Visit of William Himes – July 2016

On the 20th of July 2016, the band were treated to a very special occasion. The celebrated Salvation Army conductor and composer, Bill Himes (from Chicago), kindly visited our band and led us through our last rehearsal before the summer break.  Bill arrived just before our normal start time, having endured an extended car trip from Bath, Wiltshire, encountering traffic problems along the M4, M25 and North London, (welcome to England, Bill!).

After 130 miles of travelling through the rush hour on the hottest day of the year, Bill appeared as ‘fresh as a daisy’ as he led the rehearsal in temperatures of over 30 degrees centigrade. Perhaps Bill was wearing his own personal air-conditioning unit – it certainly appeared that way.

We were privileged that Bill took us through one of his recently written compositions (Jehovah Roi). It was a very moving experience for us, as he explained the reasons for choice of devotional tunes in the piece and the way that he arranged them. Something we will never forget.

Other pieces we enjoyed were Endless Praise, To Know Thee (Bill’s compositions), Prelude and Fugue – Arise My Soul Arise, On We March (by Kevin Larsson) and an arrangement of The Magic Flute.

Previous members of the band attended the rehearsal, and it was pleasing to see them again.

Dawn and Ashley Twist kindly arranged for food and refreshments for the evening, which was also appreciated.

We continue to be grateful for the use of New Barnet Salvation army hall, which enables us to rehearse and meet for occasions such as this.

So we would like to express our thanks to Bill for taking the time to spend with us on his whistle-stop tour of the UK, and giving us such as good time. We hope it hasn’t taken too long for Bill to recover from the experience!

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