Empire Brass in Puerto Rico
Over Palm Sunday weekend in April, Empire Brass, Chorus, Timbrels and Dance had the privilege of going to Puerto Rico. It was such an honor to meet so many wonderful people during the weekend.
Saturday morning was spent walking around Old San Juan before we got on our bus and headed to San Juan Temple. Once there, we had a united rehearsal with PRVI Divisional Youth Band. Together we played “Lord, Reign in Me” by Dorothy Gates. Although we may have had language barriers with each other, all those barriers were gone when we played that piece. That afternoon we had a united concert with the PRVI Divisional Youth Band and Empire Brass, Chorus, Timbrels and Dance. We had a great crowd, and it was truly a blessing to listen to all the other groups who participated in the concert.
Palm Sunday service was spent at the Guayama Kroc Center. The ride to Guayama was so beautiful! You could see God’s handiwork everywhere you looked, what a joy this was! At the Kroc Center we took part in the church service, and we were all blessed to be part of that service with so many wonderful people, who were so welcoming to us. The Spirit of the Lord is alive in this place! After the Palm Sunday service, we were fed a wonderful lunch by the corps people. Following our meal we were off to Ponce.
We were supposed to do a concert in Ponce at the local mall on Friday, but delays at the airport caused this concert to be rescheduled to Sunday afternoon. We performed at a beautiful open area of the mall, with huge skylights so we could see the clear blue sky above us. The crowd here was very large, friendly, enjoyed our music very much. The band played a number of pieces featuring soloists. Helen Wajda’s flugel horn solo, “Mid All the Traffic” and Chelsea Rice’s vocal rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” were well received and we can’t forget about the timberlists with their “Fuego” drill! As all the other places that we had played that weekend, we were truly blessed and honored to worship God here with so many other people.
This was a weekend we will never forget! Even though we may have language and cultural differences, we still felt like we were all part of this wonderful Salvation Army family that transcends any barriers.