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A Joyous and Jazzy Overture

30 June 2015

General John Larsson (Rtd) set the tone for the evening when seated at the piano he played ‘They Shall Come From the East They Shall Come From the West’ as Barbara Allen sang the words, supported by musicians who were joined by Waverley Temple Timbrels.

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Commissioner James Knaggs welcomed General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries), and Chief of the Staff Commissioner William Roberts and Commissioner Nancy Roberts (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries), together with retired international leaders and the guest musicians.

The timbrels and International Staff Band (ISB) made a lively start with ‘Hungarian Polka’, and a video presentation of flags representing the 126 countries in which the Army is at work was underpinned by ‘O Boundless Salvation … the whole world redeeming’ and the words of John 3:16.

Listeners were momentarily transported to Latin America through the contributions of South America East Territorial Youth Band while being able to reflect on the Founder’s song through historical pictures shown on multimedia.   

‘Make a joyful noise’ suggested Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters as, with enthusiasm, they presented ‘A Joyful Note’, followed by ‘Most Holy One’ and ‘Before the Throne of Grace’.

The musicians’ contributions were interspersed by the video presentation ‘Belief in Action’, depicting the Army’s worldwide caring ministry that brings hope and transformation.

Angola National Band (ANB), with their joyous and jazzy contributions, received a standing ovation from delighted congressgoers. They brought Africa to London and demonstrated the diversity of the international Army. With equal sincerity and fervour Pasadena Tabernacle Youth Chorus sang ‘Psalm 23’ and ‘O Boundless’, with a soloist emphasising the Founder’s words alongside the waving of the Army flag and the Stars and Stripes.

Video footage showed the ISB at Buckingham Palace playing ‘Lift Up The Banner’ at the Army’s 50th anniversary and also at ISB120. These, together with other clips, highlighted the ministry of brass bands and suitably led into the ISB’s playing of ‘My King and King’ with the reminder of the hymn ‘Let All the World in Every Corner Sing’. Commissioner Knaggs acknowledged the role of bands to the Army throughout its history and introduced Stephen Ponsford’s ‘Music of Legacy’, a composition with echoes of ‘Lord Through the Years’. The congregation warmly expressed appreciation to the ISB before Derick Kane played the euphonium solo ‘When he Cometh’.

In his Bible thoughts Commissioner Knaggs referred to the words of the Psalmist, ‘Sing to the Lord a new song’, saying that witnessing comes naturally when our hearts appreciate what he has done. The new song is not limited to music, but is as the life we live. The ISB and ANB united to present ‘Procession to Covenant’.

The final item of a sparkling evening, ‘A Worldwide Army’, was brought by all the musicians and declared One Army, One Mission, One Message and featured the great song of praise ‘Eternal God’, with the congregation joining the final verse and declaring ‘Christ has overcome the world’.

In the benediction the General gave thanks to God for his boundless love.

By Jane Kimberley -


This article was included in issue one of Boundless Today. Click to read all issues of Boundless Today.

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Ephesians 3:8 - Preach to the nations the BOUNDLESS riches of Christ