The Personnel of The Salvation Army Texas Gulf Coast Area Band
Alto Horn Sections

Cornet Alto Horn Euphonium Trombone Bass

March - Minneapolis IV

Hendon Band, UK


This march is one of my favorite pieces for the horn section. I've played this since I was first in a Salvation Army band.


 As I've told you before, I tend to make lists. As a bandsman in the Seattle Temple Corps band, I used to make lists of all of the bandsmen and former bandsmen in the area I knew. I would look for these people and wonder why they weren't in the band. I would talk to them and find out what the problem was. Whenever the band played, I would look in the audience for the people on my list. Frequently, I would see a better band sitting in the congregation than was sitting on the platform. One Sunday morning, I counted 15 bandsmen on the platform and 35 in the audience. This grated on me all of my life.

When I first got to the Houston Temple Corps, I was sitting in the band playing a hymn tune and I heard the sweetest cornet playing you could imagine. I thought, "Wow, we've got a great cornet player in this band." I started watching the small cornet section to see who was making such wonderful music. It wasn't anybody in the band. I started watching and looking around, and there, in the second row of the audience, was an older man with a cornet. Whenever the band would accompany the congregation, he would play his cornet. This annoyed the bandmaster. It turns out that the bandmaster in Houston Temple was just like the bandmaster in Seattle Temple. He never spoke to him and never invited him to play in the band.

The Cornet Players Wife, Children and Grand Children

One night we had a concert. During the concert, I announced that if anybody wanted to play in the band, they should come and see me. One of the daughters of the cornet player already played Alto Horn in our band. That night, her sister came to me and asked if she could play in the band. We now had the cornet players wife on the Bass Drum and his two daughters on the Alto Horn. The new Alto Horn player has two daughters and both of them came to play in the Timbrel Brigade.

The Young Couple in the Horn Section

One Saturday, I showed up at band practice and two of our players were missing. They were a young married couple. I asked where they were and someone told me thy had quit the Army. Somewhere along the way, they had become upset, couldn't take it any more and walked away. Since one of my favorite songs starts out " O love that wilt not let me go,..." I could no more let these people go than if they were my own children. I could not sleep if I knew there was a Salvation Army bandsman anywhere in my sphere of influence who was not playing in a band so after band practice, I went home and got my trusty Thompson Chain Bible out. This is one of my most cherished possessions. I bought it in Seattle when I was in high school. I cannot stand to see someone writing in a book so there is no mark whatsoever in my Bible. A lot of people like to take notes in their Bibles and they have color coded pens and pencils to mark places with special meanings. My Bible looks like nobody has ever opened it, except that the front cover wore out and fell off one day. I opened my Bible to the scripture verse that Norman Bearcroft had used in our corps which had such a good influence on our band. I wrote the couple of missing bandsmen a letter. I wrote out the sermon that Norman Bearcroft had preached including the scripture verses that he had used. I pointed out that they weren't the first bandsmen to become disillusioned and leave a musical group. I explained the scripture verse and I told them how we loved them, we would miss them and we wanted them back in that band. This young couple had each been in the Salvation Army all of their lives. There parents were Salvation Army officers.

The next Saturday, they were back in the band. One of their parents came to me later and said, "I don't know what you did, but I want to thank you for bringing my daughter and son in law back." Those two kids had never been asked to be a part of the Salvation Army. They had been born into it. Their parents were officers. I never spoke to this couple about this incident or about hardly anything else. I said it all in Norman Bearcroft's sermon and in the scripture verses he read to our band at the Seattle Temple Corps almost ten years before. They knew they were loved and wanted and how important they were to all of us.

The Thirty Year Veteran Salvationist

One Saturday, I showed up for band practice and one of our Alto Horn players was missing. I asked where she was and nobody knew. The song "O Love that wilt not let me go ... " came to my mind. In the spirit of Divine Pursuit, I wrote her the Norman Bearcroft letter. She was back the next band practice. She came to me and said, "I want you to know that I have been in the Salvation Army for over 30 years and that is the first time anybody has ever told me that I was needed in the Salvation Army and that I was loved. Thank you." She played in the Band and the Timbrel brigade until we moved back to Seattle.

When Opportunity Knocks

One of our Alto Horn players disappeared without a trace. I looked for her, but she was gone. Then one day, as I entered a hardware store, I saw her coming out. She looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I talked to her for a few minutes and the next Saturday, she was back in the band. This woman had been in the Salvation Army all of her life. Her parents were officers in The Salvation Army.

In all of my experiecnce in the Salvation Army Seattle Temple Corps or the Houston Temple Corps, I have never seen a bandmaster show any interest in speaking to ANYONE about joining the Army and / or playing in the band. I've seen these Bandmasters simply snub bandsmen as a practice. At Seattle Temple, I would invite musicians to the corps and NOBODY would speak to them. We had a really great Alto Horn section in the Texas Gulf Coast Area Band because we showed an interest in the bandsmen individually and as a group.

Back to the Crest

 Tell your Salvation Army friends about this website. Chapter Ten about our Seattle Temple Corps Experience is going to be very interesting, but you have to read every chapter in order to understand Chapter 10. You won't be disappointed.


Dan Ross Bonna Ross Jordana Ross Dan & Bonna Ross Dan and Bonna Ross drdan71, cornucopiagenealogica 09/30/03

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