Tag Archives: Scott Bedio

Band Dinner 2011

The National Capital Band concluded its 2010 – 2011 season in its traditional fashion on Monday, 16 May 2011, with a dinner for the members and guests. Held again this year at Maggiano’s at Tysons Galleria, the dinner is a time for the leadership of the band to express their appreciation for the dedication and commitment shown by the members throughout the season.

Highlights of the event included a retrospective of the past season by Bandmaster Steve Kellner. Beginning with the band’s participation at the annual Family Retreat at the end of last summer, he went through the various engagements and events. Of particular note were the ministry weekends in Fredericksburg and Raleigh, and the band’s “in-town” ministry weekend in April, which included its first official participation in the National Cherry Blossom Festival. He also outlined some of the things planned for the upcoming 2011 - 2012 season.

At the end of most NCB seasons, there are a few people who will not be returning to the band in the future. This year, five members were recognized at the dinner, most of whom are moving from the area to pursue educational opportunities:

  • Tamar Murray, who will be attending Biola University in Southern California
  • Ellim Choi, who will be attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Demarr Woods, who is entering the doctoral program at Northern Colorado University
  • Josh Webb, who is moving to Hampton, Virginia in preparation for entry into the School for Officer Training at Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Scott Bedio, who had committed to play in the band for one season as a substitute while John Reeves was away on military deployment in Iraq

One of the firm traditions of the National Capital Band is the award at each annual dinner of Bob’s Big Note. Started by long-time band secretary and principal cornet Bob Goodier at his farewell dinner in 2000, the Note recognizes a member of the band who exhibits musicianship and ministry “behind the scenes” during the season. The previous year’s recipient chooses the next, without any input from the band leadership. For the 2010 – 2011 season, flügelhorn player Paul Deafenbaugh was chosen by David Mersiovsky.

The dinner concluded with brief remarks from the band’s executive officer, Major Jim Allison, who thanked the members and their families for the generous offering of time and talent throughout the year.

Second Annual Youth Band Day

For the second consecutive year, the National Capital Band (Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner) held a Youth Band Day in the Washington, DC metro area. This year’s event was held at the Eugene B. Casey Center for Worship and Service (Montgomery County Corps) in Germantown, Maryland, on Saturday, 2 April 2011, with more than 65 young people and other music students in attendance.

The NCB has established this as an annual event to showcase the young people of the area, providing them with specialized instruction and an opportunity to perform in a public concert. This is in addition to the continuous support given to local music programs given by NCB members throughout the year – in fact, each group featured in the Grand Concert at the end of the event was led by a member of the National Capital Band.

Bandmaster Kellner showing breathing exercises

Bandmaster Kellner showing breathing exercises

The event began with a combined session in the Corps hall, where Bandmaster Kellner gave a short talk on proper breathing for brass players and warm-up techniques. The assembled students were then divided into a number of classes, with members of the National Capital Band as instructors. Each student was provided with a packet, graded according to their current level of musical skill, which was used by the instructors during the classes.

Kevin Downing (right) gives a trombone lesson

Kevin Downing (right) gives a trombone lesson

After the classes, which were 75 minutes in length, the groups adjourned to the gymnasium for lunch. Following the meal, each participating youth band was given a rehearsal space, with approximately an hour of time to rehearse their items for the event’s finale, the Grand Concert.

The Grand Concert began with the National Capital Band playing The Risen Savior (Paul Kellner), followed by words of welcome from Major Jonathan McBride, corps officer of the host corps, and a prayer from NCB euphoniumist Ian Chaava.

David Mersiovsky teaches a cornet class

David Mersiovsky teaches a cornet class

The body of the concert consisted of performances by a number of youth bands from corps in the Washington, DC metro area, beginning with the group from Alexandria Citadel. This ensemble, led by Bandmaster David Downing, played Kearny Youth (Stephen Bulla) and Hand Me My Trumpet (Ivor Bosanko). Next up were the MoCo First Timers, led by Bandmaster David Delaney. They presented a medley, Amazing Grace & Onward Christian Soldiers (arr. David Mersiovsky).

