Last Update 8/26/2014

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Who We Are

Ronald Waiksnoris
Territorial Music Secretary


Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris has served as conductor and musical director of the New York Staff Band since 1992, taking the band to new heights in musical performance, programming, recording and musical ministry. Under his leadership, the band has successfully toured Australia, Europe and Scandinavia, impacting the brass banding community with its imaginative concert style and programming. Recordings during his tenure-featuring Hollywood composers Bruce and Bill Broughton, trumpet soloist Philip Smith and tuba soloist Patrick Sheridan - have been artistically and critically acclaimed.

Conducting the New York Staff Band is only part of Bandmaster Waiksnoris' responsibilities as Territorial Music Secretary of The Salvation Army's Eastern Territory, a position he has held since 1984. As Music Secretary, Bandmaster Waiksnoris oversees music and arts programs in a 12-state area, including music publications and music education programs. In addition to his administrative duties, he also makes frequent appearances as a guest conductor and adjudicator of brass bands.

Like many Salvationist musicians, Bandmaster Waiksnoris received his early training in The Salvation Army before studying trumpet at Hartt College of Music. Following his graduation from the University of Massachusetts (Boston), he enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a cornet soloist with the New York Staff Band prior to becoming its bandmaster.

Thomas Scheibner
Assistant Territorial Music Secretary


Songster Leader Thomas Scheibner is a first-generation Salvationist, having been introduced to The Salvation Army through its music program at Star Lake Musicamp. He has attended Star Lake Musicamp every year since 1969, first as a camper, then as a program staff member and now serves as the musicamp program director. Tom has been a member of the staff of the Eastern Territory Music Department of The Salvation Army for 30 years and currently is the Assistant Territorial Music Secretary. He is also a member of the New York Staff Band and has served for 35 years in the band. Prior to working for The Salvation Army, Tom taught music in public schools in the Boston area for a period of 3 years. In addition to his duties in the Music Department, Tom serves as an adjunct instructor at The Salvation Army School for Officer Training in Suffern, NY. Tom has served as the Songster Leader at Montclair Citadel for the past 17 years and has served as the Corps Youth Band Leader. Tom and his wife Charlene are the parents of three daughters and are grandparents to grandson Micah.

Dorothy Gates
Music Editor & Technician


Dorothy joined the Music Department in 2002. As Music Editor and Technician, Dorothy is responsible for editing all the music published by The Salvation Army's Eastern Territory. She is also the composer-in-residence for the New York Staff Band where in addition to writing she conducts the Staff Band Chorus and is the principal trombonist. Dorothy lives in Warwick, NY with her husband Mark and attends the Middletown Corps. For more information on Dorothy's music, please check out her website.

Derek Lance
Territorial KROC Centers Liaison for Music Program Development
and Staff Band Manager


Derek Lance currently serves in the Music Department as the Territorial Liaison for Kroc Music Program Development and the manager for the New York Staff Band. Prior to working for The Salvation Army, Derek was a member of the West Point Band where he held the position of Principal Trumpet and was featured many times as a soloist, including recording Philip Sparkes solo, "Manhattan".

He studied at two of the finest music conservatories in the world: the Juilliard School in New York City and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with such groups as the New Jersey Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. As a Salvation Army musician and soloist, Derek has had the opportunity to perform with the Canadian and Amsterdam Staff Bands as well as many fine corps and divisional bands throughout the world. He has been featured as a soloist on many recording with such groups as the New York Staff Band, Greater New York Youth Band, Pendel Brass, Hamilton Temple Band and Mountain Citadel Band, as well as his own solo recording, Tribute.

Derek is currently a member of the New York Staff Band where is he a valued member of the solo cornet section and Band Secretary. Derek, along with his wife, Lorena, and daughters Isobel and Caroline, serve the Lord at the Spring Valley Salvation Army Corps in New York, where he is the Corps Sergeant Major and the bandmaster of the senior band.


Douglas Berry
Consultant for Contemporary Music


Doug started working for the Territorial Music Department in August 2011. He previously worked in the Greater New York Music Department as Assistant Music Director (North) for 8 years. Doug received his Masters Degree in music from the SUNY Purchase Music Conservatory. He currently has a a contemporary Christian rock band named Unbound which provides praise & worship for events and recordings for the Eastern Territory. Doug has also been a member of the New York Staff Band since 1996 and is currently playing flugel horn for the group.


Warren Smith Jr.
Web and Special Projects Administrator


Warren Smith Jr. has worked for the Salvation Army since 1986 in various departments including the Literary Department, ARC Command, Information Technology Department, and since 2008, the Music Department.  Warren attended Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, where he received a BA in Theology.  He has been a member of the New York Staff Band for more than 20 years starting in 1986, primarily playing Bass Trombone.  Warren lives in Glen Ridge, NJ with his wife, Joan, and their dogs, Tucker and Molly, and attends the Montclair Citadel Corps where he participates in the Songsters.


Karen Shaffstall
Administrative Assistant


Karen comes to this department with a wealth of professional music experience.   She holds a BS Degree in Music Education and has taught in both public and private schools, established her own Piano School with 50 students  and served the majority of her career conducting and participating in Salvation Army Bands and Choral groups.  She was cornet soloist with the Pendel Brass & Singers as a young musician and served in the New York Staff Band for seven years while directing the music program at the College for Officer Training for ten years.  God has brought her “full circle” since beginning in The Salvation Army moving into the professional music circle and now back to the music department at Territorial Headquarters.  In the music department she desires to give support to each member while giving the major part of her time to managing the work load of the Music Secretary.  She and her husband live in North Jersey, have two children and two grandchildren.

The Salvation Army Eastern Territory Music Department

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