by Julia Dunn (Band Secretary for Planning, Promotion, & Events)
The Texas Divisional Band, consisting of 35 members from corps across the state, embarked on a Gulf Coast Ministry Tour August 4-9, including stops in Baton Rouge, Biloxi, Lafayette, and New Orleans. TDB held community concerts in town squares in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, provided music for the morning worship at the Kroc Center in Biloxi, and played a concert at First Presbyterian Church in Ocean Springs on Sunday evening. While in New Orleans, they also shared an outdoor concert and fish fry at Area Command for residents of the shelter and nearby community. The repertoire on tour was a variety of marches, contemporary arrangements, and contemplative pieces. Of course a tour through Louisiana wouldn't be complete without some jazz, so TDB featured trumpeter Steven Silva on swing arrangements "Lord, Lord, You Sure Been Good To Me" and "Morning Star," which the crowds always enjoyed immensely.
In addition to their busy performance and ministry schedule, TDB also made time for food, fellowship, and fun. With walks around the French Quarter listening to the SatchmoFest, visiting historic warships, swimming at the beach, and exploring swamps looking for alligators, there were many good laughs and great memories made. They also enjoyed the plentiful Cajun and Creole food that the coast had to offer. Whether it was a fun outing, meal, or concert, every experience presented an opportunity for the bandsmen to bond and minister to each other. The bandsmen were also good about greeting and sharing with the listeners following each performance, with the hope that through music the audience would experience joy and understand that TDB was sharing their testimony in song.
Many thanks to Majors Anthony and Elizabeth Juliana (TDB Executive Officers) and the hosts at each tour location, with special appreciation to Ron Hall for going the extra mile as our tour guide in New Orleans and getting us through a few tight spots. We pray that the impact of our music ministry is lasting and meaningful for each community visited. Great things are ahead for this group and we look forward to finding new ministry opportunities in and out of Texas in the years to come.