USA East Music BULLETIN - WINTER 2018/19 - ISSUE 1 | Page 11

NEW JERSEY CHRISTMAS By Simon Morton, Divisional Music Director, NJ A wonderful audience filled the Tabernacle at beautiful Camp Tecumseh on Sunday evening, December 2nd, 2018. The New Jersey Divisional Christmas Festival, now in its third year, features all of the Divisional Music and Arts forces in addition to some great soloists and corps groups. The festival commenced with Salvation Brass providing an exciting performance of Intrada on Regent Square by Ken Downie. After the welcome and prayer, the enthusiastic audience joined the House Band in an upbeat version of O Come All Ye Faithful led by Douglas Berry. It was a real blessing to see so many young people, children and teens, participating in the program. The NJ Divisional Music and Arts T H E S A LVAT I O N A R M Y U S A E A S T groups meet once a month to rehearse brass, vocal, timbrels, dance and drama and had worked diligently to present their offerings on this evening. Many groups including the beginner brass, singing company and timbrels combined with Salvation Brass to present their items while the Divisional Drama Team walked us through the Advent story with dramatic readings. Other highlights of the evening were inspiring numbers by the Paterson ARC Choir and the Englewood Korean Songsters clad in red festival tunics! The energy of the Kearny Dance Troupe and the cool vibe of Doug Berry singing The Little Drummer Boy helped round out the program. After a special word from our Divisional Commander, Major James Betts, and a combined choral piece, the lights were dimmed and each person held a candle while singing a vocal benediction, Silent Night, led by the one and only John Copeland. It provided a moment of reflection and served as a reminder of what the Christmas season is all about In the midst of a busy season for most Salvationists, the festival provided a moment of reflection and served as a reminder of what the Christmas season is all about. ■ W I N T E R 2019 | USA EAST MUSIC BULLETIN • 11