16 March 2024

Territorial Youth Band and Choir 2024: Fearfully and wonderfully made!

Group photo at TYB and TYC 2024

Reports from this year's TYB, TYC and Youth Makes Music concert.

Oli Hayward (Birmingham Citadel): TYB

Monday 12 February, 1pm, and the foyer of the Carrington House Hotel was buzzing with anticipation of the days that lay ahead. An orderly queue for Territorial Youth Band delegates to check in was almost out the door. Well-known staff members were on hand to chat and keep our minds off the upcoming auditions while we waited. We were soon settling into our rooms.

My audition time rolled around and I was greeted by Philip Cobb and Tom Nielsen, who were auditioning the cornets. They were both encouraging and put me at ease. Director of Music and Creative Arts Stephen Cobb also made an appearance, keeping us on our toes!

After a meal together, rehearsals were under way and the regular rhythm of TYB was once again in full flow. A quiz night followed by prayers rounded off our first day.

The theme for the week was I Am, which was explored in a variety of ways during worship, Bible study and cell groups. I’m sure delegates and staff members alike gained much from this teaching over the week. It was great to have Territorial Youth and Children’s Secretary Lieutenant Jonny Whitmore with us helping us to delve into God’s word.

A photo of the Youth Makes Music concert 2024
Territorial Youth Band rehearsals | Picture: Martin Davis

A visit from Kate Moore, principal trumpet of the BBC Concert Orchestra, gave us insight into the life of a professional musician and how she chose her career path.

It was great to have the musical leadership once again of Stephen Cobb. His vast experience and knowledge of Salvation Army music, combined with his passion for encouraging young musicians, meant that we all learnt a lot and came away better equipped to use our musical gifts for God in our local settings.

The Youth Makes Music celebration on Friday featured music for all tastes and the rehearsals and sectionals over the week ensured we could present the music to our very best.

If you haven’t been to TYB before, you need to be there next year!

Anna Sharman (Regent Hall): TYC

When I arrived at Territorial Youth Choir, I was greeted by many friendly and familiar faces. As I was one of the first, I went straight into the audition room and sang through my song. I was a little nervous, but soon forgot and just enjoyed myself.

Monday was full of fun games and interesting conversations with new and old friends and made me incredibly excited for the rest of the week. In our first rehearsals, we sang through the easier songs and worked at the harder songs in smaller sections. My favourite song this year was ‘Boundless!’ – I’ve had it stuck in my head for weeks!

A big highlight were the evenings of activities and games. For example, Christmas- themed ice-breakers, a Matilda-themed film night, a Wonka-themed talent night – involving very impressive costumes – and an under-the-sea themed silent disco.

A photo of the Youth Makes Music concert 2024
Rehearsal for the Youth Makes Music celebration

This year, we had the incredible opportunity to attend a daily workshop. I wanted to choose songwriting, something new to me that would be a creative outlet to connect with God. At the end of the week, I was glad to share the song I had written with the group. I definitely felt inspired to write more songs and use music to worship God.

Through Bible study we talked about the theme of I Am: I Am God, I Am a Disciple and I Am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. It was great to hear everyone’s thoughts in our cell groups and to listen to our spiritual leader, Captain Megan Kervin (Paisley Citadel), share words on it as well.

TYC had a very big impact on me and my faith. I find myself missing being there more and more. The staff members and students were all so kind. It really felt like I was on a journey with them. I thoroughly enjoyed all the songs we performed, thanks to the amazing Karl Westwood (Bromley Temple). I highly recommend TYC to everyone!

Captain Michael Hutchings (Southport): Youth Makes Music

The Lighthouse centre was aptly named for Friday’s final festival of Territorial Youth Band and Choir. The Youth Makes Music concert radiated passion, talent and a love for Jesus, bringing light and life to a dark evening.

From the opening fanfare of the TYB’s ‘The Call of the Righteous’ to the conclusion, a contemporary reworking of ‘O Boundless Salvation’ (TYC), this was a symphony of sound and a celebration of creativity.

Between these bookends the audience enjoyed a musical and spiritual journey that moved easily between the quiet reflection of ‘Jesus Paid It All’ and unbridled praise of ‘All Creatures of Our God and King’. The variety of styles was broad and challenging, ranging from the regal ‘Suite from Stabat Mater’ to the upbeat ‘Sing to the Lord’, and even included rapping!

The presence of more seasoned musicians in both groups demonstrated a commitment to mentoring. Whether you’re a budding leader, musician or follower of Jesus, how better to develop than alongside those already walking the path?

Two contrasting items captured the essence of the evening. First, TYC’s simple reminder that ‘It Is Jesus I Need’, and second, the TYB’s encouragement to claim the power to be a better person through Sam Creamer’s piece: if you want it, ‘It’s Yo’s!’

May our youth continue to preach this message: in word, in deed, and in music.

Inspired by TYB and TYC?

Don’t miss out on Territorial Music School, a week of music-making and worship for anyone aged between 16 and 30 who attends The Salvation Army. It takes place from 27 July to 3 August.

Territorial Music School

Discover more

TYB and TYC are courses that develop spiritual awareness, leadership skills and musical gifts.

TMS is a week of music making and worship for anyone aged between 16 and 30 who attends The Salvation Army.

Inspiring others to realise the potential that music and creative arts can have in expressing who we are and who God is.

Salvationist Radio has compiled a list of contemporary worship songs to listen to this Easter.