The New York Staff Band and Canadian Staff Songsters march on

by Hugo Bravo

Despite the previous night’s rain showers, clear skies and warm weather welcomed the Salvation Army New York Staff Band and the Canadian Staff Songsters as they marched into the Pier on Sunday afternoon.

Lieutenant Colonel John Murray, executive officer of the Canadian Songsters addressed the crowd on behalf of the Canadian Staff Songsters, who were making their Old Orchard Beach debut.

“For over 100 years, The Salvation Army Eastern Territory has made Old Orchard Beach its home,” said Lt. Colonel Murray. “We’re delighted to share our message of help and hope through our band and are songsters.”

The Salvation Army shared some traditional music from its history, as well as more contemporary songs, including a rendition of ‘Joyful Joyful’ from the hit musical ‘Sister Act, and “The Power” by gospel singer Andrae Crouch.

“When I say The Salvation Army, what pops into your mind?” asked Lt. Colonel Murray to the crowd after the musical performance. “A brass band? A uniform? A Christmas kettle? A thrift store? All those things are very familiar.”

“But last year alone we helped more than 25 million Americans in need, served 170 million meals, and provided more than 7.5 million nights of shelter. That’s something that we celebrate. And we do this with help from numerous agencies and over 1.2 million volunteers.”

Lt. Colonel Murray also reminded the crowd that even as he was speaking, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services were busy at work helping across New England after the floods earlier this month.

“I want to thank everyone who can hear me for your support of The Salvation Army, whether it’s through donations, volunteering, connecting with us, or even just pausing to hear us today. You enable us to go find and help people in need, and in turn, create stronger communities.