NYSB welcomes Caleb Hudson to Annual Festival

by Hugo Bravo

Derek Lance, bandmaster of the New York Staff Band, says that playing at The Salvation Army Montclair Citadel Corps is like playing for a home crowd.

“We know almost everyone in here. It’s great to play in front of our family, friends, and people who have been part of the New York Staff Band’s history,” said Lance.

Along with it being a homecoming of sorts for members of the New York Staff Band, the 137th Annual Festival welcomed acclaimed trumpeter and composer Caleb Hudson on Saturday, April 20. Taking the stage with the NYSB, Hudson performed trumpet-centered showpieces like “Grand Russian Fantasia” by Jules Levy and “Flourish” by Paul Sharman.

“Our prayer tonight is that you’ll not only enjoy a great concert, but that we all sense the presence of the Lord,” said Lt. Colonel Kathleen Steele, executive officer of the New York Staff Band. “May this concert be a testament to your glory and the power of music.”

Soldiers from The Salvation Army New York Temple and Spring Valley Corps also sang for the audience inside the chapel.

“It’s so rare that I have the opportunity to be surrounded by musicians who have the same heart for worship that I do on stage,” said Hudson, a devoted Christian. “This concert will not be about glorifying ourselves, but rather what God has done for all of us.”

Before a performance of “That They Will Know,” which Hudson also composed, he shared its biblical inspiration: the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel from the Book of Kings.

“Each movement in the composition is based on a different component of the story,” said Hudson. “The Israelites, God’s chosen people, had turned away from Him and His truth, worshiping false gods. The piece that we’re going to play now is Elijah’s prayer: ‘Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.’

“We all tend to stray away and seek idols in place of God,” he said. “My prayer for this piece is that all of us individually, and our nation as well, turn our hearts back to God.”