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127th Annual Festival

From the moment that we concluded our 126th Annual Festival with Michael W. Smith last year, there was much excitement about 127th and the guests that we had lined up.  Our special guests for this year were James Morrison from Australia and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers.  We knew long ago that we would be in for a very energetic and uplifting concert and both guests would not disappoint.

We (NYSB) started our program with “Phoenix” by Peter Graham and was well received by the very energetic crowd.  Once we had concluded our first item James Morrison came to the stage unannounced to give a most spectacular performance of Stephen Bulla’s “Blessed Assurance.  This really set the tone for the whole evening and just gave us a glimpse of what was to come for the next two hours.  Lt Colonel Kenneth W. Maynor, our executive officer welcomed the crowd and started off the program with a few moments in prayer.

The band gave tribute to Erik Silfvergberg, who had just recently passed away, by playing his lively march, “Vanguard”.  After the conclusion of this, James Morrison was welcomed back to the stage where he would present two items, “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Nobody Does It Better”.  While Mr. Morrison is most famous for his work on trumpet, both of these items he also displayed his ability on trombone.  He is equally on gifted on both!
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers were featured on the evening with two sets of music.  They sing with such energy, conviction and passion and we were all ushered in to the throne of grace.  Their soloists were great, the ensemble was always together and they shared powerful testimonies.  What a blessing it was to have them with us.

It was a great privilege to feature “Flourish and Dances” by NYSB alumni Kevin Norbury next on our program.  Kevin hasn’t written for brass band for some time but we are all grateful for the items that he has written and for all the fun we have when we play them.

Mr. Morrison was welcomed back to the stage once again to present “Power in the Blood” and “The Old Rugged Cross”.  Once again he showed off his ability to play multiple instruments by picking up a Soprano Saxophone and doing so at a very high level.  His performance of “The Old Rugged Cross” was both entertaining and moving all at the same time.  Kudos to Martin Rosamilia for some fine work on the piano.

The NYSB’s major contribution for the evening was “Easter Glory” by Leslie Condon.  The band just recently recorded this as the title track for our new cd and we should be most proud of our performance on the night as well as the recording of this marvelous work.

James Morrison’s next contribution was probably the most entertaining of the evening.  On “Basin Street Blues” James accompanied himself at the piano while playing his trumpet with such ease and power.  The crowd’s reaction to this was quite spectacular.  Up next for James was another fun item, “The Flintstones”.  He once again played marvelous and this item featured Bob Jones on the drums.

Our last item for the evening was “Skydance” by Captain Martin Cordner.  Just a month earlier, we featured this item on Profile Night 35 which featured all of the music of Captain Cordner.  This is a great new piece and the band was in top form for the performance.

The grand finale for the evening was a new piece from Stephen Bulla, “Then Sings My Soul” that featured James Morrison, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers, The New York Staff Band as well as the congregation. This was marvelous conclusion to a wonderful night of music and praise to the Lord.  I would say they were equally entertained and blessed by the music of both of our guests and I am sure that everyone left the Centennial Memorial Temple feeling like it was a night to remember.