There is a better world they say,
No clouds e'er pass along that sky,
And wicked things and beasts of prey
And though we're sinners every one,
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.
One Sunday, not too long after we started attending the Houston Temple Corps, a man came in and sat in the back row. I looked at him from the platform a couple of times and he looked a little familiar. I tried to remember where I had seen him before and then it hit me. He was the guy that walked into the Divisional Youth Band rehearsal at Youth Councils four years before and was placed ahead of me, much to my annoyance, in the Euphonium section. We had the best Euphonium player in the State of Texas sitting in the back row of our corps building. I was thrilled. Our little band was going to sound great. I watched and watched and never saw anybody speak to him. This was his home corps and he had grown up there. I couldn't believe that he wasn't playing in our band, but he was never invited.
After about six weeks of this, I finally went to the Corps Officer and the bandmaster and literally dragged them to the back row of the corps to talk to John, the Euphonium player. They actually spoke to John, shook his hand and had a conversation. It was obvious their hearts weren't in it and nothing ever came of it. Things deteriorated at the Houston Temple Corps and, after several years and two sets of officers, the congregation was slimmer and slimmer. Finally, avoiding the gory details, the Corps Sergeant Major walked out. Bonna and I watched to see what would happen. The congregation was down below thirty on Sunday mornings. I was working full time and going to grad school full time and Bonna was working full time. There was nothing we could do to help the situation. We didn't have a minute to spare. We were in the songster, the band and Bonna was teaching a Sunday School Class. After the Corps Sergeant Major quit and nothing was done to alleviate his problem, we left for our own spiritual well being. The corps officer's wife had been in training with Bonna and they were close friends. She called Bonna and they both were crying on the phone, but we couldn't help in any way because we had no time. Leaving the Salvation Army was the hardest thing we have ever done in our lives. We began attending the Spring Branch Church of the Nazarene.
I eventually became the bandmaster of the Texas Gulf Coast Area Band. I got John back into that band. You can read more about that on the Outreach page. Suffice it to say, when we got John into the band there was a leap in quality in the band. Cliff is a great Euphonium player so two guys who can play just about anything in the Euphonium section was just terrific.
One Saturday after we finished practice, I handed John the music for this Euphonium solo and told him we would play it when he was ready. The next Saturday, John was ready. He had absolutely polished the solo. In fact, he was just as good as the soloist you are listening to except on the low notes where John sounded much better than this recording. I am still amazed that he was in our band.
|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, email@example.com cornucopiagenealogica 09/30/03
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