Bill Himes: On the wings of song

April 6, 2017


There’s great excitement in The Salvation Army musical circles as internationally acclaimed conductor Bill Himes arrives in Australia this week.


One of TSA’s most famous musical pioneers, the now-retired Chicago Staff bandmaster notched up an impressive 38 years as central USA territorial music secretary and band conductor.


Musicians in Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney and New Zealand will have a rare chance to participate in Bill’s workshops, while Bill and his wife Linda will also be guest speakers at a major Easter event in Brisbane.


On the eve of his visit, Warcry took the opportunity to quiz Bill about the importance of music in our daily lives.


How would you describe the power of music on the human soul?

I have found that music picks up the slack in expressing our feelings and thoughts when words often fail.

How integral do you think it is as part of worship for the Salvos?

We know all the biblical exhortations to praise God with music, but I believe the main reason music is an essential component of our worship is because it is a specific gift from God to us.


For my entire career as a corps or territorial music leader, music has been my premise for relationship. When this principle is foremost, our music forces are small group ministries—in addition to the blessing they provide in the context of worship. Our music groups fully utilise both genders and all generations—these are the only groups in typical corps programming that offer such a wide spectrum of inclusion, outside of congregational worship

How are you and Linda feeling about the imminent Australia/New Zealand visit?

I have been blessed to visit Down Under several times over the years. This time will be a bit of a whirlwind itinerary including three days in the middle in New Zealand. My wife, Linda, is also bringing her skill set: a gifted and passionate Bible teacher, her specific mission is to teach others how to teach God's word. While I might be better known through TSA publications, when people experience Linda in action they realise she’s the real bonus!


For more information on Bill and Linda Himes’ visit:


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