Photo by Laura Dake
London Citadel Band Tours Southern Territory
By: Bernie Dake
The London Citadel Band from Ontario, Canada, embarked on a tour of the USA Southern Territory that covered five states and three divisions. The band carries the unique historical distinction of being the first Salvation Army band in Canada.
The Band played under the direction of Bandmaster John Lam and were accompanied by their corps officers, Majors Kevin and Loriann Metcalf. John Lam is also the bandmaster of the Canadian Staff Band. Major Kevin Metcalf is the band’s soprano cornet player and just one of the featured soloists.
Beginning in Georgia, the band played their first concert at the Lawrenceville Corps as a windup to the annual Festival of Cultures. Sunday found the band at the Atlanta Temple Holiness meeting and then hosting master classes in the afternoon with the young people before going to an open air. The band performed two concerts and Monday and led ensemble lessons at Louise Radloff Middle School in Duluth. The group headed to Birmingham, Alabama, for an open air followed by an evening concert at the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) to a standing room only crowd on Tuesday before visiting Jackson, Mississippi for an open air attended by the mayor and a concert at the corps before a receptive crowd which included the residents of the Center of Hope.
During the visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, the band played an open air at Lafayette Square. One onlookers said that she was a fourth-generation native of New Orleans, and that when Hurricane Katrina hit the city, she was “wiped out.” Devastated by total loss, she was met by The Salvation Army who, in her own tearful words, “was there and never left. Long after the cameras were gone, The Salvation Army continued to help.” That night the band played at the New Orleans ARC to another crowd of enthusiastic listeners.
On Friday, the London Citadel Band bussed to the Lone Star state of Texas and did a concert at the Dallas/Fort Worth ??? ARC to a packed house of beneficiaries and locals. After playing at open airs at the Arboretum and the Stockyards on Saturday, the band concluded the tour by playing the National Anthem at the Stockyards Championship Rodeo to an overwhelming response of the people in attendance
Featured soloists included Major Kevin Metcalf on cornet playing “When I Remember”, Colin Williams on cornet playing “Jubilance”, Steve Chard on euphonium playing “Canaan’s Land”, Jonathan Rowsell on tuba playing “The Carnivore of Venice” or “Sweet Hour of Prayer”, and a version of the Beatles song “Blackbird.” The trombone section was featured on the song arrangement “In His Time” by band member Noel Brooks.