NYSB holds 127th Annual Festival
From the moment we concluded last year’s 126th Annual Festival with Michael W. Smith, excitement began to build for the 127th Annual Festival on April 27 and for our invited guests—musician James Morrison from Australia and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers.
The New York Staff Band (NYSB) began the program with “Phoenix” by Peter Graham, which was well received by an energetic crowd. Morrison followed. He came to the stage unannounced and brought a most spectacular performance on trumpet of Stephen Bulla’s “Blessed Assurance.”
This piece set a beautiful tone for the entire evening. In just a few moments on stage, Morrison gave us a glimpse of what the next two hours had in store. Lt. Colonel Kenneth W. Maynor, NYSB executive officer and territorial program secretary, welcomed the crowd. During a few moments in prayer, he asked the Lord’s blessing on the program.
The NYSB offered a tribute to composer Erik Silfvergberg, who had recently passed away, by playing his lively march, “Vanguard.”
After that, Morrison presented his own arrangements of “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Nobody Does It Better.” While he is most famous for his work on trumpet, he also displayed how he is equally gifted on trombone.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers offered two sets of music. With energy, conviction, and passion they seemingly ushered the audience into the throne of grace. They also shared powerful testimonies.
It was a privilege to present “Flourish and Dances” written by Kevin Norbury, NYSB alumnus. The band members are grateful for his delightful music.
Morrison’s “Power in the Blood” and “The Old Rugged Cross” dazzled the crowd. He played multiple instruments, including a soprano saxophone. Kudos go to Martin Rosamilia who performed some fine work on the piano.
Morrison’s next contribution was probably the most entertaining of the evening. While playing “Basin Street Blues,” James accompanied himself at the piano while playing his trumpet. The crowd’s reaction was spectacular. Up next, another fun item for James—“The Flintstones.” This rendition featured Bob Jones on the drums.
The band’s last piece for the evening was “Skydance” by Captain Martin Cordner. Just a month earlier, the band included it in its “Profile Night 35” concert, which exclusively presented Cordner’s music.
The evening’s “grand finale” was a new work from Stephen Bulla entitled “Then Sings My Soul.” Morrison, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers, The New York Staff Band, as well as the congregation participated. It was a marvelous conclusion to a wonderful night of music and praise to the Lord.
by Derek Lance