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The Salvation Army Hong Kong Staff Band,
A Decade of Music Together
Brass music ignites spiritual passion

(30 September 2019, Hong Kong) Music forms an integral part of Salvation Army evangelism. William Booth, the Army’s Founder said, ‘Music moves our hearts, just like wind propelling a boat forward.’ The Salvation Army Hong Kong Staff Band (hereinafter known as ‘Staff Band’) spreads the Good News of Christ through music. This month (15 September), the Staff Band held the 10th Anniversary Concert, marking its 10 years’ milestone as it spreads the Gospel message to people in need through beautiful brass music and hymns, so that they may live an abundant life because of the love of God.

Music ministry in the community
Re-established in 2008, the Staff Band serves with the mission to ‘expand the kingdom of God through outstanding musical performances’. Every year, the Staff Band gives over 10 performances. Apart from supporting the Army meetings and events, the Staff Band also actively takes part in outreach ministries and community activities such as prison visits, Brands and Products Expo and outdoor concerts, reaching out to and serving people from all walks of life through Christian brass music. The Staff Band is not only actively serving in Hong Kong, but also living up Salvationism in the mainland China, Macau, Korea, the USA and Australia.

Bandmaster Joshua Yip had many unforgettable experiences over the past decade of ministries, among which was a visit to Tai Lam Correctional Institution. As it was a men’s prison, at first the band members were worried whether it would be inappropriate for female bandmembers to attend. ‘Later, we found that the inmates were more friendly than we thought. Some of them even came forward and asked us about our Band and the music we performed during their free time after our performance, giving us an opportunity to share with them the mission of the Staff Band.’ Music opens the heart of prisoners to let the Holy Spirit in. It is a witness of God’s amazing deeds.

Tradition of Brass Music
Brass instrument performance is a recognised feature of the Staff Band and a long tradition of The Salvation Army. When William Booth first founded The Salvation Army in the 19th century, once he was preaching at Hyde Park in London. There was a father who was good at playing brass instrument identified with his ideology, insomuch that he offered to perform brass music to attract more passersby and help Booth to preach the gospels. Since the sound of the brass instruments is so loud and bright, performing outdoors can easily draw a crowd of passersby to stay and watch. Later, more and more Salvationists and musicians started writing music and giving performances, making it possible for The Salvation Army to reach out to more communities.

The Staff Band was first established in 1967. With members of different cultural backgrounds, the band ministries facilitated cultural exchanges among band members. Back then, when brass music was not very popular in Hong Kong, The Salvation Army brass band was already quite well developed. Very often the Staff Band was invited to perform in many different occasions and has been well received. The Staff Band also regularly visits disadvantaged groups in the society and spreading the truth and salvation of God. Reestablished in 2008 until now, the Staff Band has always been performing inspiring music with all their hearts and striving to expand the Kingdom of God.