In the NYSB's 120th anniversary year, a kaleidoscope of music featuring the band, the Eastern Territorial Songsters (ETS), and guest artist Ken Medema was a fitting offering for traditional music lovers at the Congress.
General Shaw Clifton brought greetings and reminded the audience that the concert would be as Bach noted on all his musical manuscripts, soli Deo gloria (to the glory of God alone).
The staff band, led by Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris, brilliantly played a variety of compositions. Major Richard Munn, NYSB's executive officer and territorial program secretary, hosted the evening. In introducing "Call of the Cossacks," Munn reminded the audience of the reopening of the Army's work in Eastern Europe.
The Eastern Territorial Songsters (ETS), led by William L. Rollins, brought words and music from a range of items, from a foot-tapping Yearwood/Rollins version of "I feel like praising Him" to a meditative Himes arrangement of Isaiah 40.
Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, national commander, continued the ETS meditation on the Isaiah passage with a challenge to The Salvation Army to be a modern voice in the wilderness and to be assured that the Lord will renew our strength.
Ken Medema, a blind Christian artist, remembered for his delightful musicianship and ministry at 2006 OOB meetings, joined with the band in original works. He offered interactive solos beginning with "Bound together and finely woven with love."
The audience watched a video report of the recent Future All-Stars weekend that showed the commitment of the territory and the bandsmen to youthful musicians.
The new photographic record of the NYSB was available for sale, as well as CDs of the band and of Ken Medema's artistry.