Salvation Army Bands

The Cornet King said:
carlwoodman said:
Many thanks to John, Bob (not his real name!) and Peter for their excellent responses to the initial posting from The Cornet King.
The only thing that I feel I can add is an invitation to The Cornet King to go to hear a Salvation Army band live and get a first hand experience!

Thank you Carl. I may just have to do that. Any details of forthcoming concerts would be much appreciated. I've especially always wanted to hear the ISB live.

Thanks for all the responses guys, have been most helpful. :wink:

As you may know from another thread, the ISB are back on the internet at www.theisb.com
There are (very brief) details about forthcoming engagements. More information will be added as the site develops, so I'm told!
 

Sonor

New Member
This has been a very interesting thread and for what it is worth here is my contribution to it.

When I look around the banding world and start talking to different people it is very obvious to me that without the SA the "outside" banding world would be a much poorer place. I myself am an ex-Salvationist bandsman and like an earlier contributor pointed out was only kept in the SA primarilly by the Band.

With SA bands it is not about ability but about worship, playing for the glory of God and giving of your best. However, that is sometimes lost, as my Dad found out whilst playing at Kettering. Although, by his own admission never the greatest player who walked the earth, my Dad always gave of his best but for some, including the Bandmaster at the time, that wasn't good enough which is not what SA banding is about. On the top of our corps band flag at Bedford we had a motif that said "The best for the Highest" - that is what its about no matter who you are or how good your playing ability.

Although I am now 35, I was about 23 at the time I left and the SA was a different world to today. I think it would be fair to say at that time we were locked in a to our own world. Three meetings per Sunday plus open airs etc. we were always at the "Army" and we really didn't know any different. But if one thing it has taught me that has shown up in my 12 years of outside banding is that loyalty and commitment are paramount; ie. if the band are out, you're out!!!!! That applies to anything the band does and you can usually tell the ex-Sallys from that because that dicipline carries on in life.

When I look around my own band, The Travelsphere Holidays Band, I would have to say that at least 50% of that band, if not more, are ex-SA and a few of us even played in the East Midlands Divisional Youth Band together back in the mid to late 80's. Other than music schools in the summer, in my experience then, that was all the Army had to offer the youngsters and many of my friends drifted away from the Army ranks.

As for playing in outside Bands that was forbidden unless it was either a professional job or for educational reasons such as the County Youth bands. I did actually do it once and helped out Stantonbury Brass at a concert and both myself and my parents got absolutely slated for it even though at the time I wasn't playing in the corps band but still held a commission. Thankfully times have changed.

We all have our reasons for leaving the SA but you never forget and there are aspects of it that I miss even now. However as I have got older(!!!!) I have appreciated more what the SA as an organisation is about, although undoubtedly it still has some floors like everything in this world. But it still is a great organisation and does a lot of good around the world.

Whilst I very rarely step into an Army hall these days I still know what it's about and my own religious beliefs have not changed in that time away from the Army's. If anything they are stronger now than when involved. I still consider myself a Salvationist even though I'm not a practicing one. I am a fourth generation Salvationist, my Grand Parents were officers as was my Aunt, my brother Iain writes a lot of music for the SA and is still involved with his family and my parents and other members of the family still attend. So you can never get away from it!!!!!

As for SA bands entering contests I don't believe as a Corps band that would ever happen. However it would be interesting to see how they competed alongside the "big boys". But I would have to say off the top of my head only perhaps Enfield and perhaps Norwich Citadel could get anywhere near with perhaps Hendon, Kettering or Coventry City making a decent fist of things.

As for the ISB? not in my lifetime I think. However I look forward to hearing the ISB at Northampton's Cripps Hall in the not too distant future. For further info contact the Northampton East Corps for details.[/b]
 
I too have found this to be a very interesting thread.

The postings from some of the former SA bandsmen have been both encouraging and challenging.

As a SA BM I find myself constantly questioning what is the function of SA bands and are they as relevant today as they have been throughout the history of our church.

I try to encourage the band at our church to be the best they can musically. I also try to choose music that will enhance our worship and also provide stimulation and dare I say it "entertainment", espcially when we are playing at festivals (concerts).

If I do my bit along with the band in preparation then hopefully the Lord will use it as he sees fit!!

I also think that SA bands, along with many other bands, can learn alot from our top flight contesting bands.
 

brasscrest

Active Member
Sonor said:
As for playing in outside Bands that was forbidden unless it was either a professional job or for educational reasons such as the County Youth bands. I did actually do it once and helped out Stantonbury Brass at a concert and both myself and my parents got absolutely slated for it even though at the time I wasn't playing in the corps band but still held a commission. Thankfully times have changed.

This seems to be different in the US than it was in the UK, at least in the last 30 years. The restriction on "outside" groups seems to have been much less stringent, probably because of the lack of contesting bands in this country.
 

Primary

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