The Arkansas and Oklahoma Divisional Band was privileged to put on a concert in Fort Smith, AR on May 13th. The band was hosted by the Fort Smith Corps and Majors Johnny and Kathy Poff.
After a late rehearsal at Camp Heart O' Hills the night before, the Divisional Band arrived in Fort Smith for the concert. Beginning at 1:00 PM, the band played in the beautiful setting of the Riverfront Park. The concert opened with a rousing piece called "St. Francis", by William Himes. From there, the band moved into a wide range of repertoire, including "The Great Physician" by Dudley Bright, "Gift for His Altar" by Leslie Condon, and culminating with "Call of the Righteous", also by Leslie Condon. The crowd was also treated to a fantastic Flugal/Trumpet solo called "Blessed Assurance" by Stephen Bulla. The solo was played expertly by Dr. Ryan Sharp, the principle cornetist in the Divisional Band.
We were blessed by a scripture reading from Lt. Brittany Carr and the testimony of Sgt. Victor Estudiante. There was also a bittersweet moment as the band said farewell to three members. Sgt. Victor Estudiante, Captain Claudia Roseno, and Bandsman Anthony Barrington are all moving on other endeavors. Sgt. Estudiante and his wife are entering the Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta, GA to become Salvation Army officers. Captain Claudia Roseno and her family are also moving to Atlanta, where she and her husband will Candidates' Secretaries. Anthony Barrington is embarking on an exciting new step in his life, as he has been accepted by the Juilliard School of Dance, Drama, and Music! Anthony will be studying trumpet, and we could not be more proud of his accomplishments. All of these members have been very important to the music programs of the AOK division. Though we are sad to see them go, we know they will continue in ministry and in excellence when they leave us.
After the concert, the band was treated to a fantastic BBQ put on by Major Johnny Poff and the Fort Smith corps. We thank the corps and Majors Poff for their support and for making all of the arrangements for this concert. The band had a fantastic time ministering to the community and fellowshipping with the Fort Smith corps, and we look forward to our next visit!
Photo Credits: Crystal Mastandrea