The International Staff Songsters
The International Staff Songsters is The Salvation Army's premier choir. It's mission is to give a clear expression of gospel of Jesus Christ through music, and to communicate his love in a vital and attractive way. The ISS was formed in 1980 by General Arnold Brown, then International Leader of The Salvation Army, who challenged the group to inspire people with the 'heart songs' of The Salvation Army. Over 30 years on, one of the groups recordings, Heart Songs, includes many of the Army's most loved songs.
The style of the ISS spans a large range of Christian music from contemporary to classical, spirituals, traditional songs. Whatever the genre, the ISS seeks to praise and worship God through music, and to be effective communicators of the gospel.
All members are Salvationists, active in their local Salvation Army corps. Although musically trained, they are non-professional and unpaid, coming from many different areas of employment including finance, teaching, medicine, commerce, IT, and there are several who work for The Salvation Army either as officers or as lay staff on both UK Headquarters and International Headquarters.
As a choir they are regarded as representatives of The Salvation Army in the international arena. Overseas visits have included the USA, Canada, Scandinavia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as a ground-breaking tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe in September 2000. One of the overseas visits saw the ISS tour Finland, Estonia and Sweden over the period 2007, but the most recent saw the ISS tour Argentina, Uruguay and the USA in 2012.
The ISS rehearse every Wednesday at Territorial Headquarters in Central London and members travel from all around the country, although most live within 75-mile radius of the capital. As well as regularly leading worship at Salvation Army centres they also participate in national Salvation Army meetings and other religious events, radio and TV broadcasts and recordings, allowing the choir to widen their ministry to many people around the world. In January 2010 during their visit to Chelmsford, the ISS featured in the BBC Radio 4 morning worship live broadcast.
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