THE Congress Office at International Headquarters has released the names of the music groups that will be participating in Boundless, the International Congress being held in London in July 2015 to celebrate The Salvation Army's 150th anniversary. Every territory and command was invited to submit musicians or music groups, and a dedicated team sat through hours of footage before selecting groups and soloists that represent a broad spectrum of excellence in God-inspired Salvation Army music-making – from the traditional choral, brass band and timbrels through to Chinese lion dancers, Korean fan dancers and a bamboo orchestra.
Africa will be represented by the Angola National Band, the Ghana Band and Folk Dance Troupe, and the Kenya West Territorial Vocal and Dance Troupe.
Brass and worship bands
From the Americas and Caribbean Zone will come Ontario Central East Youth Chorus and London Ontario Timbrels (both from the Canada and Bermuda Territory), and soloist Adriana Quezada from Mexico. The USA is well represented, with groups from right across the country. The USA Central Territory is sending the Chicago Staff Band (pictured) and the Bill Booth Drama Troupe, USA Eastern Territory provides the New York Staff Band, and the USA Southern Territory is sending a worship band called transMission. The USA Western Territory has a large representation covering a wide range of styles and cultures – Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters and Youth Chorus, San Francisco Chinatown Lion Dancers, Korean Fan Dancers from Los Angeles, Hawaii Hula Halau and the intriguing prospect of a 'Larsson and Larsson musical'. The South America East Territorial Band and South America West Cultural Dance Troupe ensure that South America isn't left out.
Dance and gospel
Europe will supply worship dancer Shaw Coleman (Germany and Lithuania Territory), vocal soloist A-young Lee (Italy and Greece Command, pictured) and – from The Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory – a Roma group and the Amsterdam Staff Songsters. The Eastern Europe Territory is represented by Captains Valery and Victoria Lalac with Captains Alexander and Svetlana Sharov, and a Scandinavian influence will come from Norway's Mannssambandet Vocal Group and Vasa Gospel Choir from Sweden.
Of course, the host country won't be left out, with the International Staff Band and International Staff Songsters being joined at the congress by 2nd Mile Worship Band and interpretive dance from the Hart Triplets.
Vocalists from India
The South Asia Zone will be represented at the congress by the India Central Youth Singers and India Eastern Mizo Singers from Aizawl with soloist Judith Lalremruati.
Bamboo orchestra and haka
Finally, the breadth of cultures and music-making from the South Pacific and East Asia Zone will be shown through groups from across the region. Australia Southern Territory is sending the Melbourne Staff Band and Waverly Temple Corps Timbrel Brigade, the Hong Kong and Macau Command will provide praise dancers with Chinese instrument accompaniment, and the Indonesia Territory will supply its Youth Chorus and Bamboo Orchestra. From the Korea Territory come samulnori percussion players from O Ka Corps, and the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory will be represented by a haka group (pictured below).
'Variety and diversity'
Commissioner William Cochrane (Chair of the Congress Planning and Advisory Council) says: 'We are grateful to the worldwide Army for its support and are extremely pleased by the variety and cultural diversity represented in the list of particpants. The multiculturalism of The Salvation Army will clearly be seen in the groups and individuals who will come from the four corners of the earth to share their gifts in praise and worship to our Heavenly Father.'
International congress news – including updates about the prayer and Bible-reading initiatives – can be found at www.boundless2015.org. While on the site, sign up to the Boundless 2015 newsletter to receive the latest information direct to your inbox.