By Major A. Philip Ferreira, Montclair Citadel, NJ
MAY 13, 2019 — One could tell as the chapel of the Lowell Citadel Corps was filling to near capacity that there was an air of excitement in anticipation of the concert to be presented by The Salvation Army Mass Brass, the Lowell Citadel Songsters and special guest trombone soloist, John Faieta of the Boston Pops Orchestra. The band’s presentation of Stephen Bulla’s “March Patriotica” set the pace for an inspired and exciting night of music. Following the opening prayer by Lowell Corps Officer, Captain Tim Ross the congregation rose to sing “I Stand Amazed in the Presence” affirming our love and devotion to the Lord Jesus and acknowledging that all the musical offerings of the evening were to the honor and glory of God.
“Onward, MASS” written for the Mass Brass for the 2018 Massachusetts Divisional Congress by Dr. Dorothy Gates was played with great energy and enthusiastically received by all. This was followed by the John Williams’ more reflective “Hymn to the Fallen” from “Saving Private Ryan”.
The Lowell Citadel Songsters, under the leadership of S/L Jennifer Bennett were on next presenting a delightful arrangement of “Showers of Blessing”. It was truly a blessing to hear the songsters presentation.
Territorial Music Secretary, Bandmaster Derek Lance, having taken his place in the band as a “guest musician” on flugel, shared inspiring words of encouragement. It was then time to hear from special guest soloist, John Faiteta of the Boston Pops Orchestra, who blessed us with a beautiful rendition of Peter Graham’s arrangement of “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked”. Following this and just prior to a brief intermission he thrilled us with his presentation of Terry Camsey’s “Sing a Happy Song”
Strains of Irving Berlin’s well-loved patriotic song, “God Bless America” opened the second half of the program. This was followed by Divisional Music Director, Matthew Luhn conducting an informative and entertaining interview with guest soloist, John Faieta. To say that this was well received by those gathered would be an understatement. Following this interview, this virtuoso trombonist flawlessly presented Arthur Pryor’s “The Blue Bells of Scotland” followed by a rousing standing ovation.
“Lest I Forget Your Love” was beautifully presented by the songsters followed by a Devotional Thought by Major Philip Ferreira reminding all of God’s Faithfulness. Wilfred Heaton’s challenging and moving “My Treasure”, effectively presented by the band, concluded with this beautiful reminder of the loving care of our Savior.
“Resting so sweetly in my Savior’s care,
He’s always near me, joys and griefs to share; He leads me gently, gives me grace and power Through Him I’ve victory…
In the darkest, darkest hour.”
The final item that the Mass Brass would present was Andrew Mackereth’s “Duke Street Variations.” The audience showed their appreciation for the blessings of a great evening of Salvation Army music making.
In benediction, the band played, then sang with the congregation joining in…”Christ is All, Yes All in All, My Christ is All in All” A fitting conclusion to a great night of music “to the honor and glory of God”.
Well done Bandmaster Matthew Luhn and Massachusetts Musicians! ■
Read more stories in the Fall 2019 USA East Music Bulletin.