We have just received an interesting email from Andrew Smith, formerly of Chatham Corps and now Songster Leader at Wellington City, New Zealand.
Andrew writes as follows:
Our Band tour to Japan starts Wednesday. Here’s the itinerary:
Wednesday 14/11 – fly to Auckland, bus to Whangarei, evening concert at Whangarei
Thursday 15/11 – bus back to Auckland, stopping for lunchtime concert at Orewa; evening concert at Auckland Congress Hall
Friday 16/11 – fly to Osaka (11hrs) followed immediately by a 5 hour bus ride to Hiroshima
Saturday 17/11 – play at Hiroshima Peace Park (memorial to atomic bomb victims), evening concert in Hiroshima, bus back to Osaka same evening
Sunday 18/11 – united holiness meeting for Western Japan Division at Osaka Central Corps, evening concert at Ibaraki City Hall
Monday 19/11 – bus to Hamamatsu (travel day)
Tuesday 20/11 – tour of Yamaha instrument factory at Hamamatsu, evening concert
Wednesday 21/11 – free morning! Concert in Tokyo in evening
Thursday 22/11 – afternoon concert at Maebashi High School, travel to next venue afterwards
Friday 23/11 – Afternoon concert at Utsunomiya with local youth band, travel to next venue afterwards
Saturday 24/11 – hospital playing and open airs in Kiyose, return to Tokyo, workshop with Japan Staff Band
Sunday 25/11 – pan-Tokyo holiness meeting at Tokyo Central Corps, rest of day free
Monday 26/11 – visit to THQ, then to airport, leave Tokyo for Christchurch
Tuesday 27/11 – home via Christchurch
This is the Band’s third trip to Japan (previously 1979 and 1985) – there is only one in the Band now who went on both previous tours, but two went in 79 and missed 85, and seven went in 85 only. Previous tours have been very successful in boosting the SA in Japan (where less than 1% of the population are Christian and less than 1% of those are Salvationists). We hear that Tokyo has already sold 1100 tickets for a 1200-seat venue.
The attached photo of the Band was taken last Christmas at Wellington Town Hall.
We remember with affection the last visit of the Wellington City Band to the UK (including Chatham) on the ‘Homecoming’ tour a few years ago and we know they will do a great job in Japan. We send them our best wishes and assure them of our prayers.