Brass Bands have been used in The Salvation Army since its very earliest days in London, England. They have become a very uniquely Salvationist institution in many ways since then. Salvation Army Bands are still based on the British Brass Band format. Bands range in size from small ensembles of 4-5 people to full-sized groups of thirty or more. In the Southern Territory many local corps (churches) have small to medium sized groups, and they often join in regional or divisional groups to perform the large ensemble literature and share in music ministry together.
The USA Southern Territorial Band has been a ministry of the Southern Territory for many years. It participates in the annual Commissioning and Ordination services of the Evangeline Booth College as well as other special events and concerts around the territory and beyond. Visit the band's website for more information on performances, recordings, audition information, and more.
The Southern Territory begin publishing music regularly in 1987 under the leadership of Dr. Richard Holz, Territorial Music Secretary. There were a few one-time publications before this, but in 1987 the American Brass Ensemble Series (later the American Instrumental Ensemble Series) was started. James Curnow, renowned composer of music for band both in and out of the Salvation Army, was the Editor for this and has continued in that role ever since. This series catered to the bands of the Southern Territory that were often small to medium sized groups. It is organized in four grade levels and is scored for four parts (with an optional fifth) with two optional percussion parts. AIES fills an important need for repertoire in the Southern Territory, but it is also accessible and flexible enough to be used by many church and school ensembles around the country.
Our Territorial Music Institute (TMI) has been an important way that we teach music, especially banding, to our young people. The program has grown extensively over the last several years to incorporate several excellent leadership programs, as well as many other areas including worship team, drama, and dance.
One unique educational program of the Southern Territory has been our Divisional Music Conservatories. Music Camps have been used for many years, but in the Southern Territory, we have expanded this program from a week long camp to a 3-6 week opportunity for Salvation Army young people to attend Conservatory!