Following another item from the National Capital Band, Deep River (William Broughton), the next two youth bands presented their items. First was the group from the Solomon G. Brown Center (Southeast Corps), led by Bandmaster Danielle Ashton, playing Alleluia and When the Saints Go Marching In. Next up were Bandmaster David Mersiovsky and the group from the Fredericksburg Corps. They presented a medley, Ode to Joy & Hot Cross Buns in the Minor (arranged by Bandmaster Mersiovsky) and a short rendition of God Is So Good.

Bandmaster David Downing conducts the group from Alexandria Citadel

Bandmaster David Downing conducts the group from Alexandria Citadel

Once again, the National Capital Band presented an item as the youth bands exchanged places, this time offering Bandmaster James Anderson’s timeless arrangement of Jesus Loves Me. First up in this set was the band from the Fairfax Corps, led by Bandmaster Scott Bedio, playing The HCB Opus (S. Bedio), an exposition on “Hot Cross Buns”. The final local group to perform was the Montgomery County Corps Band, under the direction of Bandmaster David Delaney. Although not technically a youth band, this group has a high percentage of young people. They offered Morning Glory (James Anderson).

The concert ended with two special items. The National Capital, augmented by ten of the most advanced students, played God’s Children (William Himes). Then all of the students formed a massed band in front of the platform. With the NCB as accompaniment, they presented William Himes’ arrangement Classics in Brass as the finale to the day. Following a benediction by NCB executive officer Major James Allison, the NCB capped the event with a postlude, Goldcrest (James Anderson).

Ministry Weekend in Raleigh

Early on the morning of Saturday, 19 February 2011, members of the National Capital Band (Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner) gathered at Divisional Headquarters in Washington to begin a journey to Raleigh, NC, for a ministry weekend. The weekend was set up by Majors Pete and Cathy Costas, who are the corps officers in Raleigh, and consisted of a short outdoor concert at North Hills Mall, a soldiers’ rally/concert and Sunday morning worship at the Raleigh Corps.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Upon arriving in Raleigh, the band was treated to lunch at the corps, and then went to North Hills Mall for an outdoor concert. Despite the season, the weather was warm and sunny, and there were many people at the venue. The band had an excellent area from which to present their concert, at the center of the mall in a large courtyard. Items included The Risen Savior (Paul Kellner), Be Thou My Vision (Steve Kellner), Joyful, Joyful (Steve Kellner), Jesus Loves Me (James Anderson), Motivation (William Himes), the second movement, featuring “Amazing Grace” from Robert Redhead’s suite Shout Salvation, and Goldcrest (James Anderson).

After a brief stop at their hotel, the members of the band returned to the Raleigh Corps for set up, sound check, and dinner before the evening event, which was a Soldiers’ Rally with Salvationists from several corps in the area in attendance. The NCB started the evening with Bandmaster Kellner’s Fanfare and Allegro on the Doxology, followed by a welcome by the band’s executive officer, Major James Allison. The congregation was given the first of several opportunities to participate, singing Joyful, Joyful to the band’s accompaniment.

The Good Old Way, based on a Primitive Methodist song from the nineteenth century, was the next item on the program. Bruce Broughton, an established film and television composer, is a master of programmatic music, and this piece is a fine example. The band’s only soloist of the evening was principal cornet David Delaney, who gave an enthusiastic performance of Ray Steadman-Allen’s Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals.

Scott Bedio gave a testimony, which was followed by the suite Shout Salvation (Robert Redhead), conducted by deputy bandmaster Matt Sims, with Bandmaster Kellner taking the bass trombone chair.

The congregation was then offered another opportunity to participate. This time, they were treated to a premiere of a new medley arranged by Bandmaster Kellner, Army on the March! This piece, designed for audience participation, consists of a number of Salvation Army marching songs, several of which are presented in the arrangements based on those featured in classic marches: “Marching Along”, “Keep in Step” from Regent Hall Young People (Leslie Condon), “A Robe of White” from The Invincible Army (Erik Leidzén), “March On!”, “Happy Song” from Kinshasha (Leslie Condon) and “On We March with the Blood and the Fire” from Harrow Citadel (A. S. Raikes). During this item, the Army flag was marched around the hall as the audience enthusiastically sang.

