A Former Bandmaster and member of Heritage Brass, Geoff Norton, was “Promoted to Glory” on March 5, 2021.
Geoff was a long-time member of Heritage Brass, our longest serving Bandmaster, an instrumentalist of high quality and a truly fine Christian Gentleman.
Geoff made a significant contribution not only to Heritage Brass but to the Salvation Army musical ministry wherever he worshipped throughout his life.
Those who served alongside him and under his musical leadership were blessed and privileged and will cherish wonderful memories of a fine Christian Gentleman.
The following paragraph was part of the Family Obituary:
“He was a member of Northridge Community Church and the Salvation Army brass band community. He held many positions as Band Master in the UK and Canada. His musical ability was recognized as he played in the Salvation Army’s prestigious Canadian Staff Band. He was a compassionate music teacher to youth throughout the years and faithfully supported the Salvation Army music camp program, spending his summer vacations teaching, encouraging and mentoring. One of his proudest accomplishments,
and the highlight of his banding and leadership career was, as Band Master of the Salvation Army Heritage Brass Band, touring extensively and bringing incredible music back to his homeland of the UK. ”
The Members of Heritage Brass will greatly miss Geoff but know with confidence that he is now in the presence of his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, whom he served so faithfully throughout his life.
We will continue to keep Marion, Beverley and Brad, along with their family members, in our prayers.
19th October 2019. Heritage Brass celebrated yet another anniversary at Oshawa Temple with their new bandmaster Craig Lewis who was appointed as bandmaster last July in a concert at Georgina Corps. As always, a good crowd assembled with many former members of the band present.
The guest this year was Dr. Jonathan Corry who is currently serving as the Divisional Director for Music and Gospel Arts for the Chicago Metropolitan Division within The Salvation Army. In 2009, Jonathan was commissioned Bandmaster of Enfield Citadel Band where he served for 9 years. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Jonathan established himself as a Trumpet/Cornet soloist. Jonathan played 3 solos this evening, wowing the crowd with a remarkable command of his cornet. He also conducted the band in the hymn tune arrangement… ‘Kremser’ (Philip Ditmer).
Above left: Jonathan and Arnold were associated with Enfield, (Arnold also with Tottenham). Deryck and Alan were members of Tottenham Citadel Band.
The band varied their program with the good old favourite… ‘To God be the Glory’ (Dean Goffin) and more up to date music such as… ‘Fanfare, Hymn and Thanksgiving’ (Dudley Bright), ‘Elation’ (Trevor Davis) and ‘The Wonder of it all’ (Kenneth Smith). The band also sang ‘Redeemed’ and Alan Speed brought a devotional. It was a good evening of music and fellowship with a gathering for refreshments following the concert.
Jackson’s Point – Wed 3rd July 2019… The month of July in recent years has seen Heritage Brass hold a concert at Georgina Corps as part of the Wednesday night summer music programs (Jackson’s Point) as arranged by Divisional Headquarters. In conjunction with the event the band holds its annual dinner which again this year was held in the Royal Canadian Legion, Sutton. Below are two photos at the dinner where Executive Officer Major Ron Millar presented Bob Young with a certificate marking 13 years of service as both bandsman and Band Board Member. The second photo shows Major Cliff Hollman (Band Treasurer) presenting an appreciation document thanking Henry Preece for his extra volunteer work as Band Librarian, especially with the recent move the band has made in new locations the band has moved to for rehearsal and storage.
The Band’s Program in the evening included the Divisional Candidates Farewell to the Messengers of Grace 2019/20 Session, where representatives of the Session were present. Divisional Staff included… Lt. Colonel Sandra Rice (Divisional Commander); Majors Christopher & Tina Rideout (Area Commanders); Captains Mark & Jodi Dunstan (Divisional Youth Secretaries/Divisional Secretary for Candidates). Also present, representing Territorial Headquarters were Lt. Col’s. Brian & Lynn Armstrong (Secretary for Personnel & Secretary for Program) respectively.
The evening also included the Divisional Commander announcing and presenting a certificate to Craig Lewis (Territorial Secretary for Music & Gospel Arts for the Canada and Bermuda Territory) with an added appointment and responsibility as Bandmaster of Heritage Brass.
This was a wonderful evening of music and spiritual inspiration enjoyed by a full auditorium of people.
Barrie Corps – Sat. 22nd June 2019 Heritage Brass held a concert at Barrie Corps under the direction of Deputy Bandmaster Graham Kinghorn. Barrie was home for several of the Heritage Brass members who are active soldiers of the Barrie Corps. Also in the congregation were some former members of the band, one being Brian Watkinson who is the Father and Father-in-Law of the Corps Officers, Andrew and Stephanie Watkinson.
A packed house (congregation) showed their appreciation of a well-balanced light program of music that included Marches, Salvation Army Selections, Arrangements and Meditations. The band also sang an arrangement of Stephen Bulla’s – “Redeemed.” Deryck Diffey played the cornet solo… “They Shall Be Mine” (David Catherwood). Exec. Officer Major Ron Millar brought a devotional thought.
