Salvation Army band members beamed with excitement as they loaded a school bus bright and early Friday morning, July 4, 2014. This day would mark a major milestone for The Salvation Army Band, as they would celebrate 100 years of marching in the Calgary Stampede Parade.
The weather was perfect; clear skies and warm temperatures accompanied the band along the 4.5 kilometre parade route. Thousands of onlookers cheered on the band as they marched in the world famous parade.
“I counted the steps, 12,250 of them,” laughs band member Captain Pam Goodyear, Divisional Secretary of Public Relations & Development for The Salvation Army. “To think about how many steps we’ve taken in the 100 years of the parade is also pretty amazing. Reflecting on the relationship between Calgarians and The Salvation Army, and the lives that have been greatly affected by our mission, now that’s more than amazing – that’s a miracle!”
The following day, on Saturday, July 5, 2014, The Salvation Army Glenmore Temple Band surprised Calgarians with a free concert in the city’s trendy downtown shopping district. Crowds gathered around the band, snapping pictures and taking video as they played for just over an hour. Later that day, hundreds attended a wrap up celebration at Glenmore Temple with another concert entitled, “Stoicheo”, which included music from the band and choir.
It was a memorable weekend for The Salvation Army Band. Band members joked about running out of breath due to the hours of performing. But all who played, and all who marched, said they were led by God and motivated by the people they serve.
“We march to remind people that we’re here, in the community to make a difference,” says band member and Salvation Army employee, Randy Tronsgard. The Flugelhorn player goes on to explain, “We Love to share our music. One of our most recognizable songs is, Onward Christian Soldiers. When we play that song as we march, I’ll stop to hear the crowd clap and sing along, the feeling I get is indescribable.”