Tag Archives: Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg 125

On the weekend of 6 – 7 November 2010, the National Capital Band made the short journey to Fredericksburg, Virginia to help celebrate 125 years of Salvation Army work in that city. This was the first ministry weekend under the direction of Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The first Salvation Army meeting in Fredericksburg was held on Sunday, 29 November 1885 at Hayden Hall, 700 Princess Anne Street. The first event of the weekend was the unveiling of a plaque affixed to that building commemorating the event (permission for which was graciously extended by the current occupants, the law offices of Murray Van Lear and Paul Scott). A small ensemble from the band supported the unveiling.

The full band then gathered at Hurkamp Park, in the center of downtown Fredericksburg, for a short outdoor concert. Despite a rather chill wind (and a bird who “targeted” a member of the bass section), the band presented a light program to a small but enthusiastic group of listeners. Items included:

  • Goldcrest
  • Jesus Loves Me
  • God’s Children
  • O, How I Love Jesus
  • Fill the World with Music
  • Teach Me
  • Come, Thou Almighty King
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • Down the Street

The band then went to the venue for the evening concert, Spotswood Baptist Church, where they had a sound check and rehearsal, followed by a meal provided by the Fredericksburg Corps.

The evening festival, with several hundred persons in the audience, started off with two contrasting items, Goldcrest (James Anderson) and The Prayer Meeting (Bruce Broughton). The audience was then invited to stand and sing, the song being “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”, with an accompaniment arranged by Bandmaster Kellner. The executive officer of the National Capital Band, Major James Allison, made some introductions and gave an opening prayer.

After the introductions and prayer, the program continued with another work by Bruce Broughton, The Good Old Way. This was followed by the only soloist of the evening, principal trombone Kevin Downing. Despite only being 18 years of age, Kevin, who is a freshman majoring in trombone performance at the University of Maryland, is already an accomplished soloist, as he showed with his performance of Fantasy for Trombone on Spirituals (Ray Steadman-Allen).

For many years, the suite has been a favorite form in Salvation Army compositions. The next item on the program, Shout Salvation (Robert Redhead), is a fine example of the form written in the mid-1970s. Deputy Bandmaster Matt Sims conducted the band for this item. The final piece of the first half was Power and Glory, a transcription (by Bandmaster Kellner) of a march by John Philip Sousa. This march, which features the well-known hymn tune “Onward, Christian Soldiers” in the trio, is one of very few works in which Sousa used a melody that he had not composed himself.

The second half started with Motivation (William Himes), conducted by the deputy bandmaster. This was followed by the major work of the evening. Commissioner Sir Dean Goffin is one of the giants of Salvation Army music. He demonstrated his mastery of classical forms with his treatment of the familiar hymn tune “Darwalls”, the prelude and fugue Arise, My Soul, Arise. Associating the tune with words by Charles Wesley, this is sacred music of the highest order.

Arise, my soul, arise
Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice
In my behalf appears;
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on his hands.

Captain Matt Satterlee, corps officer, gave a short presentation on the 125th anniversary of the Fredericksburg Corps. This was followed by a New Orleans-inspired jazz item, Lord, Lord, You Sure Been Good to Me (Eric Alexander).

During the weeks immediately preceding this ministry weekend, Major Dan Delaney, father of principal cornet David Delaney, and Bandmaster James Anderson had been promoted to Glory. Major James Allison, in his devotional thought during the concert, told the story of the song “It Is Well with My Soul”. Bandmaster Anderson’s family was singing this song at his bedside at the moment that he passed away. Following Major Allison’s talk, the band played Eric Ball’s masterful arrangement of this melody, Serenity. It was an emotional performance for many in the group, as this same arrangement had been used at Major Delaney’s funeral just a few weeks before.

The concert concluded with a modern expression of praise, Martin Cordner’s Let Everything Praise.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

After spending the night at nearby Camp Happyland, and being treated to a hot breakfast provided by the camp caretakers and staff, the band returned to Spotswood Baptist for the early service. The band played a mini-concert beginning at 8:30 am, with the service proper starting at 8:55. Items in the mini-concert included Jesus Loves Me (James Anderson), Be Thou My Vision (Steve Kellner), Serentity (Eric Ball) and In Christ Alone (Martin Cordner).

During the service, the band provided the accompaniment for congregational songs, and presented James Curnow’s arrangement of Come, Thou Almighty King. As this was the Sunday before the Veteran’s Day holiday (11 November), the church choir and the band joined for a medley of the songs from the five United States armed services, composed by the director of instrumental music at the church, Robert Farmer, with orchestral parts transcribed for brass by Bandmaster Kellner.

