The Salvation Army, Sydney Congress Hall

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Sydney Congress Hall is a Salvation Army Corps situated in the Sydney's CBD. Not only is SCH the oldest Corps in the Australian Eastern Territory, it was also the largest Corps in NSW for much of the 20th century. It has maintained a strong traditionalist view on many of the Salvation Army's developments over the years.[1]


Sydney Congress Hall Brass Band[edit]

Sydney Congress Hall is centrally located in the city of Sydney and forms part of the Territorial Headquarters for Eastern Australia.

Since its inauguration in 1882, utilizing a variety of musical instruments and a few self-motivated players, the Sydney Congress Hall Band has expanded and developed and was in its day recognised as one of the Salvation Army’s foremost brass bands. The members are drawn from varied professions.

Whilst maintaining a full programme of church and out-reach activities as part of the Sydney Congress Hall Corps, the Band is also in heavy demand for concert engagements and other cultural events. Furthermore, the Band plays a permanent role in Territorial events and other major Army gatherings.

The Band has toured extensively in Australia and New Zealand and has previously undertaken tours of Hong Kong as well as two tours of Canada and the United States of America in 1971 and 1985 and a tour of the United Kingdom in 1991.[2]

Since its inception, the Band has endeavored to ensure that the musical expression has met the challenge of the day, whilst not detracting from the Gospel message.

OnFire Big Band[edit]

This 17 piece jazz ensemble play all styles of big band jazz, ranging from Swing to Latin, Funk to Blues, Ballads to Gospel. OnFire's mission is to attract the jazz listening public of Australia to the message of Christ and to enhance the worship experience within their own church (and the Australian church at large).

The band has played events such as the Manly Jazz Festival, the Youth in Swing concert series, and many concerts with James Morrison. During 2001, the Band toured the South Island of New Zealand. In 2003 OnFire had a guest spot on ABC Radio accompanying James Morrison.[3]

In 2000, the band released their self-titled debut album, In March 2002 they released a second album entitled Jazz with Heat and Direction and In 2007 they released their 3rd album Unfinished Business.[4]

The Songsters[edit]

The Songsters is made up of men and women of all ages. They participate in the majority of Sunday meetings as an aid to worship. The Songsters have sung in Salvation Army corps around New South Wales, and have also joined with other Songster groups on occasions, as part of a massed chorus and as a solo choir at worship and praise events at the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

See also[edit]