The main Salvation Army center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was destroyed by the earthquake of January 2010. The USA Southern Territory is raising funds, from the soldiers, to assist in the rebuilding of the corps, which is one of the largest in the Americas. An offering was taken during the meeting in support of this effort. The band played Motivation (William Himes), with the deputy bandmaster conducting, as an offertory. This was followed by a devotional message by Major Allison.

The final band item was another composition from Bandmaster Kellner, Variations on “O Worship the King”. The piece examines the familiar hymn tune in five movements: “Fanfare”, “Little Fugue”, “Song without Words”, “Celtic Dance” and “Theme and Finale”. This led into the conclusion of the program, with the congregation singing ’O Boundless Salvation’ using William Himes’ arrangement as accompaniment. Major Pete Costas gave a benediction. The NCB sent everyone home in fine fashion, playing Goldcrest (James Anderson) as a postlude.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

On Sunday morning, the band returned to the Raleigh worship center. After the Sunday School preliminaries, the Raleigh corps members dispersed to their classes, and the band remained in the chapel for their own preparations. Major Allison gave a short devotional, and then the rest of the time became a prayer meeting among the members of the band. Bandmaster Kellner has emphasized the spiritual life of the band and its members during this season, and this short devotional time was a significant event, including band members kneeling at the Mercy Seat, being supported and assisted by other members.

The theme of the morning worship service was ’Arise, My Soul!’. The band’s main contribution was the offertory, Dean Goffin’s prelude and fugue Arise, My Soul, Arise, one of the true classics of brass band literature. Danielle Ashton read Scripture and gave her testimony. Major Allison gave the message of the morning, entitled “You Want Me To Do What?”, based on Isaiah 6:1-8. The time of commitment after the sermon again featured the band, as they presented Eric Ball’s timeless meditation, Serenity.

A highlight of the meeting was an impromptu a capella quartet from four members of the Raleigh Corps. This corps has a diverse, international congregation, and several of the local officers, including Bandmaster Henri Kissaka and Songster Leader Ghodard Diavangama, hail from Africa. The quartet, which included these persons and two other African Salvationists, sang with the unique and beautiful quality of vocal groups from that continent.

The meeting ended on an upbeat note, with the congregation singing along with the band in the medley Army on the March! (Steve Kellner). Major Pete Costas gave the benediction, and the band played The Risen Savior (Paul Kellner) as a postlude before moving downstairs to join Corps Sergeant-Major Terry Williamson and the rest of the Raleigh corps council for lunch.

This trip ranks as one of the top ministry weekends undertaken by the National Capital Band in recent years. Filling in for absent members were some of the talented local Salvationist musicians: Steve Sutton (cornet), Daniel Simmons (horn) and Charlie Fisher (trombone). In addition, the NCB was delighted to have former long-time member Captain Mike Harris, who is now the corps officer in Hickory, North Carolina, sit in with the tuba section for the Saturday night rally.

Personnel News - September 2010

The National Capital Band begins the 2010 – 2011 season with several personnel changes and additions, including a new bandmaster and seven new players.

The most significant change is in the leadership of the band, because of the retirement of Bandmaster James Anderson at the end of last season. Dr. Steve Kellner has been appointed bandmaster, moving from the principal euphonium seat. As a result, Captain Amy Reardon moves into the principal euphonium chair and Ian Chaava moves from first baritone to euphonium.

The band also said farewell to band chaplain and principal tuba Captain Mike Harris at the end of last season as he and his wife were appointed to command the corps at Hickory, North Carolina. Moving into both of these roles is Captain Rob Reardon. Joining the band on E♭ bass is Tamar Murray, who is a student at Montgomery Blair High School, where she is a member of the marching band.

On the low end of the tuba section, John Reeves went on leave of absence for military service during last season and will be unavailable for about 18 months. Filling in for John is Scott Bedio, who was a member of the NCB in the early 1990’s. Scott has been active as an instructor with the Divisional Youth Band and is a member of the Fairfax Corps Band.

Kathleen Jensen and her family recently moved to the Washington area from Atlanta. She joins the National Capital Band as principal horn, with band sergeant Dave Downing moving to first horn (at his own request).

