Springfield, MO - November 4-6, 2022
Written by Katie Laidlaw (Trombone)
Chicago Staff Band members gathered at Territorial Headquarters on Friday evening to begin the trek to Springfield, Missouri. Band members enjoyed the complimentary popcorn and Hershey’s Kisses carefully placed in each room; while others received special treatment from the hotel staff through receiving continental breakfast delicacies at 11pm.
After a night of rest in Litchfield, Illinois, the band loaded up and prepared for the remainder of the trip. After a few bathroom and snack stops, caulk explosions on the road, and various conversations and naps, the band arrived in Springfield, MO. First up on the agenda was a stop at the biggest Bass Pro Shops in the United States, complete with an outlet, aquarium and café. Upon arrival in Springfield, CSB members split into ensembles and assisted in Springfield’s Christmas Kettle effort around the entrances of Bass Pro Shops.
After completing some “battle of the bands” at the Kettles, the group traveled to Schweitzer Church, and were greeted by the Republic Community Band. The two groups settled into a deep and wide set up to rehearse the final number for the Saturday evening concert, “Amazing Grace”. Following the massed rehearsal, The Chicago Staff Band vacated the stage, so the Republic Community Band could take center stage for the start of the concert later that evening.
Fellowship continued as the two groups feasted on Chick-fil-a and conversed around the tables, as “go” time quickly approached. Following our pre-concert routine of devotions and prayer, The Chicago Staff Band joined the audience to enjoy the various selections from The Republic Community Band. The crowd came to life during “Selections from Grease” as nearly every head moved, and every foot tapped. As the crowd applauded into Intermission, CSB buttoned up in festival tunics and took the stage to finish out a great evening of music. The ring of the final chord in the band’s opener, “Let There Be Light” was immediately followed by a roar of exuberant applause. Our bus driver, Michelle, described the opening note of our set, and I quote: “BOOM!”
The band returned to Schweitzer Church for Sunday morning worship, enjoying the welcoming congregation, and hymn sing; joined by the church’s worship leader, completed by the addition of powerful organ. A highlight of Sunday morning worship was being able to provide music for the church’s communion time, while also being provided the opportunity to experience communion as well. The Schweitzer Church community was so appreciative of the band’s ministry and was insistent in the group’s return as soon as possible.
The band loaded up the bus and began the nine-hour trek home full of gratitude for a great weekend of ministry, full of many connections and memories. Speaking of memories, there may have been a viewing of CMItv 2005, as the trip came to completion.
Thank you, Springfield, for a meaningful weekend!