Agincourt Temple – 4th – 5th May 2019. ‘Heritage’ Brass (Conductor D/B/M Graham Kinghorn) held a concert at Agincourt Temple on the Saturday evening with the proceeds of the freewill offering going towards the Corps’ young people’s music development program, namely the Salvation Army’s Music Camps.
A good sized congregation came out in support. Guests for the evening were the ‘Singing Pilgrims’ – a 13 member male singing group accompanied by Major Donna Millar (Piano). Not unlike Heritage Brass, the group consisted of members in their senior years – led by a much younger Lynn Janes who also presented a couple of vocal solos. Major Ron Millar (Band Exec. Officer) brought a devotional thought.
Heritage Brass returned for the Sunday morning worship service. Major Ron Millar (Band Exec Officer) led the meeting and brought the message… “Jesus in the Every Day.” Following the service, the corps provided refreshments in the foyer. Many good comments were made regarding the interest given to encouraging and supporting our young people.
27th October 2018. Heritage Brass, formerly the Metro Toronto Reservist Band, then later the Ontario Central Reservist Band celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a concert at Oshawa Temple, joined by the O’Neill Chamber Choir, Oshawa, leader Erin Collins with special guest, conductor and soloist (Euphonium)… Bill Himes, Chicago, USA.
Heritage Brass under the direction of Gary Dean opened the program with Steve Kellner’s “Fanfare & Allegro on the Doxology.” The next three items, featuring the band, Bill Himes and the O’Neill Chamber Choir really set the program up to convince the large congregation that they were in for a very enjoyable program with an extremely high standard of musicianship. The choir especially thrilled everyone with their wide spectrum of music and style of singing, from the contemporary to the traditional, always unaccompanied. One item entitled ‘Mosquitos’ was most unusual with just one word to memorize… Buzzzzzzzzzz
Bill Himes, so well known and respected around the world conducted and performed his music and also brought a brief devotional thought. What made his participation so interesting was his explaining the stories behind the music he had written which spanned his early years of composing and arranging to some of his later works. The one solo he arranged for Brass band which he performed with the band was a delightful melody he had heard in his travels called… “Song for Lotta” (Jan Sandstrom). Probably one of his newest works and a major work at that was played by Heritage Brass… “Pathway of Hope” which took the listener on a 3 part journey of a person caught in the trap of Satan’s hands with no sense of escape, finally finding faith and hope with Satan’s kingdom falling.
It was a truly special evening for Heritage Brass with some excellent playing. Dotted around the congregation were former members, which in itself added to what the evening was all about… the celebration of a group of longtime Salvationist musicians who in their long years are still making music to glorify God which in turn is blessing others.
8th Sept 2018. Heritage Brass once again accepted, what is turning out to be an annual event… an invitation to provide music at the annual Meighan Lodge Garden Party.
Besides cool temperatures, most of the seniors took to the garden where a BBQ presented much food to eat. Some brave souls even ate the ice cream which was obviously on hand in case of hot temperatures.
The Territorial Leader, Comm. Susan McMillan was present to open the Party and after welcoming everybody she said grace. The band was once again received well with a selection of music including hymns, hymn tune arrangements and well-known marches.
Heritage Brass finished up their season, taking a summer break before resuming rehearsals in September. The occasion was the band taking its turn at the Divisional Concerts at Jackson’s point, scheduled each Wednesday evening during the summer months. This particular venue was at Georgina Corps which everyone welcomed in an air-conditioned building when the temperature and humidity were almost unbearable outside. A good crowd enjoyed a well-balanced program of ‘Army’ and ‘Secular’ music including an Eb & Bb Cornet Duet. “THE CLEANSING STREAM” played by Major Alan Price & Deryck Diffey. The band sang and rendered some light contemporary music including an upbeat March “ON WE MARCH” (Kevin Larsson). Sylvia Thomson provided a very delightful pianoforte arrangement for the offertory. Following Major Ron Millar’s devotional the band played “TO THY CROSS I COME LORD” (Ivor Bosanko arr. Olaf Ritman). The band closed out the evening with the beautiful arrangement “A GAELIC BLESSING” by John Rutter
The concert followed the annual dinner, held at the Royal Canadian Legion where current & former members were recognised and honoured.
Brian Burditt was honored first. Susan (Brian’s wife) Matthew (Son) Rebecca (Daughter) were in attendance and received a plaque and the last 3 CD’s (Peace of Heart) which was recorded under the baton of Brian.
Gordon Hind received his retirement certificate after 13yrs service with the band.
Phil Christie also received his retirement certificate after 16yrs service with the band.
Lt. Col.Alf Richardson received a certificate as former Band Executive Officer.
Bob Skinner & Norm Robertson, as new members received the Heritage Brass pin.
Gary Dean was thanked for his role as Acting Bandmaster this past year.
Ron Millar (Executive Officer) was recognised as a ‘playing’ member of the band.