National Capital Band barnstorms West Virginia, supports The Salvation Army in kickstarting local kettle effort
By: Dr. Steve Kellner
The National Capital Band (NCB) recently traveled over nearly the entire state of West Virginia during a whirlwind three-day ministry weekend. In less than 48 hours in mid-November, the band, and ensembles from within the band, supported six Red Kettle Kickoff events and three Sunday services. In addition, the NCB performed concerts at West Virginia University and Morgantown Christian Academy, with the schedule totaling a whopping eleven events.
The NCB serves as the divisional band of the Potomac Division, and the weekend was timed to support the beginning of the 2021 kettle season. NCB ensembles played for kettle kickoffs in Charleston and Huntington on Friday, and in Parkersburg, Wheeling, Grafton, and Morgantown on Saturday.
The full band played a joint concert with the Monongahela Brass, the graduate brass quintet of West Virginia University, on Saturday afternoon at WVU’s Clay Theater concert hall. The band and the quintet alternated sets of pieces and then joined together to play John Williams’ famous “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” as the finale to a stirring event.
On Saturday evening, the band played another joint concert with the music students from the Morgantown Christian Academy. Among those students was Azariah Greenland, the son of Lieutenants Sheldon and Nicole Greenland, corps officers in Morgantown. The students came alongside the NCB to play “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Muffins Rhapsody,” and “Classics in Brass.”
Concluding the mini-tour on Sunday, the NCB again split into ensembles to play for worship services at the Clarksburg, Grafton, and Morgantown corps, and returned home to Washington, D.C. after a brief stop for lunch at the Morgantown Corps’ new Hope Café.
“What a boost to West Virginia,” said Major Bobby Westmoreland, general secretary of the Potomac Division and NCB executive officer. “The ministry weekend of the NCB has had a profound impact. What a blessing!”