by Stan Kelley
The Central Territorial Staff Songsters (CTSS) were virtually launched this summer.
Dr. Harold Burgmayer, territorial music and creative ministries secretary and songster leader, opened the event with introductory comments about the groundswell of vocal music making in the territory over the last several years that has led to the creation of this newest musical ministry group.
Territorial Commander Commissioner Brad Bailey commissioned the songsters, challenging them to spread the message of Jesus and the mission of The Salvation Army and to encourage the expansion of vocal music ministries in the territory through performance and education. In short, to inspire and to equip.
In preparation for its inaugural performance originally scheduled for a Soldiers’ Rally with the General in April, the CTSS held a rehearsal weekend at the Kansas City Northland, Kan., Corps that included participation in the Sunday morning worship. But only days following their return home, COVID-19 forced the world into isolation, which prompted the songsters to indefinitely cancel plans for a vibrant, in-person music ministry.
However, according to Harold, “This change of plans could not quench the Spirit which we already sensed to be working in us.”
Demonstrating adaptability and with assistance from the territorial visual communications team, the songsters opted for a virtual event featuring “I know a fount,” a beautiful hymn first published by The Salvation Army in 1923 which still speaks to hearts today. Greetings from staff songster leaders across the world rounded out the event, and congratulations from across the globe also were received following the launch.
“Congratulations to the Central Territory Staff Songsters. A beautiful start to your ministry in these trying times,” wrote Merryn Steel, Melbourne Staff Songsters leader, who sent greetings from Australia.
“What a beautiful online commissioning service. So great to see many familiar faces,” wrote Cathie Koehen, deputy leader of the Canadian Staff Songsters. “I hope that we will be able to join the two CSS brigades together one day in the not too distant future. God bless you and your ministry. I can’t wait to follow your journey!”
More than a year ago, a vision was cast for the musical and spiritual ministry of a territorial songster brigade which has come to fruition. It has capable musical leadership in Dr. Harold Burgmayer, support from territorial leaders and 40 skilled singers who are giving their time and talents to glorify God through vocal music.