Western Penn Visit
This month the New York Staff Band was privileged to visit the Western Pennsylvania Division. Our first stop on the weekend was in Oil City where the band was graciously received by the members of the local Corps. After a meal the band prepared for the concert that would be put on in front of an energetic and near packed out building. The concert was varied with performances of contemporary and classic composers. Featured soloists on this concert, Gordon Ward (cornet) and Dorothy Gates (trombone), executed their contributions flawlessly performing “Maid of the Mist” (Wilkinson) and “His Provision” (Gates) respectively.
The Band travelled that night to beautiful Camp Allegheny where we would stay the night and the next morning. Saturday morning was a chance for the Band to interact with youth musicians as well as members of the B.A.D (Beginner Adult Dynamic) Band from around the Western Penn Division. After the Band put on a brief show we split to join in on the B.A.D. Band rehearsal and Youth Band sectionals. As lunch grew close the three bands (NYSB, B.A.D., and Youth Band) combined to have an “in-house” performance of what was rehearsed that morning. After lunch it was time to get freshened up and ready to head to Christ Church in Sewickely, PA for that evening’s concert.
Saturday evening the NYSB was pleased to perform in such a beautiful venue as Christ Church. A large crowd gathered to hear the Band, many perhaps for the first time and not entirely sure what to expect. The Band opened the night with Peter Graham’s “Phoenix” which set the tone for the whole evening. After the Band’s presentation of “Leidzen Montage” (Himes), which featured the Band’s soloists, the stage opened up for some guests in the form of a brass quintet known as “C Street Brass”. C Street Brass, an ensemble in resident at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, was a welcome addition providing some major contrast in style and sound to the usual NYSB concerts. Other highlights from the evening were Phillip Harper’s arrangement of a Chick Corea tune, “La Fiesta” and “Quest” from the pen of Paul Sharman.
Sunday morning the NYSB was honored to be guests back at Christ Church and to participate in leading worship. The Band combined with the church’s praise team to lead congregational singing, providing a uniquely Army flavor to the service. After two services and a delicious lunch provided from the church’s café, the Band departed the Pittsburgh area and headed back home.
A great weekend in the Western Pennsylvania Division was had by all in the NYSB and it is our hope and prayer that we as the Band were used in some way to bring someone to Christ through our ministry.