WMI Honors Memories Of Pickup and Helms

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By Julie Jennings –

With enthusiastic students and God-glorifying music, the Western Music Institute (W.M.I.), under the leadership of Territorial Bandmaster Ivor Bosanko and Janette Bosanko, continued its tradition of excellence in music with an emphasis on the Lord this summer at Camp Redwood Glen.

Special guest Andrew Justice, trombonist in the International Staff Band as well as deputy bandmaster at the Enfield Citadel Corps, blessed all with his outstanding musicianship as well as his testimony. Justice emphasized to the students the importance of dedicating their singing and playing to God.

This year saw the introduction of a band and a chorus named in honor of two officers recently promoted to Glory, Major William Pickup and Lt. Drew Helms. At the Final Festival, held at the Oakland Foothill Corps, the William Pickup Band and the Drew Helms Chorus performed pieces that were special to each officer. Major Anne Pickup and Lt. Nancy Helms were also presented with gifts.

“These gifts show our love, honor and appreciation of two men who were integral parts of W.M.I.,” Janette Bosanko said.

The Final Festival was a feast of music and praise with the choruses, bands, timbrelists and vocal school all taking part and featuring the sounds of traditional Salvation Army music, contemporary songs, and classical pieces.

The W.M.I. Band delighted the audience with its precise presentation of Kenneth Downie’s “Princethorpe Variations” and the W.M.I. chorus sang Bosanko’s beautiful and exciting new piece, “Psalm 23,” which uses the contemporary language of Eugene Peterson. But perhaps one of the most moving musical moments was Special Guest Andrew Justice playing the majestic aria, “Nessun Dorma,” from Puccini’s opera Tosca.

The Stillwell award, which is chosen by the staff and given to a student who displays the essence of Salvationism, was presented to Keith Spencer from the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps. Runners-up were Melissa Griffin (Torrance Corps) and Joy Leslie (Sacramento Corps).

The Crestmont Award, given to a corps unit which represents the joint effort of its delegates, was won by the Tustin Ranch Corps, but awarded to the Concord Corps, who came in second place, because corps cannot win two years in a row.

W.M.I. pins were given to students who excelled in musicianship in band and chorus. Band pins were given to David VanderWeele (Tustin Ranch), Jason Madsen (Concord), Daniel Newell (Enfield Citadel) and Andreas Kratz, from Sweden. Chorus pins were presented to Sarah Hungerford (Tustin Ranch), Melissa Griffin (Torrance), Keith Spencer (Pasadena Tabernacle), and Lt. Carlos Silva (Argentina).

The Institute not only gave students and staff the opportunity to better their musical skills, but was a time of building friendships, strengthening Salvationism, and worshipping a mighty God.

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