Popular gospel music and the old, familiar notes of church hymns rang out from the instruments of St. Ambrose Community Band members during their tour of Abaco in mid-July.
The members visited the island from July 13-15, and stopped in two North Abaco communities before ending their tour in Central Abaco at St. John the Baptist Anglican Church. It was an ideal location for the band’s demonstration as they received full support from church members and attracted the attention of passing motorists.
Shavon Blades, band president of St. Ambrose Community Band, and Arreo Ferguson, band director and lead instructor, explained that the band has been doing community outreach through music for seven years.
During their visit to Blackwood and Green Turtle Cay, Ferguson said that both marching displays incorporated traditional Bahamian music that featured a combination of songs whereas the Sunday performance took on more of a religious appeal.
“The routine was similar, but the songs were different,” Blades said, agreeably.
She said that the band takes its ministry to various Family Islands where Anglican churches are located, and that it gives the children an opportunity to visit the islands for the first time. Each year, they plan from at least six months in advance for their trip in July, and Abaco was the island that was chosen for this year. Next year, Blades said they have given consideration to Exuma, Cat Island or North Eleuthera.
Altogether, there are 70 members involved with the St. Ambrose Community Band, but only 48 members travelled to Abaco. Thirty eight members marched, and the remaining 10 members represented administrative members and chaperones.