The trombone section, already one of the band’s strengths, has been fortified with the addition of Josh Sears. Josh was a member of the Divisional Youth Band for several years before leaving for studies at Louisiana State University. He has returned to the Washington area after two years at LSU and joins the NCB on first trombone. In addition to his brass band experience, Josh has spent the past few summers as a member of the world class Crossmen drum and bugle corps, based in San Antonio, Texas. The Crossmen are perennial contenders for the Drum Corps International championship, having qualified for the finals 22 times in the past 36 years.

The cornet section also welcomes additional members, on both the front and back row. Last season, the band operated with only three solo cornets for most of the year. Joining the front row this year is Demarr Woods. A graduate of the University of Maryland music program and now a music teacher in Baltimore, Demarr has been a staff member at the NCV Summer Music Conservatory and has played with the NCB on several engagements on a temporary basis in the past few seasons.

On the back row, Ruth Choi comes in on second cornet. Ruth, who is 14, is the youngest current member of the band. She joins her sister, Ellim Choi, and her cousins Esther and Sam Kim, who joined the group in previous seasons.

Finally, Emmanuel Gonzalez joins the percussion section. Emmanuel, who is originally from Venezuela, is an accomplished kit drummer. He is employed at the Arlington Citadel Corps.

Clinic at Alexandria

This is the first of three articles on the National Capital Band’s “Bravo Brass!” ministry weekend in the Washington, DC metro area, 10 – 11 April 2010.

Ninety “budding musicians”, representing eight corps – Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Montgomery County, Prince George’s and Solomon G. Brown (Southeast) – were treated to classes and a performance session with the National Capital Band on Saturday, 10 April 2010.

The event kicked off at 10:00 am in the sanctuary, with a devotional thought from the NCB’s executive officer, Major James Allison. This was followed by a fascinating and informative session on proper breathing techniques conducted by Dr. Steve Kellner. The the participants were assigned to a number of masterclasses, each with at last one member of the NCB. In fact, every room in the building that could be used for a class was used, and some had to be conducted in the corps’ social services offices next door.

Following the masterclasses, the corps groups that would be performing in the grand finale concert of the clinic were given time to rehearse. During the rehearsals, a pizza lunch was set up in the corps parking lot, as the weather was fine, although a bit windy. Then everyone headed back into the building for the grand finale of the clinic, a mini-concert featuring the NCB and several groups from individual corps music programs.

The only space large enough to hold all of the musicians and their instruments was the gymnasium. The sound of 120 brass musicians (90 clinic participants and 30 members of the NCB) all warming up at the same time was, quite simply, enormous. In the absence of Bandmaster James Anderson, who was unable to be with the band on this weekend because of medical treatment, conducting duties were split between deputy bandmaster Matt Sims and principal euphonium Steve Kellner. The NCB got the finale off to a fine start with Cornerstone (Andrew Mackereth) with Steve conducting, followed by words of welcome from Deputy Bandmaster Matt Sims and an invocation from Major Allison.

The first group to perform was the youth band from the host corps, Alexandria Citadel, under the direction of Dave Downing. They presented the old classic Jesus Shall Reign (Vernon Post), a piece which many of the members of the NCB remembered as having been used when they were members of a corps youth band.

Next, all of the musicians joined together for a rousing rendition of William Himes’ Muffins Rhapsody, with Matt Sims conducting the NCB and David Delaney leading the assembled participants. The youth band from the Fairfax Corps then performed Duke Street (William Himes), led by Scott Bedio.

The NCB continued the program with Jesus Loves Me, using the well-known arrangement by Bandmaster Anderson. The next group to perform was a combination of players from the two Maryland corps represented, Montgomery County and Prince George’s. Under the direction of David Delaney (bandmaster at Montgomery County), they presented When the Spirit Says Sing.

Over the last three years, under the inspired direction of Bandmaster Matt Sims, the Richmond Area Command has developed the School for the Performing Arts, which now has about 120 students with instruction at three locations. Many of the members of the Richmond Citadel youth band are beneficiaries of this excellent program. With Matt conducting, the youth band presented Down the Street (Erik Silfverberg). Then, 10-year-old Angela Li presented the cornet solo Whiter than Snow with David Carter accompanying on piano.

The final item from the NCB during the mini-concert was I Will Follow Him, featuring the trombone section. As a grand finale to the clinic sessions, all of the assembled musicians again gathered, this time playing another special item by William Himes, Classics in Brass. Major Allison closed the proceedings with a benediction.