USA East Music BULLETIN - WINTER 2018/19 - ISSUE 1 | Page 10

GREATER NEW YORK CHRISTMAS By Nathan Power, Assistant Divisional Music Director, GNY ”I’ll be home for Christmas” is more than just a song and this year’s GNY Christmas show was more than just a musical. Seventy plus actors, musicians, timbrelists, dancers and backstage helpers came together to produce two performances to a combined audience of about 1400 people. The music and creative arts team had been working tirelessly since the end of summer to pull this all together. The effort paid off! The story focused on a family gathering before Christmas with all the various stresses and strains of Christian family life in the 1940’s all just before Pearl Harbor. The characters go through a variety of emotions and experiences as they gather for the annual Christmas radio broadcast. Lily Finikin worked with a special show choir made up of current and older youth chorus members while the pit band included hardened professionals and college students from the division, all conducted by Andrew Boynton. timbrels. Jessica Pineda prepared a timbrel drill played by the recently formed Railton Timbrels (our junior music and arts track) and our own divisional timbrels. We were grateful to have Kellyn Thornburg return to the department to help choreograph the dances. If you missed this performance please visit our live stream page to see this and other past performances: Without taking a breath, the next day it was the 71st annual GNY Gala at the Marriot Hotel. Previously a lunchtime event supported by the New York Staff Band, this event has evolved into an evening sit down dinner featuring the GNY music sections and timbrels. Their involvement included accompanying guest artists with various dignitaries and celebrities in attendance. Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander was this year’s host and the special guest was Sal Valentinetti from ”The Voice”. He wowed the audience with 3 songs accompanied by the Youth Band and Chorus - ”When Christmas Comes to Town” arr. Power, ”Silver Bells” arr. Mylechreest and the big finale ”New York, New York” arr. Gates. Colonel Janet Munn offered the 2018 Christmas message while the Pinnacle of Achievement was presented to the NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. Two of our talented GNY artists were highlighted emphasizing the theme ”A Shielded Life”. Christopher Webster (Hempstead, tuba) and Tiffany Garcia (Bronx Tremont, solo dance) were both featured in video testimonies and then demonstrated their performing prowess. Chris performed ”Frosty the Snowman” arr. S. Smith and Tiffany danced to the song ”Light of the World” Lauren Daigle. The Youth Chorus (Lily Finikin) led the audience in worship singing ”Thou, O Lord” arr. Cymbala and ”We Have Seen His Star” arr. Kirkland while the Youth Band (Andrew Boynton) accompanied the timbrels in ”Christmas Praise” Noel Jones and presented the march ”The Bells of Christmas” Stephen Bulla as well as ”The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy” arr. Gates. 10 • USA EAST MUSIC BULLETIN | W I N T E R 2019 Every year this event helps give our donors insight as to where their money goes and is an opportunity to thank volunteers and supporters. This year’s Gala event went particularly well due to the involvement of Carol Jaudes, THQ, who produced the evening and also to our DHQ Development Department who work tirelessly to make sure this event is a success year after year. To round off the Christmas season, we were delighted to be involved with the annual Christmas effort at the historic 21 Club in NYC. For 81 unbroken years, the Salvation Army has been visiting the club to play carols and receive donations from the patrons as they enjoy their meals. Debbie Maltby Evans has continued the tradition started by her Grandfather at the iconic club and she completed her 49th visit this year. Many returning families and visiting guests have known this tradition and look forward to singing along with the ”band”, a quartet from the GNY division. With 4 sittings every day its a logistical challenge. We are indebted to our Development Department for their organization and support in this wonderful tradition. As well as these special events, Corps across the division supported kettles with bells ringing and instruments playing out the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. We are grateful for the many donations received so that “shows and galas” can be presented by the GNY Music and Creative Arts team. ■ W W W. M U S I C . S A CO N N E C T S . O R G