Houston Northwest Hosts Aspects of Praise Music Weekend

By: Kathy Farmer

The “Aspects of Praise” music weekend was hosted by Majors David and Louise Feeser, Houston Northwest corps officers.  Drs. Ronald W. and Beatrice Holz were the special guests.  Houston area corps and the community were invited to participate in a music education weekend.

The musicians were encouraged by representatives from the Houston Opera trombone and trumpet sections, including Thomas Hulten, a former Salvationist, who came and supported Saturday’s rehearsal. The Austin Citadel Band, Houston Temple Band and the Texas Music Department’s Chloe Hu and Sara Elliott also joined in the fellowship of musicians.

The weekend started Thursday night with the corps praise team and senior band rehearsal. A special piece, “Jacob’s Ladder,” was especially written for the Houston Northwest Band by Dr. Ronald Holz.  A unique feature of the corps is having all ages of skill and ability participating in the band, with some families having three generations participating in the music programs.

Songsters were led on Friday night by Dr. Beatrice Holz. Songster pieces chosen for the weekend included “Just One,” “Wake Up O Sleeper” and “There is a River.” Dr. Beatrice Holz recently retired after serving on the faculty of Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, for over 30 years.

Saturday started in the morning with Praise Team Leader Karen King and the Praise Team. Ron Holz shared the importance of layering instrument entrances and the sound of different instruments playing in different octaves.  Hallelujah choruses and brass parts were introduced with the song “Potter’s Hand.”

Ron Holz shared his reflections on the history of Salvation Army music, describing how the Army’s musical past informs the present. He has written critically acclaimed books dealing with brass and wind band history, including “The History of Brass Bands” Volumes I and II. He recently retired as professor of music literature and instrumental music at Asbury University, where he taught for 33 years.

The afternoon was filled with band and songster practice. Pieces included “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Exultation,” “Battle Hymn,” “In the Love of Jesus,” with a solo by Lauren King, “Be Thou My Vision” and “They Need Christ.”