Visit of Neosa Brass and Chorus to the Pendel Division, April 6-8, 2018
After an evening of rehearsals Thursday night, NEOSA Brass and Chorus boarded their coach Friday morning heading east to the Pendel Division for a weekend of music-making and fellowship.
The first stop of the weekend was the Lock Haven, PA Corps. After rehearsals and dinner, the stage was set for the evening concert at 6pm. The program started with NEOSA brass, led by Bandmaster Eric Dina, presenting Martin Cordner’s piece “The Name” based around the song “Blessed Be The Name of The Lord” followed by Len Ballantine’s setting ‘Mid all the Traffic’ to the beautiful tune Shenandoah. Two soloists were featured in the program, Lt. Donald H. Spencer who presented the cornet solo “When I Remember”, followed by Rachel Dina who played “This I Know” on trombone. NEOSA Chorus, led by Chorus Leader Becki Dina, presented three pieces to the program – “He’s the lily” (Andrew Maycock), “What The World Needs Now” (arr. Jay Rouse), and “Near To The Heart” (Len Ballantine). NEOSA Timbrels presented two items either side of a brief intermission accompanied by the NEOSA Brass, “Assignment” (Dudley Bright) and “Mountain Camp” (Donald Osgood). Bandmaster Eric Dina challenged the congregation with a devotional thought before the band presented their major piece for the evening, “Endless Praise”. This work by William Himes features the song, “I Stand Amazed in the Presence”, “Blessed Assurance” and “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”. After an encore of “Celebration” (Leslie Condon), the Chorus brought the evening to a close with the beautiful “We Pray” by Eric Dina.
On Saturday April 7, Rehearsals got underway at 10am at Camp Ladore for Pendel Brass, Singers, Timbrels and Arts and the Pendel Youth Band Chorus and Arts groups. The morning also featured rehearsals for Pendel Prep Musicians, with leadership and assistance from the visiting NEOSA Brass members. All of this was in preparation for the afternoon’s Spring Festival.
The Spring Festival got underway with the combined forces of the NEOSA Chorus and Pendel Singers in Len Ballantine’s “Prepare”, followed by a welcome and prayer from Lt. Colonel Stephen Banfield (DC Pendel division). This segued into “Trinity” (Lorne Barry) presented by Pendel Brass. The Prep musicians were featured in three pieces, “Walk With The Lord” (Prep Timbrels), “Young Crusaders” (Prep band with Pendel Brass) and “El Senor Es Bueno” (Prep Chorus). These young musicians presented each of these items with much enthusiasm!
The Pendel Youth Chorus (led by Aaron Harris) sang “Praise His Holy Name” (Keith Hampton) and “My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness” (arr. Heather Sorenson) and joined forces with the NEOSA Chorus to sing “What The World Needs Now” (arr. Jay Rouse). NEOSA Timbrels were featured in the Dudley Bright march “Assignment”, while the Pendel Timbrels presented a display to the classic Salvation Army march “The Red Shield”.
Two major works were featured on program “Endless Praise” (William Himes) presented by NEOSA Brass and “Triforce” a new piece written by Regional Music Director Fred Mbesi and features the songs, “Our God”, “It Is Well” and “Holy Spirit”. Both of these items were well received by the audience.
The Pendel Music Department partnered with the Service Extension Department to promote the concert in the counties around Camp Ladore and reference throughout the concert to different groups that partner with The Salvation Army in the local community throughout the concert. Following comments from David Burgmayer (Service Extension Director) thanking the different community groups, the two bands combined to bring the afternoon to a grand conclusion with “Fanfare, Hymn And Thanksgiving” (Dudley Bright) under the leadership of B/M Eric Dina.
On Sunday, NEOSA Brass and Chorus travelled to the East Stroudsburg corps to lead the worship service. Preliminary music from the Brass included Kenneth Downie’s “Someday” and “Guardian of my Soul” (Shaw). B/M Eric Dina led Praise and Worship from the piano as well as playing an offertory in his unique piano style. Leslie Condon’s “Gift For His Altar” was presented by the NEOSA Brass, followed by the Chorus singing “Near To The Heart” before Major Brett DeMichael brought the message from the Word, speaking of Thomas and his response to the Risen Lord of “My Lord and My God.” After a time of reflection using the chorus “All That I Am”, the congregation joined in the singing of “Fairest Lord Jesus” before the NEOSA Chorus brought a great weekend to a close with their benediction “We Pray”.