The Texas Music and Arts Department wanted to take a moment to highlight the Houston Northwest Corps for having their annual musician weekend, which was held on February 9th - 12th, 2017. Special guests included Drs. Ron and Bea Holz, O.F. from Atlanta, Georgia. The Holz's are gifted musicians who, through their various leadership roles, have enriched the musicianship of Salvationists across the Southern Territory and beyond.
Throughout the weekend there were opportunities for corps members and out-of-town guests to take part in praise team, songsters and brass band rehearsals. Rehearsals were held on Thursday and Friday evening, followed by a full day of learning and rehearsals on Saturday in preparation for Sunday worship.
The praise team focused on rehearsing two current and powerful worship songs, one of which is entitled The Lion and the Lamb. During the praise team’s rehearsal, both Dr. Ron and Bea gave wise critique, reflecting their passion for bringing our best before the Creator.
Songster rehearsals were led by Bea, where she introduced two new songs to the choir. She rehearsed each piece intentionally so that the meaning of the music would be efficiently communicated. Also emphasized was the importance of warming up our voices, as those are perhaps our most important natural instrument!
Dr. Ron Holz gave an enlightening lecture on the history of Salvation Army music on Saturday afternoon. We all come from a very rich background of composers and musicians and it was interesting to hear about the journey our musical forebears took. There were many pivotal individuals who played a part in the growth of Salvation Army music, including Dean Goffin, who wisely stated “…the primary purpose of our music should be to help bridge the gap between the saved Salvationists and the man in the street.” We covered the importance of sharing our music with others and being mobile so that others may join in if they wish.
The brass band had a great rehearsal, particularly on Saturday afternoon where we were joined by members of Austin Citadel, as well as local professional musicians from the Houston Opera. Dr. Holz wrote a brass piece especially for this music weekend entitled Jacob’s Ladder. The build of melodic swells captures how majestic the sight of the ladder must have been for Jacob to see. This piece can be heard at the following link: https://www.hnwband.com/our_music.
It was an honor for Chloe Hu and Sara Elliott to take part in such a special weekend. Please let us know if your corps is having a special music or performing arts event-we would love to join in the fellowship!