After the service at Spotswood Baptist, the band made a quick break-down and exit, traveling to the Fredericksburg Corps for the holiness meeting there. Again, the band played a few items before the meeting, including Jesus Loves Me and Be Thou My Vision. The band conducted the entire service, accompanying the congregational songs and playing Serenity and In Christ Alone as special items. Joshua Webb read Scripture, and Elizabeth Schramm gave a personal testimony detailing her experiences at the World Youth Conference in Sweden during the past summer. Major Allison gave the sermon, and the meeting concluded with the congregation and band joining in “O Boundless Salvation”. As a postlude, the band played the same march with which the weekend began at Hurkamp Park, Goldcrest.

Music by Moonlight

As has been their tradition for more than 20 years, the National Capital Band (Bandmaster James Anderson) kicked off their season with a retreat at Camp Happyland in central Virginia, held 9 – 10 September 2005. This year, there was a bit of a twist to the retreat, as the band actually had an engagement on Saturday evening, instead of simply having a rehearsal weekend. The band played at Hurkamp Park in the historic city of Fredericksburg in support of a fund-raising event for the local Salvation Army corps. Although the band was reduced in number as several members were involved in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina, the event was still a good beginning to the season, which will feature a weekend celebrating the band’s 80 years of continuous service, to be held in November.

The band in action at Hurkamp Park

The band in action at Hurkamp Park, Fredericksburg, Virginia

The band gathered at the camp on Friday evening, with a light meal followed by a rehearsal session beginning at 8:30 pm. The retreat is used as a time to explore new repertoire, and also to welcome new and returning members to the band. Continuing on Saturday, there were a total of four rehearsal sessions (nearly nine hours all together). There was also spiritual instruction led by the band’s new Executive Officer, Captain Kelly Igleheart.

Bandmaster James Anderson

Bandmaster James Anderson

Following the conclusion of the rehearsal sessions on Saturday afternoon, the band adjourned to the Fredericksburg Salvation Army corps, about a half-hour drive from the camp. Captain Michael Harris, who with his wife Christy commands the Fredericksburg Corps, is a long-time member of the National Capital Band and is currently the band’s principal tuba.

Captains Mike and Christy Harris

Captains Mike and Christy Harris

The evening engagement was held in Hurkamp Park, in the old town area of Fredericksburg. Entitled “Music by Moonlight”, this is the seventeenth year for the annual event, which is organized by the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Fredericksburg. The feature ensemble was the Fredericksburg Big Band, a community group. The National Capital Band provided an opening mini-concert and played during the Big Band’s intermission. Proceeds from the outdoor event were to be used to send local underprivileged youth to summer camp and for disaster relief in the Gulf Coast area affected by Hurricane Katrina. Over 1,000 people were in attendance.

Cornet soloist Ian Anderson

Cornet soloist Ian Anderson

The band began the mini-concert with the march To Regions Fair (Norman Bearcroft), followed by Bandmaster Anderson’s simple arrangement of Jesus Loves Me. Keeping with a theme of melodies familiar to people of many denominations, the next item was Onward Christian Soldiers (arr. Gordon Langford), followed by Leonard Ballantine’s beautiful arrangement of the American folk song “Shenandoah”, associated with the words of the song ‘Mid All the Traffic. Two items from the pen of Chicago Staff Bandmaster William Himes were included, the exuberant Bringing in the Sheaves and the more refined cornet solo I’d Rather Have Jesus, played by Deputy Bandmaster Ian Anderson. The band’s set ended with another classic march, On the King’s Highway (Erik Leidzén).

Fredericksburg Big Band

Fredericksburg Big Band

The members of the National Capital Band then joined the audience as the Fredericksburg Big Band took the stage. This is a fine group of community musicians, and has a long history, being in operation for 39 years. They are regular contributors to the annual Music by Moonlight event.

As the Big Band concluded the first half of their concert, the National Capital Band members returned to their formation to provide music during the intermission. As one might determine from the name of the event, Music by Moonlight is held outdoors, in the evening. The National Capital Band had been assured that there would be lights, which was true, except that the lights were illuminating the band itself rather than illuminating the music for the band. Despite this handicap, the band was able to provide some items, after contorting into a rather strange configuration to allow the maximum number of players to see their parts.

Bandmaster James Anderson

Bandmaster James Anderson

By request of the organizers, most of the items played during the intermission had a patriotic flavor. Items included Land of Freedom (Stephen Bulla), Carmen Dragon&rsquos arrangement of America the Beautiful (transcribed for brass band by Bob Clemons), Armed Forces Salute (Stephen Bulla), and What a Friend (Erik Leidzén). The band concluded with William Gordon’s arrangement of God Bless America.