MASS BRASS Trip to NEOSA Division - 2006
Notes by Major Frederick N. Hagglund
After 7 months of preparation, planning and excellent leadership by Bandmaster William Rollins, the Massachusetts Brass began an epic Band trip on Friday May 26th. 18 Members of the Band “boarded the bus” at DHQ at 7am and later on at 8:30am, 4 members of the Band from the western part of the division met the bus at the Springfield Corps. There was an incredible spirit of optimism and expectation of the Ministry Opportunity that awaited us! As the scenery changed from state to state, there was some concern that we would not arrive in time for our first venue at the Cleveland Harbor Light Corps. (We were to arrive by 6pm to setup and begin our concert at 7:30pm) Lt Colonels LaMarr, Divisional Leaders for the NEOSA division arrived at 7pm, and looked for the Mass Brass! We arrived after 7pm, changed into our uniforms, unpacked our instruments and percussion, and were ready to go at 7:30pm! We began the concert with the March “Floods of Joy” and shared Hymns, Sing-a-Longs, instrumental solos by Allison Cornish, Rick Castillo and David Childs, a Devotional by Major Herbert Thomas®, and a classic selection, “Songs in the Heart”. The Concert ended with the playing of the classic march “Tremont”. After the concert, we boarded our bus and traveled to Akron Ohio for the night. After a very long day of travel, the members of Band began to relax and finally sleep!
Saturday May 27th started out much more relaxed with an 11:20am departure for Canton Ohio Corps where we were served an excellent lunch, and had time for practice before joining with the NEOSA Brass under the leadership of Bandmaster Eric Dina to rehearse two massed band items. After another excellent meal prepared by the Canton Ohio Corps, we and the NEOSA Brass and Timbrels traveled to the 1st Church of the Nazarene in Canton and shared the blessing of our gift of music with people from Canton and the NEOSA Division. Musical items by the NEOSA Brass included “Trinity”, “Marching Onward”, “I’m in His hands” and “Here they Come”. The NEOSA Timbrels presented very precise and skilled work accompanied by the NEOSA Brass. Their hard work was evident as they did drills on “Marching Onward” and”Salvation’s Song”. The NEOSA Chorus presented four selections – “Draw me Nearer”, “Psalm 150”, “Wondrous Cross” and “At Calvary” The Massachusetts Brass began our evening “work” with “I’ll Fly Away” and the march “Joyful Heart”. Later in the Evening, “Kinshasa IV” was introduced by Bandmaster William Rollins who recently returned from a Mission Trip to Africa and shared some of His personal experiences and some facts about the Kinshasa IV Corps which is located in Zambia. Massachusetts Brass also played two devotional items, “Lord Lift Me Up” and a wonderful selection by Dorothy Gates, “Breathe”, that was followed by a Devotional message by Captain Robert Bender. For the finale of the concert, the MASS and NEOSA Brass played “Happiness is the Lord” conducted by Bandmaster Eric Dina and “On the King’s Highway” conducted by Bandmaster William Rollins.
Sunday morning brought another bus ride from Canton to Lakeside Ohio. What a surprise it was for us as we saw the charm and beauty of this classic “Victorian” resort community! We arrived at the Hoover Auditorium and the Worship Service began with “Lord lift me up” and “Singing Glory” by the Massachusetts Brass. Our worship service was led by the Reverend Barbara Stephens-Rich, the Director of Religion and Education and Lt. Colonel/Dr. Clarence Kinnett ® who represented the Salvation Army’s connections and links with the Lakeside community. We were blessed to have Commissioners’ Raymond and Merlyn Cooper® with us from the Southern Territory and they sang duets and shared their witness with us. Commissioner Raymond Cooper® brought the Message. The Hymns were accompanied by the Massachusetts Brass and the guest organist, James Chidester. What a glorious sound was produced by the Brass and the Pipe Organ! The Massachusetts Brass played “Above All” for the Offertory. Over 1,000 people were in attendance for this wonderful worship experience that we were privileged to be part of for the Glory, Honour and Praise of God!
Our Sunday Dinner took place in one of the Classic Victorian Hotels with Salvationists and their families that do and have lived and spent time at Lakeside over the years. Lt. Colonel Kinnett hosted the event and we listened to the sharing of memories from people in attendance. After a time to stroll around and soak up the beauty of the day and the scenery along the Lake Erie shore, it was time to report to the Band Shell for our final performance of the Band Trip. At 3:15pm, we began with the March “Floods of Joy” followed by “I’ll Fly Away” and the March “Kinshasa IV”. Bandsman Alison Cornish played an Eb Horn Solo “Since Jesus came into my Heart”. Bandsman Rick Castillo played the Cornet Solo “Shine”. Both Alison and her Father David Cornish shared their witness with us and Anne Langille sang a beautiful solo “You raise me up” and was accompanied on the chorus by the members of the Massachusetts Brass. The Brass played “Happiness is the Lord” and the audience was invited to sing along to the various choruses that are part of this piece. Bandmaster William Rollins conducted a Sing-a-Long of choruses from the old to the new that are part of Salvation Army History to the great excitement of the audience. To prepare our hearts for the Devotion “I Remember” by Major Scott Kelly (Corps Officer Salem North Shore Corps) and a member of the Tuba Section, David Childs played “Nothing but thy blood” on his Euphonium. As a farewell to the tour and the day, the classic marches “On the Kings Highway” and “Tremont” were presented. We boarded our bus and traveled to East Cleveland to stay the night and on Monday the 29th we began our return trip to Massachusetts.
It was one of the “special times” that I and others will also remember! Our thanks to Bandmaster Eric Dina and Lt. Colonels LaMarr and all that provided us good support and hospitality!