The Salvation Army, Britain’s best-known charitable organisation, has today signed an exclusive £1 million deal with Universal Music, the world’s leading record company and musical home of Eminem, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, The Killers and Take That. The Salvation Army is one of the largest providers of social welfare provision in the UK after the government, and at this time of economic uncertainty its work in communities and with socially excluded people living on the edge of society will become even more vital. The International Staff Band (ISB) of The Salvation Army, the crème de la crème of Salvation Army brass bands, have recorded the first album in the deal, which will go on sale on 24th November. The ISB hopes that the initiative will propel Christmas fundraising to new levels with this major record label collaboration, in order to help the vital work that The Salvation Army does with the homeless, families and people suffering from addictions every day of the year and particularly at Christmas time. The Salvation Army will receive an initial undisclosed donation from the record company, but it is hoped that over the course of the record deal they will raise up to £1 million which will go towards its work in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Universal are delighted to have signed ‘the world’s ultimate buskers’. James Morrison, Badly Drawn Boy and G4 have all famously tried their hand at it, but the image of a Salvation Army band busking on a wintry December day brings a smile to everyone as they do their Christmas shopping. Dickon Stainer, Managing Director of Universal Classics and Jazz, says, “At a time when lives are being turned upside down, people need something to rely on. The sound of The Salvation Army gives comfort to people when times are tough, as they are now. We hope that this record will help expand the reach of their traditional fund-raising.” Major David Hinton, The Salvation Army’s Secretary for Business Administration, welcomed the ground-breaking initiative. “This is a really exciting project which we hope will not only raise money but will also help to raise awareness of the needs of the people with whom we work. These are uncertain times and we anticipate increasing numbers of people in need as a result of the current and on-going economic climate. We are so grateful to the public without whom we would be unable to sustain much of what we do. “The Salvation Army has a wonderful musical tradition and history and The International Staff Band are a group of highly talented and committed Salvation Army musicians who have dedicated their talents to God, love to make music whether it is traditional or contemporary. We hope the Universal album will bring hope and cheer into many lives – the listeners and those who will benefit from the proceeds!” Dr Stephen Cobb, Director of The Salvation Army’s Music Ministries Unit and Conductor of the International Staff Band, said, “Some of the music was a little different to our usual repertoire, but very enjoyable to play. It was a real pleasure for us to work with the Universal team and to produce what we believe will be an album that will inspire listeners!” ‘The album, entitled ‘Together’, features a collection of secular and religious tracks from ‘Nessun Dorma’, ‘You Raise me Up’ and ‘Going Home’ (the Hovis theme) to ‘Make me a Channel of Your Peace’ and the Christmas favourite ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’.