In concert at the Oasis Academy, Sheerness
It is generally acknowledged that the first Salvation Army band was established in Salisbury in 1878. Salvation Army evangelists were having trouble with local hooligans so Charles Fry, a builder and leader of a Methodist orchestra, and his three sons offered to act as bodyguards while the Salvationists sang in the marketplace. As an afterthought they took along their brass instruments to accompany the singing. It was in this rather unwitting fashion that the first Salvation Army band was born. Their immediate success led Fry to sell his business and the whole family became full-time musicians in The Salvation Army. Within the next few years, Salvation Army bands sprung up all over the country.The Salvation Army had already arrived in Chatham in 1873 although a band was not formed until 1881. These beginnings were humble – just eight players using old instruments fixed up by a local plumber! Nowadays, no members of Salvation Army corps bands are remunerated financially for being part of the band. Quite the opposite, in fact, as members, as well as providing their own uniforms, contribute to the expense of running the band by paying a monthly subscription. Further support comes from kind donations from the public and the band’s own fund-raising activities. Chatham Band members are engaged in a rich variety of professions from accountants to military musicians, from policemen to financial advisers and quality control managers.
For the past two years the Band has been led by Deputy Bandmaster Nigel Lockwood who assumed responsibility after Carl Woodman relinquished the position of Bandmaster. Nigel is a former member of the Band of the Welsh Guards in which he served for 27 years. At the beginning of 2015 Nigel also found it necessary to relinquish his temporary leadership role and Bandmaster Ray Maycock (R) again resumed responsibility for the leadership until a new Bandmaster can be found.
Ray will also continue in the role of Band Secretary and will be assisted by Rosemary Steadman-Allen as Band Sergeant and Greg Davis as Assistant Band Sergeant. We will bring news of new appointments as soon as we can.
The band takes part in both Sunday services and can also be heard at various other events throughout the year in Chatham and beyond. If you would like to know more please CONTACT US or, better still, come and hear the band at the various meetings and services in which it participates.
The 2016 Band
Click here to listen to the Band playing “Greater Things”