Music has played an important part in Salvation Army ministry and life from its earliest days in England.
Early Salvation Army musicians used brass instruments to attract people and speak of God's love for them. From those early beginnings, Salvation Army music has traveled around the world. Salvation Army composers and arrangers have produced a vast repertoire of musical works which are used to accompany congregational singing during Sunday and mid-week services. The music additionally provides a very attractive concert program for brass bands and vocal groups.
The Salvation Army has produced some of the most outstanding brass bands in the world, with the International Staff Band from London, England, serving as the principle Army band in the world. Outstanding American brass bands can be found functioning as the New York Staff Band, Chicago Staff Band, Southern Territorial Band, National Capital Band, Pasadena Tabernacle Band, and Tustin Ranch Band.
Salvation Army trained musicians have become extremely accomplished and include such famous American composers as William Himes, James Curnow, and Stephen Bulla. In fact, Bulla is currently serving as the principle arranger for the "President's Own" United States Marine Corps Band in Washington, D.C.
Music has been an important part of religious life in The Salvation Army. Throughout its history, music has symbolized the cheerful religion of Salvationists, providing both the expression of a joyous faith and a form of recreation. Many officers and soldiers play musical instruments and participate in informal musical sessions. Bands and songster brigades (choirs) are recognized for their achievements and often are called upon to participate in community activities. Famous conductors and composers have commended Salvation Army bands for their musical excellence. The list includes John Philip Sousa, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edwin Franko Goldman, Erik Leidzen, Meredith Willson, Dr. Rudolph Ringwald and others. Many prominent musicians throughout the world have received their music training in The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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