News & Updates
On Saturday 26th September 2015 the Basakoli Choir hosted a Basokali Festival at the Global Kingdom Ministries Church on Markham Road, Scarborough. The word ‘Basakoli’ means ‘Messengers’ which identifies Christian members who belong to a choir or group from different African countries. On this particular evening, the members were primarily from Angola. The evening began with the sound of African drums with lots of energy and volume. The special guest was Dodo Miranda (vocal) who had been brought in from Angola for the evening. It was explained to the audience that Dodo was extremely well known in Angola and we were treated again to an exciting rhythmic African flavour of music which had the audience rocking.
The evening was guided along by Eddie Matondo who is an Angolan Salvationist living in Toronto. Eddie is a member of the Basakoli Choir that worship at Bloor central corps. The choir performed 3 songs in true African style, wearing very attractive Salvation Army African dress.
As the program began to take shape, some of the Heritage Brass members began to wonder how a Salvation Army Band would go over and would our music fit? But Eddie had invited the band and assured the band that they would be welcomed. The band kept to much of its traditional programming
with Salvation Army marches and hymn tune arrangements and some classics like – ‘Jesus Joy of Man’s Desiring’ and ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ and the response was truly wonderful. The band also played the Angolan National Anthem and a Song arrangement of some African songs where we could clearly hear people singing along to the melodies. The highlight of the evening for the Heritage Brass members was when the band played the Hymn Setting – ‘On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss’ which is a lovely arrangement of ‘It is well with my soul.’ At the end of the final note, you could have heard a pin drop. It was some 10-15 seconds or so before some people wanted to applaud which expressed the highest tribute any Christian group would want and confirmed the Holy Spirit’s presence in the band’s attendance and music.
Truly this was an evening of praising God with a lesson for all, that as Christians we must respect and appreciate one another in our journey of faith considering culture and taste.
Heritage Brass were invited to bring an evening program of music for the Divisional Seniors Retreat at the Conference Centre at Jackson’s Point. The band was warmly welcomed with the comment – “Looking around the band they look very much like us – white or no hair with a few wrinkles here and there.”
This was the first concert for the
band’s newly appointed bandmaster, Bob Gray. Bob selected a program of music for the occasion which really fitted the occasion. The band began with a fanfare type arrangement… ‘To A God Like This. ’ The program then saw several old marches such as ‘Golden Jubilee’ ‘Southall 100’ ‘Goldcrest’ and of course, everybody’s favourite – ‘Montreal Citadel.’ The band sang ‘My Jesus I Love Thee.’ Reaching back into the past, Deryck Diffey brought the cornet Solo – ‘Silver Threads.’ The Trombone section played ‘Wonders Begin When the Lord Comes In.’
Norm Ritson played the solo – ‘Somebody Prayed for Me’ and Major Greg Simmonds picked up on that theme as he brought a brief devotional thought. It was a personal thought where the Major talked about his early life where God or church was not present in his home or life. Major Greg began attending the Salvation Army and he talked about how he became acutely aware of people praying for him. Reflecting on his life, a Christian and now a
retired Salvation Army Officer, Major Greg spoke about the importance of intercessory prayer in the life of every Christian and every Church.
It was a good evening where everybody clearly enjoyed the time praising the Lord and making music.
June 25th 2015. Heritage Brass was invited to be part of the ‘Celebrating 50 years of the Meighen Retirement Residence.’ The residence was primarily built to accommodate retired Officers. In 1985 it expanded, taking over a Nursing Home which had been named after Canadian Prime Minister Arthur Meighen. Today after many changes this beautiful facility still
houses Retired Salvation Army Officers along with non-officer seniors.
The weekend began with the Band’s Annual dinner hosted by the folks at Burlington with a delicious Roast Pork Dinner. A short programme followed dinner with recognition of certain people.