Kingston, NY—The world-renowned New York Staff Band drew more than 500 people for a free concert of patriotic and seasonal music and to help the Kingston, N.Y., Citadel kick off the 2004 kettle campaign on Nov. 20 at J. Watson Bailey Middle School.
Kingston City Council President James Noble participated in the Saturday evening concert, and was obviously moved by the skill and versatility of the NYSB. The Kingston-based Ancient Order of Hibernians Bagpipes and Drums also performed Saturday evening.
Captain James Kisser, the corps officer in Kingston, and Lt. Colonel Nester R. N?esch, GNY divisional commander, distributed special recognitions and volunteer awards to civic groups and area businesses for their "bell-ringing" efforts during the 2003 Red Kettle Drive.
During the kettle kickoff portion of the Saturday evening festival, Kisser stated, "The Salvation Army is delighted to, once again, be able to share a free musical event of this magnitude with the entire community by a band that has stood for excellence in brass banding since 1887."
The stirring and uplifting programs were varied, employing everything from classical transcriptions and traditional marches to contemporary arrangements of gospel favorites. Members of the NYSB also formed a chorus under the leadership of Major Thomas V. Mack and presented various vocal selections throughout the weekend.
The band, led by Staff Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris, was featured during a series of weekend events, including a worship concert for a standing-room only crowd of more than 600 people at the Woodcrest Bruderhof Community on Sunday. The band also thrilled more than 2,000 holiday shoppers during an afternoon "concert-in-the-round" in the food court at Kingston's Hudson Valley Mall.
It's been a busy Christmas season for the Kingston Citadel Corps.
—The annual two-day "Toy-a-thon" sponsored by WKNY-1490 AM Radio netted the corps more than 3,000 new toys Dec. 3-4 for distri-bution to poor children.
—The corps received more than 400 boxes of food for its emergency food pantry. The food was collected by local Boy Scout troops.
—The corps, for the third straight year, hooked up with the local Red Lobster restaurant to host a Thanksgiving dinner for Kingston's hungry and homeless. More than 300 meals were served with the city of Kingston providing transportation.