USA East Music BULLETIN - WINTER 2018/19 - ISSUE 1 | Page 5

THE MELODY OF LIFE By Katie Knickerbocker, Quincy Temple, MA On December 27th, hundreds of Salvationist musicians, including myself, from across the country and from around the world met at Camp Mt. Crags in California. Eight youth bands – one from each territory in the US, as well as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada – joined as one to prepare for the historic Tournament of Roses Parade, where we would represent The Salvation Army in its T H E S A LVAT I O N A R M Y U S A E A S T 100th consecutive march, the first band to reach this milestone. As soon as I arrived, the whirl-wind schedule of rehearsals and marching and outings ensued. With such a big anniversary to celebrate and with so many of us in the same space together, we had many special opportunities besides the parade itself. We were able to participate in BandFest with the other bands from the parade, playing for thousands of people in the stands at Pasadena City College. On Sunday, the eight territorial bands split up and led worship at eight different corps in the California South division. The USA East band went to the Santa Ana corps, and though I did not understand much of what was said, God’s presence was evident as we met with and sang with the congregation. The night after we arrived, we were split into eight randomized bands, each led by various territorial music leaders. Several rehearsals were held in these bands, and on January 2nd, we held a big “unofficial international music camp” concert at the Tustin Ranch corps. Being able to play under and sit next to Salvationists I would not normally have the chance to meet was awesome and playing music together for God’s glory made for a very powerful evening. Spending a week in California, when we were not rehearsing or marching, we spent time with old and new friends having fun. We were able to explore Old Pasadena and Hollywood for a few hours each. We went bowling and had our own New Years’ Eve celebration at camp – though, most people turned in early because of the parade the next morning. The day before we left for home, we marched together for the last time and had free time at Disneyland. The parade itself was incredible. It was a very early morning, and the 5.5-mile march felt longer in uniform. But the privilege of spreading God’s message through music, with about 400 other Salvationists from every continent, was one that I will never forget or take for granted. Our sea of red tunics produced a loud sound, proclaiming OUR story of God’s amazing grace. As we marched, I prayed, and I believe that God used our tunes to touch the lives of those who listened, bringing the “melody of life” to everyone who heard. ■ W I N T E R 2019 | USA EAST MUSIC BULLETIN • 5