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.