The mime and dance troupe performed This Day, with Tyneisha Menginie as a featured performer. The Youth Chorus reprised a couple of items from the weekend performances, What a Wonderful World and An Irish Blessing, which was used as the benediction.

Spiritual influence from the Pendel young people was evident throughout the service, with spoken introductions to each item, a personal testimony from Ian Mudge, and their general demeanor during the service. The message of the morning was brought by Major Andrew Murray.

Following the service, the Pendel groups were joined by soldiers from the Arlington and Alexandria Citadel Corps at the Northern Virginia Adult Rehabilitation Center for lunch before boarding their coach for the trip back to the Philadelphia area.