Saturday, October 20, 2012

JUST AS I AM Part three

We are now in the fourth generation of Salvationists (1958).  Our tastes and our creative powers in music and song are beyond all comparison refined and artistic, to a degree our forefathers never even imagined.  Excellent!  It was always my aim and policy to retain and employ such talent, within our ranks.  This is being done, most successfully.  We have genius in the children and grandchildren of our pioneers.  What a tragedy if we knew not how to employ our multiplied talents to our Saviour’s greater praise!  Unhappily, some of our brighter sons and daughters have left us for other pursuits, where fame and gain are the main incentives.  We are rather proud of them, nonetheless, especially when they are willing, as so many are, to acknowledge that they came from our humble stock.  The Salvation Army has enriched music in many ways, and in many bands and orchestras where our uniform is never seen, but I have observed, in my wide travels, that we retain in our musical forces the great majority of talented young people born of Salvationists parents.  These naturally incline to the higher, more artistic forms of musical expression, and they prefer worship to a ‘free and easy’, and a worship service to a meeting.  Yet these young people, I am convinced, are as good Salvationists as their forebears, more talented and, on the whole, better educated.

General Albert Orsborn C.B.E.
The House of My Pilgrimage ps. 118-19

In recent years we have seen many Salvationist musicians, composers and conductors reaching the pinnacle of their profession. Symphony orchestras have been enriched by those whom we trained, the world's very best brass bands are commissioning works to be penned by those who wear or once wore SA uniforms, and SA bandmasters and trainers are wielding batons on world stages from Brisbane to Manchester.

Is it unreasonable to ponder what, if any, expectations we might have of those who've become prominent in their respective entertainment and arts fields due the army's very considerable influence and impact on who've they become? Some have left and not been heard from again. But then there are the Army composers who shared their gift on both sides of the brass band movement; Eric Ball, Dean Goffin, Erik Leidzen, and in more recent years, Edward Gregson, Ken Downie, Peter Graham, Stephen Bulla, James Curnow, Brian Bowen  and others.

And Salvationist bandmasters and trainers who have contributed to and made a mark on the contest scene include Keith Wilkinson, Howard Evans, Terry Treherne, Sven Wiberg, Torgne Hanson, Per Olson, Lars-Gunnar Bjorklund to name but a few.

SA instrumentalist who have excelled in the brass band, orchestral world and professional scene are too many to mention number number in the dozens in every corner of the world.
Blessings, Sven Ljungholm

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