22 December 2014

THE international Salvation Army has come together this Christmas in music and video. Salvation Army music groups from around the world were asked to send in footage of them playing 'O Little Town of Bethlehem', and the result is a compilation that demonstrates the true spirit of being One Army. Traditional brass bands rub shoulders with handbells, songsters and congregations in a unique version of the familiar carol. Contributions were received – using the hashtag #MetInThee – from every Salvation Army zone, including countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. 

To view many of the original contributions in full, go to www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/metinthee

The various clips were skilfully put together by Gary Rose, from the International Headquarters Communications Section. He explains that the task called on all his expertise to take the contributions from around the world and make them into a whole. Tuning was one problem because brass responds differently depending on the climate (the pitch gets sharper in heat and flatter in the cool). Not ideal when trying to match together groups from Africa and India with others playing in the snow! Gary says: 'One group even sent the carol in the wrong key altogether, so that was a challenge!'

He added a bass line throughout to give a feeling of solidity and 'a bit of percussion at the end – timps and clash cymbals – to "finish it off"'.

The end result is fun but also uplifting and touching – a perfect antidote to the commercial aspects of Christmas that dominate in so much of today's society. Salvationists and friends are encourage to share the video online and through social media.

Report by IHQ Communications
International Headquarters

Tags: South Pacific and East Asia, Africa, Europe, Americas and Caribbean, South Asia