One of the main aims of BBJ is to bring Salvation Army music to the more remote parts of Indonesia rarely visited by foreign Christian musicians, especially Salvation Army bands. Thus it was that in July 2011 BBJ began its second tour of Nias. The first such tour was in 2004. Nias is a poverty stricken island off the west coast of North Sumatra where many band members have relatives.
     
     
     

    From July 16-19 2009 the Medan Band (officially Brass Band Jenderal - BBJ) travelled to Palu in Central Sulawesi to attend the celebrations for the Salvation Army's 115th anniversary in Indonesia. Band members flew from Medan to Jakarta and then boarded a connecting flight to Palu. Both trips took about 2 hours each.

     

     

    I did not have enough money for airline tickets, so this tour began with band members boarding a ferry at North Sumarta's main port of Belawan. The trip to the Malaysian Island of Penang took about 7 hours. From there I arranged for a bus to take the band across the Penang bridge and then south through Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and then on to Singapore.

     

     

    In May 1989, the Medan Band travelled to Jakarta. It was the band's first tour, and it proved to be an exciting adventure for all concerned. We couldn't afford the air fares, so band members travelled on a chartered bus. The trip from Medan to Jakarta took several days, including a brief journey by ship between the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java. In Jakarta, the band played a various functions held to mark the 100 years of the Salvation Army in Indonesia. Here is the band standing at attention while Eva Burrows (The Salvation Army's international leader at the time) gave us our title: "The General's Band" after she met the band in Bandung for the first time.

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