Youth banding is a wonderful tradition in The Salvation Army, providing fundamental musical training and spiritual enrichment for countless young musicians, and few youth bands have a greater tradition than The Salvation Army’s Greater New York Youth Band.
Established in 1960, the band has used its exuberant brand of music-making to spread the "Good News" of Jesus Christ everywhere from Brooklyn to Britain, inspiring men, women and children with a message that transcends the written notes.
Tours during the last 20 years have taken the band to Florida, California, Canada, Scotland, Spain, Argentina, Holland, England, Australia and Italy.
Most of the band’s members are students, either in high school or college. Adding stability and maturity to the band are several young adults, some of whom are employed by The Salvation Army. Their predecessors include some prominent musicians whose reputations have crossed the boundaries of Salvation Army music, most notably Philip Smith, principal trumpet of The New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Staff Sergeant Stephen Bulla, Chief Arranger for "The President’s Own" United States Marine Corps Band, is also a former member.Reflecting the multi-cultural environment of The Greater New York area, current band members represent a United Nations of countries, which include Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Jamaica, England, Barbados, Uruguay, Haiti and Italy.
The band has been conducted by some of the most revered individuals in The Salvation Army brass band world, including Derek Smith, Terry Camsey and its present leader, Gordon Ward.