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Music tribute: 125 years of Salvation Army service

The Salvation Army
Media Release

Musical tribute to 125 years of Salvation Army service

Wellington, 01 April 2008 - The Salvation Army's 125 year anniversary is striking a musical chord with its vocal and brass groups set to perform in several spots around Dunedin.

The Salvation Army's two national music groups SpiritSong and the National Youth Band will share their musical ministry in a public concert and on the streets of Dunedin.

The 'Break Free' concert on Saturday 5 April will include a mix of religious music, including both modern and traditional numbers. The audience will also have the opportunity to sing along. TVNZ will record the concert for later broadcast in two parts on their Praise Be programme.

Earlier in the day, the musicians will take to the streets of Dunedin as part of a commemoration of the first Salvation Army 'open-air' meeting to be held in New Zealand in April 1883. Starting at 12.05pm, they will march from the Exchange to the Octagon. Between 12.15pm and 1.00pm they will contribute to a music ministry at the Octagon.

Salvation Army Creative Ministries director, Matthew Pethybridge, says that the anniversary has a particularly special meaning for National Youth Band members Logan (21) and Eden (18) Bracegirdle who have a direct family connection to The Salvation Army's early days in Dunedin.

'They are related to people who attended The Salvation Army's first public meeting in New Zealand, in Dunedin, and who later signed up as officers.'

Mr Pethybridge says that SpiritSong and National Youth Band musicians are drawn from around the country. 'They regularly perform both in New Zealand and overseas, although it is relatively rare for them to perform together.

'We are all looking forward to the opportunity to return to The Salvation Army's roots in New Zealand and share the Christian message through music.'

SpiritSong and the National Youth Band each have 30 musicians. Band members are aged between 16-30 and are selected from the ranks of Salvation Army senior soldiers or members.

The 125 year celebrations are part of the three-day Freedom Congress (4-6 April) in Dunedin which will be attended by up to a thousand Salvationists and others from around New Zealand and overseas.

The 'Break Free' concert starts at 3.30pm on Saturday 5 April at the Kings and Queens Performing Arts Centre, 270 Bay View Road, Dunedin. Adult $15, child, student and senior $5. Ticket bookings online at

More details of the congress are available at


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