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
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
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. ■
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