Monthly Archives: February 2013

Band’s Annual Dinner Friday 1st February 2013

The Band’s Annual Dinner took place on Friday 1st February at the Southern Valley Golf Club in Gravesend with approximately 64 people in attendance comprising members, wives and ex-members. It is always good to meet up with friends past and present and it was great on this occasion to chat about their up-to-date news and reminisce about old times.

Bev Hudson began the evening by saying Grace, and, after a splendid meal, we were treated to an illuminating and amusing talk given by Colonel (Dr.) Ray Steadman-Allen, affectionately known as ‘RSA’- a composer of choral and brass band music for The Salvation Army and for band competition.

In 1946 the Colonel joined the Music Editorial Department of The Salvation Army where initially his first job of work was to draw all the bar lines on music and, following a short post-war period as a trombonist with the International Staff Band, developed his conducting skills and became the Bandmaster of the Tottenham Citadel Band.

He became a Salvation Army officer in 1949 from the Harrow Corps and, in 1951 married Joyce Foster who had also become a Salvation Army officer from Hastings Citadel in 1949.

The Colonel’s talk emphasized that his creativity had been given totally to God and had been instrumental in guiding Salvation Army music into uncharted territory, particularly when the International Music Editorial Department was under his leadership between 1967 and 1980 and, during his talk, referred many times to a suite of articles about his life and works published by Shield Books under the title of ‘History, Harmony and Humanity.’

On his appointment as National Bandmaster he and Joyce moved to Cheltenham into a farmhouse which is where he composed ‘The Holy War’ and, eventually, were appointed to Australia where Joy became the Nurses Fellowship Secretary.  From Territorial Headquarters inSydneythey moved to a small corps inSydneywith a congregation of under-privileged and ‘down at heel’ people where their ministry was to bring spiritual and bodily sustenance and where many people got saved.

Mrs Colonel Joy Steadman-Allen read the Bible and RSA closed in prayer the culmination of a fascinating insight into his life.

Report by John Rodgers