In another thread refering to SA band music BreadOfHeaven wrote: Brett's playing on GS and on the other solos is just sublime and the Band items are very well delivered too. (Especially considering the band met just for the recording). The band's sound is both huge (King of Kings) and exciting (Tallis) and the best compliment that can be paid is that it dosen't sound like an SA band. I’m not sure I know what the writer really means regarding the “best compliment”. I’m not closely connected to either camp (SA / non-SA) but in fairness I think a distinction needs to be made. Many non- SA bands are contest driven and must be limited in size accordingly. The focus tends to be on winning the approval of particular adjudicators and technique is emphasized. Doubtless this can lead to tightness of ensemble and clarity of line (usually) but not necessarily any better communication of valuable musical and spiritual understanding. Perhaps SA bands have traditionally attempted to portray a message when the music has called for it (the big picture), which might well have been at the expense of other important musical and technical considerations. Keep in mind also that most SA bands try to use the by-no-means uniform talents/abilities that happen to be available in a local corps (church). So in some respects we are not comparing like for like. Both types of band have their good points and the best of each reach very high standards and are well worth hearing. Some Salvationists, rightly or wrongly, may consider “not sounding like an SA band” hardly complimentary where music with a gospel connotation is concerned. I think there are definite tonal differences between the two kinds of bands and with larger SA ones (e.g. Hendon) this can be a plus quality in certain types of music (e.g. rich, full tone especially in the middle of the band, and the absence of unrequired “soloistic” lines, etc.). But can SA bands learn anything from contesting bands? Of course they can!